No pain No Gain
NO PAIN NO GAIN CHAPTER 1- 10 (new Chapter added)
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Buffy and Angel people belong to Joss and
Mutant Enemy. The Anita Blake verse belongs to Laurell K Hamilton. Basically I own nothing.
Set after season 7.
Anya lives to see another day in St Louis but not as she knows it!
NO PAIN NO GAIN
“ANYA”… “ANYA”… Xander stomach dropped, he looked around wildly he couldn’t see her. Giles rushed up to him “Xander we have to leave NOW the whole place is going to erupt”, Xander hesitated, spotting Andrew behind Giles, Andrew glanced at him and then averted his eyes, Xander’s heart dropped - she was dead. Totally numb he hustled the girls out to the waiting school bus.
Half an hour later he stood on the edge of the crater of what had once been Sunnydale a lone tear sliding down his cheek from his one eye, any slight hope that he might have harboured was now as dead as Anya. He hadn’t believed Andrew’s explanation but in the end it hadn’t mattered she had stood with them, sacrificing her life in one single unselfish act. Her courage and strength were greater than he could have possibly realised. Out of all of them she had no real reason to stay and yet she had. She had stayed for atonement, she had stayed for humankind, but mostly she had stayed for him. He would never forget her. “Rest In Peace Anya.”
28 MINUTES PREVIOUSLY
D’Hoffryn gazed at Anya’s body dispassionately, he poked her body with one hairy horned toe. He was most displeased he had wanted to cause her death, had wanted pain, anguish, torture not this quick easy death. He stroked his chin, but wait what was this there was still a spark she wasn’t totally gone, not yet, she had perhaps only seconds or minutes left, certainly not enough time for him to exact his full measure of pain.
He snorted, “So be it Anya… I will give you what you least want or desire- Anyaka you will be again and then, then I shall have my vengeance”. He raised his hand and then hesitated, she would just run back to that boy again. Seeing what him and his oh so powerful friend had just done to the First – the so called ultimate evil, he wasn’t sure he wanted to tangle with them again. Powerful demon he may be, but he had become that way only by being prudent. He smiled nastily remembering a recent story he had heard in Los Angelas. Yes.. Yes that would be perfect.
He knelt beside Anya’s prone body ignoring the blood soaking into his rich red robes. Placing his hand on either side of her head he muttered a few incantations. Anya’s body shuddered she coughed, blood dribbling from her mouth crimson and frothy. Her pain-ridden eyes flickered open and she had just a one horrified second to recognise D’hoffryn evil smiling leer before they both disappeared in cloud of smoke.
ST LOUIS GRAVEYARD
All was quiet, the only sounds that could be heard was the wind whistling through the trees, the occasional chirping of a night owl and a bloody great crash of lightning as two bodies came hurtling out of a portal.
Anya screamed in agony, rolling over she took several deep breaths of cold night air, she had forgotten how painful being split in two was. She coughed blood and moaned as she struggled to a sitting position. She glanced at D’Hoffryn who had recovered enough that he was calmly brushing off bits of soot from his robes. “I didn’t realise how draining this inter-dimensional travelling could be”.
“Why”, gasped Anya.
“Certainly not for your scintillating company.”
“I told you before my dear, why go for the Kill when the pain is oh so much more gratifying and I WILL have your never ending pain Anyaka, eventually you will beg me for an end to your suffering and perhaps my dear Anyaka I will even grant you that… but don’t count on it”, he hissed, towering over her, a scaly hand reaching out to stroke her cheek.
Anya flinched back, “I AM NOT AFRAID OF YOU”.
“You should be my dear, and don’t expect that boy to come and rescue you, you are a long long way from home, can you not feel it, feel the difference here, why I could almost be at home here, and this will be your home ANYAKA, welcome to hell”.
Anya looked at him, confusion giving way to comprehension on the continued use of her old name. She raised her hands and felt her face, instead of smooth peach soft skin she felt rough blistered scaly skin. “NO, NO, NO how could you” Anya screamed and fell to the ground sobbing.
D’hoffryn threw back his head and laughed basking in her pain and in his vengeance.
“POLICE - HOLD IT RIGHT THERE BUSTER”.
“Jesus Christ Anita, what the hell is it?”
“MOVE AWAY FROM THE LADY, OR WE WILL SHOOT”.
Afterwards Anya would be hard pushed to tell who was the most shocked her or D’hoffryn, it was actually rather funny, though not at the time.
“You dare to threaten me, Mortal”, D’Hoffryn was enraged and moved towards them.
“HOLD IT THIS IS YOUR LAST WARNING”, Anita cocked her weapon, unsure whether silver bullets would have any effect on this creature it was monstrous. Out of the corner of her eye she caught Zerbrowski circling around to try and grab the women, who at present was crying hysterically into the ground - stupid cow. Finally he reached her and without warning grabbed her and slung her over his shoulder, sprinting away. The monster roared, and one of the younger patrolmen finally lost his nerve, a shot rang out, the monster staggered back and then rushed towards them, a volley of bullets met him midway.
D’Hoffryn seethed in anger, but decided now was the time to split, his kind did not advertise their existence and this little incident was in danger in turning into a fiasco. He turned and fled through the cemetery, summoning the necessary power as he ran to jump out of this hellhole with Anita and the rest of the patrol in hot pursuit.
Zerbrowski made it back to the patrol car setting the women down he tried to assess her wounds she was going to need a paramedic there was so much blood her clothes were in shreds. He carefully moved her hair to the side to try and feel a pulse, he froze as 2 gleaming demon eyes stared down at him, urgghh she was a monster. He fumbled for his holster, her eyes narrowed and without warning she punched him cold. Anya stood up and wiped the tears from face, “well this has been a really shitty day”.
By the time Anita got back, she found Zerbrowski sitting on the pavement clutching his head. “Jesus Zerbrowski! What happened? Where’s the lady?”
“Monster Bitch knocked me out and stole my car, my gun and my wallet, you get the other one”.
“Disappeared, completely, no tracks no nothing”.
Zerbrowski snorted, “Dolph is going to have my hide for this”.
“Well they shouldn’t be too hard to track down they have got to be the ugliest bad asses I have seen”.
3 weeks later
Anya hummed happily as she counted out her latest haul, it had been 3 weeks since she had arrived, in a world so like but so different from hers. The first few days had been difficult, arriving with nothing but bloodstained torn clothing is not the best way to be inconspicuous luckily she had found a Nike bag in the back seat that had furnished her with clothing albeit it the most daggy clothing she had seen that were obviously for some sort of midget, but it was presentable enough to rent a Hotel room with the cops money. A few break-ins later at the same Hotel, had furnished her with various ID’s and some more appropriate clothing.
Over the following days she had fallen into old habits that had only recently been resurrected when she, Buffy, Dawn and Willow had all fallen in love with a football star. In an effort to win his love unlike the others that had resorted to murder, suicide, and magical sex changes, she had decided to prove her love by holding up a bank. Finding herself in a strange dimension, with no money, no ID and no hope of getting back she had decided her best course of action was robbery and not surprisingly she was rather good at it. She had always been very good with money.
So far she seemed to have netted $44,672. Not enough, she needed more. Just one more big haul and then she would lay low for awhile. But first thought Anya happily, as she lay down on a bed of dollars her fingers leafing idly through the mass, it was time to shop!
Ten hours later Anya was happily sitting in a local bar sipping at a strawberry Daiquiri. She had shopped till she had dropped and then spent the latter half of the afternoon at the beauty parlour. Pampered, polished, pedicured and manicured, she felt ready for anything. She gazed down at her pretty pink painted toes that matched her new pink Beluggi sandals perfectly and sighed happily. It was true a new pairs of shoes and some nail polish did make a girl feel great.
“Hi gorgeous, looking for some fun” The man was almost drooling down Anya’s Cleavage as he placed his sweaty meaty paw over her shoulder.
“Urghhh, pleaze why I would want some sleazy 2 bit salesman with nostril hair, who has trouble getting his pecker up, and probably has some down trodden wife with 2 mewling brats at home.” Anya continued sneeringly, “I would rather sleep with a troll and get your dirty hand off me”.
“You dirty slut, somebody should shut you up”. The man tightened his grip on her shoulder as he raised his fist threateningly.
“Oh yeah”, Anya’s eyebrows lifted up, she smiled sweetly then punched him in the face, he flew across the room crashing into a flower display. The whole room swung round to gape first at the man and then at her. Groaning noises came from the roses.
Anya scowled “so much for a quiet night in” she muttered. She picked up her coat and strode from the room. Ah well she was getting bored anyhow it was time for work, she would head down to vamp district again that had proved to be good pickings.
The roses groaned, “I dink sheth droke my nothse”.
The street was crawling with press, noisy passer-bys and cops trying to keep the crowds back. Emergency lighting and flashing police lights, gave the whole street a menacing look. A reporter dashed forward and a flash bulb went off in her face before the beat officer dragged him back. Anita scowled “Great just great”, she muttered.
“Hey, Zerbrowski” Anita waved at him, as she struggled to get her black Nikes on. Dolph had paged her in the early hours of the morning; she had just finished her third raising of the night and had been looking forward to a hot mug of coco and Sigmund to snuggle up with. Looks like she wasn’t going to get either tonight. She sighed, ‘please let it not be children, and please let it not be that horned demon thing’.
“Hey Anita, took your time, too busy snuggling with your honeys?”
“Very funny Zerbrowski, does your wife know you’re out like that?”
Zerbrowski grinned and did a small twirl “Hey I thought it was rather trendy”.
“Geeze Zerbrowski - plaid trousers with a lime green shirt you’re lucky Dolph doesn’t arrest you”.
“Hey Anita, Zerbrowski”, Dolph shouted at them “ Get your collective butts over here”.
“Charming as usual”, Anita commented sourly as they made way to the darkened corner of a street.
“Yeah, he’s been a bit touchy, keep it cool ok Blake”.
“Hey me!… as cucumber” Anita quipped “It’s a bad one isn’t it, just tell me is there kids involved?”
“No, No kids involved… but well I’ve got to say Anita it’s a strange one”.
“Took your time Blake, who was it this time vamp or furry or were you doing them both?” Dolph sneered at her his face ugly in the darkened shadows.
Anita stopped momentarily taken back by his venom.
“Hey Dolph cut it out, we asked her to come”. Zerbrowski stepped in front of Anita raising his hands conciliatorily.
“FINE”, he gritted out through clenched teeth, you deal with HER…” Dolph shot her an angry look before storming off.
“Sheesh sorry Anita, I don’t know…”
“Save it Zerbrowski… lets finish this, I want to get out of here, funny thing there’s a bit of a stench around here”.
Zerbrowski sighed, “Come on take a look at this, I know you are just going to love this”.
Anita’s gaze followed his pointed finger, “Sweet Jesus”.
The vampire went flying through the air crashing into the garbage cans. Anyaka brushed down her nifty Prada black jumpsuit; she had worn a hooded floor length cape over it to help maintain her visage of menace and horror. But she had always liked Prada and thankfully it still existed in all its yummy goodness in this dimension. Just because she was in demon mode didn’t mean she couldn’t be stylish. She yawned and strutted forward to the vamp. With one hand she grabbed him by the neck and dangled him off the ground.
“Now Mr Pointy fangs with Bad breath, would you like to hand over the money now or care to make some more nasty remarks about my face”.
“Nnnnn No,..noo… here take the money”.
“Thank you… pleasure doing business with you”, replied Anyaka brightly, turning away she began counting the dollars well pleased with her catch of the day. Her little foray into the tenderloin had been a real bust; the vamp district was so much more profitable. She frowned as she finished counted, her eyes narrowed in speculation. Whirling around she grabbed the cowering vampire and held him up against the wall. “Five thousand and hundred and twelve dollars for a nights takings, try and shortchange me you little weasel, where’s the rest before I stake you”, she shook him, irritated with the vampire.
“That’s it, takings are slow on a weekday.”
Anya shook him again, now even more annoyed “Who runs this honky tonk joint anyhow, they are not capitalising on its full potential” she sighed before wagging her finger at him “how am I meant to make my money …Huh…huh??”
“The Master of the city runs this part”, the vampire swallowed noisily” He ain’t going like this”.
“Well you tell the master from me …he better shape up or ship out”.
The vampire whimpered this wasn’t what he had signed up for when he had become a vampire. He was meant to be a creature that people ran from, this demon was bringing back unpleasant memories of his head being flushed down a toilet at school.
“Can you let me down now… my throat is sore.”?
She shook her head and stared the vampire in the eyes. “Maybe I should just stake you anyhow… you are so pathetic”, stated Anyaka crossly, her whole good mood changed. Anya’s eyes widened in surprise “Ooooo… you have a soul… how did you get a soul….Did you get cursed?”
The vampire stared at her, too confused and frightened to say anything.
“Hmmmm no matter”. Stated Anyaka airily, dropping the vampire in a heap she walked away.
The vampire rubbed his throat and stared after the demon in fear, but a greater fear now motivated him to shout after her “The master will want to know who dares to challenge him?”.
Anyaka turned round and looked at him appraisingly. She smiled, “tell him Buffy is in town…Buffy the vampire slayer!”
BACK AT THE TENDERLOIN
Anita rubbed her temples, she could feel a headache coming on. “Run it by me again, I don’t think I quite heard you the first time”
Zerbrowski raised his eyes, “Okay Suspect A (a.k.a ‘the monster’) entered building and demanded money, cashier Mr Brown informed Suspect A, money was kept in back room safe which was time delayed, before fainting but not before activating inner security system. Steel shutters came down and our city’s finest responded to call. Suspect A then proceeded to demolish said steels shutters before entering street and toppling first Police squad car on attendance on it roof. Suspect A knocked out Sergeant John , before kissing his rookie partner Patrick. Patrick passed out missing the next five minutes festivities. Patrick by the way has currently issued his notice and swears he’s going to join the Church. Suspect A then re-entered building, broke through 1 steel shutter and 2 reinforced doors to reach safe. It took approximately 3 minutes for suspect A to rip the safe’s door off its hinges and make off with 2 safety boxes. Upon entering the street Sergeant John attempted to apprehend Suspect A by blowing its head off. Suspect A understandably a bit miffed, attempted to knock out sergeant John by throwing boxes at him, fortunately missing him but knocking out the streetlamp. Security boxes sprung open unloading its entire haul of dollars and bright pink security ink. Covering the entire street in bright pink dye and pink dollars, which I might add were severely depleted, when the second unit arrived, although a hundred or so passer bys were seen leaving with pink stained hands. Suspect A vanished in this frenzy.”
“Yeah I thought that’s what you said”. Anita surveyed the scene around her, she had never seen a pink squad car and frankly it was disturbing, Jesus what a farce!
“Its not a vamp, were, zombie, witch …I don’t know what this is, but I don’t think I can help you, maybe you should try the local nuthouse”. Anita peeled of her pink stained gloves and looked at them bemusedly, usually it was blood stains she worried about.
“Anita, There’s been reports all over of some hideously deformed creature holding up and robbing people blind. This monster is different doesn’t leave bodies just mayhem and empty wallets”
“Not one, apart from a few hysterical people, but its only a matter of time”
Anita sighed and carried on walking to her car “I don’t know Zerbrowski, Dolph isn’t listening to anything I say and its not really my line of work, this is … well strange very strange but its really just robbery”.
“and what if its not Anita?”
Anita stopped and look at him “Spit it out Zerbrowski”.
“Monsters, Vamps you know them Anita, there’s something else here…they are all about power, death and evil. Ok ok… a few exceptions but when have you ever heard of monsters resorting to petty crime, there has to be some deep and dark plan behind this”.
“Okay Zerbrowski, I get the picture, what do you want”
“If this thing is connected to that demon thing we saw in the cemetery, and you know it’s likely, it can’t be good news. When I was a beat cop one thing I learned is how quickly criminals can spiral out of control, today a simple break down walls and terrorise the neighbourhood, next it will be death and bodies piling up”.
“Okay enough already, I’ll speak to Jean Claude”. Anita sighed and ran her hands through her hair tiredly, looks like she wasn’t going to get to bed any time soon.
CIRCUS OF THE DAMNED
“I am disappointed Henri, this is not the loyalty or what I expected when I gifted you with eternal life last year, to be bested by a street punk”. Jean Claude was seated behind his leather bound desk idly playing with a dagger.
“But Master I told you this thing wasn’t human”.
“What do you think Asher – the box?”.
Asher was holding Henri down on knees, he tightened his grip on Henri’s hair, forcing his head backwards. “Perhaps mon ami, we should leave him to the executioners tender mercies”.
“Oh God…please master…”
“YOU are vampire now act like one…god will not help you”, hissed Asher.
Henri rolled his eyes in absolute terror “Please Master, …I tried”.
“BUT NOT HARD ENOUGH” thundered Jean Claude slamming his hands on the desk.
“ Master it threatened you, threatened to take over the city, told me to tell you to skip town”.
Asher and Jean Claude exchanged glances.
Henri sensing a reprieve hurried on “Yeah you know said you weren’t making enough money…told me who it was…” he paused dramatically…
“Go on” growled Asher impatiently.
“Said its name was buffee…a vampire slaver!” stated Henri dramatically.
Just then a scuffle could be heard outside the door. Asher raised his eyebrow questioningly at Jean Claude.
Jean Claude stood up his face smoothing out into a bland pleasant expression, as the door swung open.
“Ah Ma Petite what a pleasant surprise”, Jean Claude waved back his security guard and gently grasping Anita’s arm bestowed a warm kiss on her mouth. Anita shivered, damn the man, he was good.
Anita looked past Jean Claude at the man kneeling on the ground, “staff problems Jean Claude?”
“A trifling matter my sweet,” Jean Claude took Anita’s hand and led her to his lovers couch “Henri, you may leave… we will discuss your transgressions later”
Henri wasted no time in scuttling from the room with lots of bowing and grovelling.
Asher as always watched Anita from the shadows, “I too will leave you, it has been some time since your last visit Anita”, added Asher chidingly.
“No Asher you better stay, this is police matter”
Jean Claude sighed and gestured for Asher to take a seat also. “ But of course Anita, why else would you be visiting the master of the city”. There was a hint of anger in his voice but underneath Anita could taste an undercurrent of melancholy. It was enough to curb her tongue for a change.
“Look Jean Claude it’s been a long night, lets get this over with”.
“But why of course Ma Petite”.
“There has been some… some disturbances down town… robberies really. Have you heard of anything?”
“Ma Petite you surprise me, why would I mix with common criminals”.
Jean Claude was playing with her hair, his hand brushing against her ear. Tingles spread down her back. God he was distracting, did he know the effect he had on her, she glanced up meeting Asher’s smirk – damn it. She jerked away from Jean Claude. Feeling a spurt of guilt at Jean Claude’s hurt expression.
“It was some kind of monster, definitely not human”.
“Ah my part in this is clear”.
“You are master of this god damn city its your job to know what monsters reside in your domain invited or uninvited”.
Jean Claude exhaled dramatically, “No Ma petite, I have heard of rumours of some incidents but that is all”.
Anita sighed, “I knew you probably hadn’t, you would have dealt with it by now if you had”.
“Will you be staying Ma Petite?”
Anita looked away, “No I need my bed, and you will only be awake for another few hours anyway.”
Jean Claude face was completely unreadable, Anita felt guilty and slightly mean. “Look just give me some time...please Jean Claude”.
“As you wish Ma Petite”, Jean Claude’s face softened and he gave her a wistful smile before bestowing a soft kiss on her mouth that almost made Anita reconsider.
“I like your new hairdo Ma Petite not your usual style, kind of punky, but very sexy”.
Anita looked at him in confusion until comprehension dawned she looked at her hands they were stained pink, “God damn it” she shrieked as she rushed to the mirror in the adjoining bathroom, there her usual glossy black locks had a sheen of pink streaked through it. She vaguely remembered running her hands through her hair at the crime scene, this was all Zerbrowski’s fault.
“What has happened Anita”, asked Asher worriedly as Anita started scrubbing at her hair futilely. Anita looked up and scowled before filling them both in on the night events. She was bent over the sink as she tried to wash out the pink dye so missed Jean Claude and Asher giving each other significant glances. Before Jean Claude grabbed some soap and started to help Anita was her hair.
Finally admitting defeat, Anita left for home, her hair dripping wet, she bade Asher goodnight as Jean Claude walked her to the entrance. Stroking his face lightly she kissed him softly on the cheek before whispering in his ear “ Dinner at my place, bring some candles and don’t be late.
Jean Claude smiled as he watched Anita drive away. Asher looked at him questioningly. “Dinner” was all Jean Claude said in reply.
Back in the office they went over Anita’s tale and Henri’s. They were not overly concerned Henri was just a fledgling and a very poor excuse as a vampire. Nevertheless such impudence could not go unpunished.
“Send the word put that I want information on this …this thing who would dare to make slaves out of vampires, I want my people scouring the city, no gravestone, or filthy cave should be left untouched. Nobody threatens me and gets away unscathed” he paused before adding, "except perhaps my Anita".
“But of course mon ami”
“and Asher I have a small job for you, I think perhaps Ma petite could use some discreet assistance in her latest case”.
Anya sat on her bar stool brooding over a long island iced tea. She had spent a very long boring day at the library researching, it was almost like old times with the Scoobies except … without the Scoobies. Funny how she missed those little blighters even the annoying Miss Dawn and nerdy Andrew. Hitting the books while never her favourite pastime, well in fact she hated it and was always trying to get Xander to slope off with her for a quickie. But still she missed the gang, they would have all crowded round at Giles, fought over the last jelly donut, sipped hot chocolate with those little marshmallow men, bickered, and generally concocted cool ways to save the world. Still her first but certainly last foray into research mode had reassured her some what, she had been shaken up last night by the fact these vampires seems to have souls…it suddenly occurred to her that maybe she should find out more about this dimension before she had any further surprises. But no she was pleasantly surprised at the amount of similarities: Alamo, Waterloo, Russian Revolution… yep they all happened, well ok she seemed to have lost her pivotal moment in that little saga the French revolution, but otherwise everything seemed to be as she remembered. Elvis, the Beatles that annoying rabbit that ran away from the man with the speech impediment were still around though some of the songs were not quite the same. Elvis singing about Vampire Blues was just too strange.
The main biggie in this dimension seemed to be everybody knew about all the things that went bump at night. But that she had figured out on her first day when she had opened the paper and read the headlines ‘Votes for Vampires’.
Anya sighed and sipped her drink her face glum, she had finished all her work for the week, researching was done and now she was bored and well lonely, she missed Xander, she missed Giles, she missed queuing up for the bathroom and shrieking blue murder at Dawn for using all her shampoo. She wanted to go home even if Sunnydale had been obliterated from the map.
Luther polished the bar in front of her, “what’s the matter girly… boyfriend giving you the blues?” Anya shook her head “No, No he’s not mine anymore, besides I am a long way from home”.
Luther snorted “Ah playing away huh! You know what you need a night out at one of St Louis hot spots always good for cheering a gal up”.
Anya perked up, “Hmmmmmm??”
Luther chuckled and produced from his top pocket a guest ticket, which he waved tantalisingly in front of Anya
“Guilty Pleasures where all your fantasies cum to life…Ladies only”, Anya read, her face lighting up with interest at the full frontal picture of a naked man, “Oohhh rippling muscles”.
Asher caught Damien’s eyes and motioned to him to start circling around. In the darkened alleyway he could just make out the figure of the hooded Buffee monster crouched over its latest victim. The monster was whispering to itself as it counted the money in the wallet before stripping the man’s jewellery off his fingers.
It was pure fluke that they had heard the man’s terrified scream suddenly cut off. Certainly none of the other street occupants had even heard the screams let alone the scuffle that followed. Asher acting on instinct and superior hearing had followed the slight sounds, he had expected to find a lowly street punk, and was very pleasantly surprised to find his quarry that he had only just began his search for.
He had been on his way back to Guilty Pleasures to meet up with Anita. He imagined her astonishment and appreciation when he turned up with the Buffee monster all wrapped up with a pretty ribbon. His groin tightened as he started to imagine all the ways she might choose to thank him.
Beside him Jason shuffled impatiently effectively snapping Asher out of his reverie.
Nodding to Jason to cover the entrance of the alleyway, Asher flew up, there was no wind, no noise he just disappeared. Jason watched intently as he glided down behind the monster. He landed without a sound, and the monster completely oblivious was biting at a gold medallion before stuffing it down his shirt, some sixth sense must have warned it as it suddenly spun around and gasped at seeing Asher,
“What the fuc…”.The monster scrambled to its feet, dollars and jewellery scattering, its breath coming in huge wheezes. “Come no closer mortal or I will cut you down where you stand”.
Asher sneered evilly letting his fangs glint in the moonlight as way of an answer, the monster gulped audibly and took a step back at the sight of Asher’s scarred face. The monster started retreating stopping as first Jason and then Damien appeared circling it. Damien as always carried his four foot broad sword.
“Whoa”, the monster held its hands up “Hey look there's plenty to go around, how about we share fifty fifty???… no ok.. ok I get it… take it all.. take it all”
Jason snickered, his eyes glowing amber, Damien was crouched in anticipation his eyes alight with anticipation.
The monster looked wildly about him, almost tripping over its feet as it tried to retreat from this vision of hell. But there was no retreat and the vampires knew it, confidently they began to walk towards it, their eyes alight with something dark and menacing.
The monster’s breath became ragged, and then with a hiss it drew itself to its full imposing height. “Leave now or perish Vampire” it spat out “ I am Buffee the Vampire Slaver and all will tremble in my presence”.
Jason laughed, he could smell the fear emanate from this feeble creature, he could not believe Anita or Jean Claude had even been remotely concerned over this bag of jelly. He winked at Damien, and let out a low growl for effect, the monster squeaked and surprisingly Damien grinned back at Jason. They both looked at Asher eagerly awaiting his signal to take this creature down. Suddenly with almost womanly shriek the monster picked up the hems of its robe and darted between them and down the alley. They exchanged amused glances – the chase was on!
They let the monster get almost to the foot of the alleyway before they took it down. Jason grabbed its robes and swung it towards Damien. Damien his face an inhuman visage of terror snarled slashing at the things midriff, just a shallow cut to start, before throwing the thing at Asher’s feet. The so-called buffee monster crouched at Asher’s feet sobbing and begging for its life. Asher’s face was blank now, no emotion showing as he surveyed this broken thing before him, inwardly he was disappointed, he had expected and had hoped for more of a fight.
“Ah god, oh god… please don’t hurt me, I promise I won’t do it again”.
Asher knelt beside the thing, his touch almost tender as he crooned in the things ears, “My little coward, it is far too late for promises… when you stole from the master of the city you signed your own death warrant”. He drew back the monsters hood gazing at the monster face, his eyes growing puzzled at the thing before him and then at his compatriots. Jason sniffed the air, his face troubled as his senses told him what he perhaps should have guessed. With an angry snarl Asher yanked the rubber mask of its face. A young boy, a hoodlum, scum but definitely a terrified human gazed back at him. This was no monster and certainly this thing, this scum had not the strength to take down even a lesser vampire like Henri, let alone 2 police squad cars. An acrid smell of urine filled the air and Asher’s lips curled in distaste as he rapidly moved back from the boy cowering before him. Damien snorted in disgust; Jason was more vocal “Pissed himself”.
Asher was mad, all this for a street punk. “Look at me” he commanded his voice usually sleek and warm as honey now harsh as he made no effort to couch the compulsion he held in his voice. The boy shivered as his muddy brown eyes lifted until they met Asher’s, whose pupils had already bled out to a sea of ice. The boy gave a small whimper struggling briefly against Damien’s restraining hand, before becoming limp and pliable. Asher laughed but with no amusement, this one had be so easy no will power at all; “Now” he softly murmured in his ear, “Tell me all”.
Anya sighed it had been fun at first, the sight of so many scantily dressed men had set her heart racing and her libido off the charts, there had been men galore all with spectacular rippling muscles. Her favourite had been a slender almost effeminate man with the most vivid violet eyes she had ever seen and hair that she would have died for. Caught up in the excitement with the other hysterical women, she had even parted with a twenty dollar note when he had thrust his gold lame thong covered groin in her direction. She had however been most put out when she had asked for change, the stripper had given her a strange double take, deciding she was joking he had blown a kiss and sauntered back on stage. Anya had been indignant ‘next time I will just give nickels – cold ones’, she thought sourly.
For the next two hour she had spent more time talking to the patrons than watching the strippers, and boy there was a lot of scorned women here. Her hands itched to cast a little vengeance – damn D’Hoffryn, turned her into a demon - okay, but conveniently left off all her vengeance powers why she couldn’t even teleport. She felt irritated and crabby. Usually she would work it off with a heavy bout of sweaty sex but even with all these juicy men just waiting to be picked up she just couldn’t work herself up to go and catch one. They were just not her Xander! Feeling Blue she picked up her purse and made to leave. Or would have if the most gorgous hunk of a man crossed her path, there was just something about him some Je ne sais crois, maybe it was the hair or the finely moulded buttocks, that just made her mouth water. Whatever Anya revised her choice of no hunting tonight and started to follow him her eyes alight with a predatory gleam that Xander if he had been there would have recognised and feared. However she got no further in a musing as a dark brunette dwarf rudely pushed her out the way with snarl “Stupid bimbo”.
Anya was infuriated, “Stupid Cow, somebody should suck her eyes out”. She cursed under her breath.
The words floated back to Asher, and they were so strange so out of place, that he swung around his eyes surveying the throng of people his face troubled. He looked for the woman that Anita had pushed out of her way, guessing her to be the culprit, but she was no where to be seen. He hesitated unsure whether to check this out, females often had a spiteful tongue in them and Anita more than any other women he had ever met had a special knack for irritating people. Anita suddenly shouted his name and Asher with a final glance at the crowd made his way back to her side. His mind however was still troubled by that softly muttered comment.
Anya meanwhile oblivious to this was kneeling on the floor picking up her fallen lipstick. Mumbling under her breath she decided to call it a night, the night had been a wash out. She now felt even lonelier and she had spent $84.78. Might as well go back to work she thought crossly.
In the back Nathaniel was counting up his tips, tonight had been especially lucrative. “Oh how strange”, he commented to Jason, “Pink Money”.
Work Work Work
ONE WEEK LATER
Anya watched intently as the spotty youth sloshed the beer as he topped it up to a big frothy head, his customer started complaining loudly and Luther hurried over to arbitrate. I can do better Anya thought crossly.
Pimple head started arguing with Luther before throwing his apron down and stomping off. Luther shook his head exasperatedly and went back to sorting out the grouchy customers.
Anya nibbled her lips, her eyes narrowed with speculation without letting herself think any further, she grabbed Luther as he hurried past to grab some chilled Buds.
“I can do this”, she demanded. Luther was taken aback “Eh what?”
“I can do this”, she repeated, “Give me his job”.
Luther was completely nonplussed, she had become a regular over the last week, and surprisingly he had started to look forward to her strange daily visits, she reminded him a bit of Anita in that she seemed to manage to annoy people without really trying. But she hadn’t really struck him as somebody looking for a job, just a rich city chick!
“You got experience?”
“Oh yes”, replied Anya brightly, this job interview was going really well, “lots of experience” she added earnestly.
Luther narrowed his eyes, something was slightly off with her answer, “Bar experience?”, he qualified.
Anya deflated “Well no… but I have been watching its not that difficult”.
Luther snorted and raised his hairy black eyebrow questioningly.
“Well…” Anya started “….Yes, take order, pour drinks, take money, speak banal phrases, listen to boring monologues about spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends, jobs, utter more banal phrases, take more money and in between polish bar and glasses in cool manner. Is that right”?
Luther stared, the cigarette on his lip trembled but didn’t fall. Wordless he lifted the bar hatch up. “You’ve got until Dave rises at Seven. Start with the glasses and we’ll take it from there”
Anya squealed and ran behind the bar, her eyes alight with excitement.
Several hours later Dave and Luther discussed the new barmaid. “a little weird, but defiantly a hard worker and she picks up things fast, I say lets try her out”.
“Well it will be a while before the agency can send a replacement, and if the calibre is of that pimple head…” he shook his head exasperatedly, “Ok Luther let me speak to her”. Luther grinned and motioned for Anya to join them.
Dave smiled a hint of fang just showing, Anya’s eyes widened just ever so slightly ‘Damn’, she thought, she hadn’t really thought about what Luther had meant about the whole Dave rising thing. She really needed to be more alert. Still maybe he was like Angel and Spike, or that other weedy vampire she had come across in this dimension. She peered intently into his eyes and then gave a pleased chuff as she spotted his soul lurking there. Pesky little buggers those souls.
Dave was slightly disconcerted by her abrupt and direct manner, usually people didn’t go around gazing into vampires eyes and it unsettled him. He didn’t try and roll her, one it was bad for business and two once a cop always a cop. Still he was uneasy…“you are good for somebody with no experience” he paused and idly continued, “Where are you from again?”
Anya froze and went back to polishing her glass, God he was as annoying as a Chihuahua “Oh you know here and there”, she waved away airily. “Shall I fill up the salted peanut and chilli trays?”
Dave smiled and tapped her nose, for some reason her evasiveness made him feel better “Secrets, secrets Anya”, he smiled, “Hell I don’t care, just keep on serving those beers… you’re hired. Start tomorrow 1pm Luther will show you the ropes, pay is $6 an hour with tips”.
“Really” Anya was ecstatic she couldn’t believe how happy being offered a job made her. She threw her hands round Dave’s neck and kissed him on the cheek before rushing out the bar. The two men stared after her, Dave blushed and Luther guffawed.
Anya was pleased, on analysing this strange feeling she realised this came from a sense of fulfilment from passing her job interview and landing a job. She really couldn’t see what Buffy had such trouble with it was surprisingly easy, She - Buffy obviously didn’t have the right attitude. However she couldn’t slack on her night job, she had bills to pay. With that thought in mind she briskly walked towards the tenderloin, it had provided good pickings recently.
Anya frowned as she counted her latest haul, less than usual but she didn’t seem to be in quite the right mood, it was raining and she felt sniffly maybe it was time to call it a night. Yes she could go back to the hotel for a cup of hot frothy cocoa with marshmallow bits. Her mind made up she pulled the robe tight around her and hurried down the street, next time she thought she must remember to bring an umbrella, perhaps a new snazzy Gucci one.
A muffled scream pierced the night, shrill, and full of fear. It was coming from the alleyway in front of her. Anya hesitated, resolutely turned her head and marched determinedly away. “It’s not my business, I’m not Buffy or one of the Scooby gang” Anya seethed, “I am demon, I’m here to wreak vengeance …well if I had all my vengeancy powers. I am not here to save the world, I’m here to to…to rob it!” She nodded her head resolutely and carried on walking. A second cry rent the air fainter this time, but just as terrified. Anya swung around “Bloody Hell” she swore irritably using Spike’s favourite expression. Shaking her head at her own foolishness she made her way back to the alleyway. However she was not the only one who had heard those faint cries for help.
The women’s mouth was bloody from where he had already hit her to stop her screams. She was begging for mercy as she tried to crawl away from under her assailant, who was working feverishly at her jean buttons. Her blouse had already been ripped partially off, her pale skin gleamed in the moonlight.
“Well well what have we here, one big dumb lowlife, who can’t get laid, maybe its your questionable hygiene and lack of polite dialogue.”
Surprised the man swung around, a huge bruiser of a guy, he snarled at the hooded figure, before punching the women beneath him nearly senseless “Stick around baby, looks like this chick needs a visit from Mr Big first, but don’t you worry slut, I’ll keep some for you”. He stood up and approached Anya menacingly a large knife clutched in his meaty hand “If you beg I might be gentle, otherwise…” he held up the knife “I might just cut you up so even your mother wouldn’t recognise you”.
Anya yawned, she had better things to do. She pulled down her hood and rolled her eyes at him. “My mother wouldn’t recognise me now”. The man gaped, his face turned white, he clutched his knife and waved it threateningly as he began to back away from the terrible visage in front of him. “MMMmmm…Monster”, he quivered.
“Yes you are”, answered Anya agreeably. With two quick steps she grabbed his knife and held him 2 feet up in the air. “You are a most loathsome creature and deserve to be eviscerated and stuffed with jello”. The man struggled and squealed “oh god, oh god…help me please leme go…leme go I promise I will never do this again”.
“HA, I heard that all before from spineless worthless men. Its all ‘I promise, and I will never hurt you’, and then leaving you at the altar and tearing your heart out with a blunt spoon”.
She shook him again her ire now completely raised, all her left over anger at Xander, D’hofryn, Spike and Sunnydale was now coming out and now she had an outlet to vent her rage. “YOU ARE A SLIMY WORM and I should just cut your little worm off”. She reached down to his flies, “and you call this Mr Big I’ve seen bigger winkles… oh well maybe I’ll fry it with butter”. The man shrieked and fainted. Anya sighed and threw his deadweight into the garbage cans. Looked like he would be out until morning.
She turned to the women cowering in the doorway, “you can come out now its safe”. The women stumbled to her feet clutching her blouse together, she was still terrified not sure whether her would be rescuer was actually a rescuer. “Thank you, thank you”, the women stammered.
“Yeah whatever”, waved Anya disinterestedly pulling up her hood, “Call the Police, this guy he’s not moving anytime soon. You can press charges this is not the first time he’s done this”.
“How can I thank you…you saved my life”.
Anya turned around an idea forming in her head, “This is a service, there is a charge for services rendered. Saving from Rapist and Muggers $100, Vampires $250, and I do a special discount for Werewolfs”.
The women stared at her open mouthed “Errrrrr I don’t have any cash, do you take Visa?” Anya frowned she hadn’t thought of this, she needed to give this some thought perhaps this was why Buffy hadn’t pursued this line. “This ones on the house, but don’t expect a freebie next time, now go away”.
The women stammered her thanks again and stumbled out of the alleyway.
Anya brushed herself down, she peered at the ugly man, and kicked him experimentally, he seemed to be out cold. Just to make sure she kicked him again, and again, and just for good measure once more between his legs, that got a reaction -a low moan. Slightly more satisfied she turned to leave and found herself surrounded.
“Holy moly…My My it is getting crowded here”, quipped Anya. Hmmm two vampires and one werewolf if her demony senses were to believed. If only there was a willing victim this could net her $700 with discount.
“Well aren’t you just the talkative bunch”, joked Anya nervously. The vampires didn’t answer just started to slowly stalk forward. Anya tapped her fingers on her thigh, she was taking the wrong stance, she was heap big demon and a member of the Scooby gang. Vampires trembled before her, well sometimes, well usually when Buffy was there. She examined the vamps, she discounted the werewolf he was still in human form and while he seemed a yummy morsel he couldn’t pack the punch a vampire could do. Pound for pound her money would always be on the vamps. The first vampire, a blondie, was lurking in the shadows hard to see him but she took him for the leader, the other one a gorgeous red head that curiously reminded her of Erik the Viking who she had once dated, was sporting a nifty looking sword. She needed to get one of those, perhaps Prada did a line in weaponary.
Asher stepped forward at last they had managed to track down this Buffee monster. He wondered whether Jean Claude would prefer the head of this monster or would he prefer taking the head off himself. Perhaps he should get Stephan to call. He pushed back his hair to give the monster the full effect of his face. To his surprise the monster just laughed and lowered its hood. Even Asher recoiled from the sight before him, Damien hissed and took a step back, while Stephan let out a low growl and crouched ready to jump, “Damn its ugly”.
Anya was incensed there was no need to get personal “Well you have a big pimple on your nose”. Stephan’s hand automatically went up and touched his nose. His eyes bled to amber and he leapt. Anya side stepped the wolf and grinned as he went flying past into the garbage cans, then ducked and rolled as Damien’s sword went whistling over her head. She ended up at Asher’s feet, evading his reaching his hands she swept his legs from underneath him. She rolled to her feet and swung around to meet their next attack. The werewolf had now fully changed and was picking itself up from the garbage, bits of peel and newspaper still stuck to it. Damien and Asher were already on their feet facing her, their stances wary.
On some unknown signal they both rushed her, Anya tried one of Buffy’s old tricks she high kicked the red head into the wall and used the momentum to double flip into Asher, crashing them both the ground. To Anya’s astonishment she found herself staring into the most beautiful eyes, they were bleeding out to icy blue of the Antarctica and for a few seconds Anya was mesmerised, she shook her head suddenly and glared at him “Don’t you try your brain tricks on me, I’ve been done by the best”.
She jumped up and kicked Damien again in the stomach; he went flying back his sword flying from his hand. Swivelling around she hit the wolf on its nose “puppy wants to play too!” Stephan yelped and jumped out the way. She whirled around and just managed to evade Asher’s fist. She backed away her chest heaving, God she had forgotten how much fun this was.
For the next half hour, it was bodies flying, and limbs flailing neither side getting the better of the other. Asher was getting frustrated they were getting their butts kicked. The fact that the Buffee monster seemed to take the whole thing as a joke was deeply aggravating, no matter how many times the monster hit the walls, it would just get up grinning. He had tried levitating to give him the advantage but there was too little room too manoeuvre and the monster had thrown garbage cans at him muttering something about showy flying and impressing the locals.
They all stood glaring at each other, realising they were at an impasse. Asher gritted his teeth, glancing at the wolf Jean Claude had leant him and an idea took form “Go Stephan find the nearest callbox and advise the master of our situation and our location, we will keep the monster here”, Stephan gave a small whuff, but instead of running away, he scrambled over to his clothes, and nosed around, before trotting back and dropping a mobile phone at his feet, tongue lolling out and tail wagging he looked pleased with himself. Asher shot the Buffe monster a triumphant look, before picking up the phone, he wiped it on his trousers grimacing briefly at the wolf drool.
“That’s a clever doggy, you should give it a bone”, commented Anya uninterestedly. “dogs like bones”.
“It’s a werewolf, not a dog, what are you some kind of idiot monster?” Damien growled, he was not in the best of moods he had lost his sword earlier on and had not been able to locate it since. The bitch monster kept pummelling him and he was sick of being a punch bag for any bitch. Asher was looking confusedly at the mobile he tried several buttons nothing happened, he glanced at Damien enquiringly, Damien shrugged his shoulders he also did not use this latest technology. Asher swore this was most embarrassing.
“You have to turn it on, try the button with circle with the line through it”. Anya commented briefly. Asher looked surprised but did as she asked. The display flashed on, “Merde, it wants a passcode”, all eyes looked at Stephan, he whined apologetically. Anya snorted, “Typical vampires, always staying in the past, give the phone to me, he’s probably just kept it on the standard setting or used an easy code like 1111”. Stephan whuffed and wagged his tail encouragingly. Asher was feeling increasingly out of his depth, this was too surreal. He ignored the monster’s offer and clicked the number in, ‘invalid’ flashed up he tried again and then again with the same result, this time the screen flashed ‘phone locked’ and Asher looked up his face bewildered. Anya laughed and Asher threw the phone at the wall in a temper. “GO NOW”, he thundered to Stephan. Stephan bounded off, feet scrambling on the pavement.
“Asher, we have to leave now, dawn is approaching”. Damien commented quietly. Asher looked into the night, the sky was already lightening, “Merde, we will meet again Buffee”.
Anya yawned tired herself now, “I enjoyed our time together, we should most definitely meet again”.
Asher gave her a final disbelieving glance before grabbing Damien and launching himself up into the air.
Anya watched them glumly from the pavement, ‘I miss all that flitting around’ she thought. She brightened still this had been a very good day, a new job, and she had got rid of all her excess energy, almost like old times. The fight had been especially good not as good as a hefty bout of sex but nearly, though boy would she be stiff tomorrow.
CIRCUS OF THE DAMNED
“Sacre Bleu….Mon ami what has happened to you”, whispered Jean Claude aghast at the sight of his friend. Asher was leaning against the doorway his face which he usually kept hidden was a mass of bruises and weal’s. His immaculate hair was now in complete disarray clotted with blood and grunge and worst of all he smelt terrible.
“Buffee” was Asher’s succinct reply. Jean Claude rushed to his friends side and helped him to the Sofa, shouting for Jason. Damian came to the door, if anything his state was even worse.
“Jason”, Jean Claude bellowed, loosing his usual coolness. Jason came bounding into the room with Nathaniel, “Sorry I went to get Nathaniel,” apologised Jason “Stephen is comatose, Gregory is taking him home”. Jason bared his neck to Asher, who needed no second invitation. Soon the only sounds to be heard was the greedy feeding of the vampires, the moans of the pommes, and Jean Claude’s impatient footsteps as he paced the room.
“Now” he demanded “what has happened that you end up in such a state”.
“Damien needs to retire, sunrise is only minutes away and he has not the abilities we have”, he reminded Jean Claude. Jean Claude impatiently nodded and waved Damien away, with a courtly bow he left taking Nathaniel with him. Once the door was shut Asher began his tale.
Jean Claude was silent, his face a complete mask of fury. He seethed inside this was intolerable.
“Jason contact the Were community, inform all leaders that the Master of the city summons them for a meeting tomorrow at midnight, there will be no exceptions, unless they wish to incur my wrath”.
Jason bowed formally his face pale as he hurried from the room to carry out his masters bidding.
“I could not take this… this thing with Damien and Stephen by my side” apologised Asher.
“Asher the fault lies with me. Mon ami, please forgive me, I was overconfident, but next time… next time we shall see who laughs. If this Buffee wants a war, a war it will have”.
“What is your plan?” asked Asher
“Numbers”, replied Jean Claude concisely “no matter how powerful this Buffee is, it cannot survive against the full might of the Master of the city and all he commands. By tomorrow I will have a complete shutdown of the city. No supernaturnal being will be able to so much as sneeze without my permission. No stone will be left unturned no street corner will be left unguarded. And all pre-naturnal newcomers will be brought before me”.
“There will be gossip, the Police will ask questions, Anita will question your motives.”
“Bah the Police know nothing, they are so ignorant, I will grease a few hands and they will be content. After all they accepted the luckless thief who claimed to be the Buffee.”
“Anita didn’t” Asher reminded him softly.
“Yes, but they no longer trust her or her judgement, her hands are tied in this matter.”
“That will not stop Anita from coming after you?”
Jean Claude turned realising that there was an underlying question there. He stared into his friend’s eyes, shocked when Asher averted his gaze, his head downbeat. Puzzled he reached out with soft tendrils of power, gauging his companions emotions and caught an underlying sense of sadness, loneliness and uncertainty. Jean Claude swore fluently in French this Buffee monster was unsettling everybody, now Asher questioned Jean Claude’s love for him over his concern over upsetting Anita. Moving too swiftly for human eyes to see, he placed himself in front of Asher, with gentle hands he raised his chin looking him firmly into his eyes.
“While it is within my power I will never let anything or anybody harm you again no matter what the cost is to myself or mine, this I swear to you”.
Asher became very still “Jean Claude you do not know what you say”.
“Yes Asher, yes I do”, replied Jean Claude solemnly. He leaned forward his lips just brushing against Asher’s.
“Will you follow me?”
“Always Jean Claude”, Asher replied softly, he smiled “ I will make the necessary arrangements and then retire with your permission”.
Jean Claude sighed as Asher closed the door behind him, it had been a long night, and he too must seek the safety of his coffin. But first one final duty.
TWO WEEKS LATER
Anya hummed happily as she made her way down the street, her mind busily working out new business strategies. She had been kept busy with this new venture working at Dead Dave’s was a full time occupation and she was enjoying this new found sense of responsibility. Dave had only last week left her in charge of the night time shift as he was called away ever night on some secret vampire business. Luther shifted uneasily when she had questioned him, but to be honest Anya was not overly interested. But she was interested in running the bar itself. So far she had managed to increase sales by 248% and increase the profit margin by 25.6%. Not bad she thought for the first 2 weeks work, but she had lots of new ideas that she would like to try out.
She noticed the were on the street corner, he was kind of cute the were just scowled at her and went back to looking down the street. Seemed to be more supernatural activity in this town than she had previously thought. Everywhere she looked these days she was seeing a vamp or were cruising the streets, or hanging about pestering the tourists, Lazy creeps couldn’t do a decent job if they tried, thought Anya crossly. She briefly thought about a spot of action tonight, it had been two weeks since her last foray when she had had such a good workout with those vampires and there was a lot of rich pickings on the street tonight. She nibbled her lip thoughtfully she would see how she felt after her shift, but she had been doing so many late nights recently she just wasn’t in the mood. She turned the corner and smiled at the crowd of people who were surrounding her bar, oh good another full night. Seemed like her posters and special offers were doing the trick. She would have to mention to Dave that they might be needing to expand the premises soon, either that or a bouncers, perhaps one of those cute were’s that were always hanging about.
Smiling contentedly she weaved her way through the throng and behind the bar, she waved cheerily to Luther, strapped on her apron and with a wide smile on her face she faced the eager patrons, “Ok who wants a Fangbuster Special?”
Luther watched Anya work her special magic, and shook his head bemusedly. Dave would be up soon, and had left word that he would be staying in tonight to see how the bar had fared in his absence. Luther’s shift how now officially ended but he wouldn’t miss this fiasco for the world, for such a skinny thing she sure did cause of lot of upheaval.
Dead Dave looked around in astonishment and checked his watch, it was surprisingly busy for this hour, heck it was busy for any hour. He wandered over to Luther. “Busy tonight?” he questioned curiously. Luther grunted his ever ready cigarette trembling on his lip. “Been busy all week, “ he hesitated before adding “You haven’t checked the takings yet?”
“No, is there something wrong?”
Before he could answer, a drunken patron reached over and grabbed Dave’s shirt, “ Hey Bozo, a pitcher of 3D’s and make it snappy”.
“3D’s?” questioned Dave confused he turned to Luther. Luther had gone a funny shade and with a strangled laugh, reached down and banged a pitcher or lurid red concoction with floating white things. Dave stared at Luther aghast, Luther pointed to a board behind him. “Anya’s been… well spicing things up”. Dave glanced up and froze in shock, there on a blood red board written in Gothic Black ink was a cocktail list, 3D’s was a Deadly Double Dave a drink to make your blood curdle and your eyes pop, an aphrodisiac for all young lovers. Others included Coffinbait, Bloody Sunrise, and the worst was Dracula’s Curse. Dave felt faint and then angry.
“Anya”, he bellowed “a word please”, he turned to Luther who was watching him unashamedly, “You can taker her shift, since you obviously prefer to work than to go home….” He seethed “I will discuss your part in this later”. Luther gave him a bland look, Dave had the feeling that he was being laughed at him, it did not improve his mood. His mood worsened when a women suddenly gave a shrill scream “Oh my Gawd Betty, its him Deadly Dave of Damascus”, a whole gaggle of women turned as one to gawp, their gaze avid and slightly predatory. One of the women recovering from her shock stalked up to the bar and held out a safety pin, she bared the top half of her breast, “Can I have your autograph”, she murmured enticingly. Dave backed away baring his fangs, the women gasped and tittered, but still moved forward. Whirling around he grabbed Anya and pushed her towards the back office.
STILL AT DEAD DAVES
Hustling Anya into his back office, he barely restrained himself from slamming the door. “Right tell me what you have done “ he gritted out through clenched teeth.
Anya beamed happily, completely clueless to his current mood.
“I have been very busy while you have been off sojourning, this place is an untapped marketing opportunity”.
“You’re turning me into a damn side show – Deadly Dave of Damascus?”
“Yes one of my most inspirational ideas, patrons of a public service - as in this establishment need to identify with the owner and the ethos of the bar”.
“I have never left this country, let alone visited Damascus”
Anya was completely unfazed, “It’s a name, a thingie”.
“Yes names are very powerful, for instance Spike the bloody, Superman the caped crusader, Buffy the vampire slayer”.
“What do you know about this Buffee?” he queried suspiciously.
“I read the news”, Anya dismissed airily “anyhow this is only stage one of the master plan”, she waved her hand behind him.
Dave glared at her, before glancing behind him, he did a double take. This couldn’t be happening, he thought, it must be joke. He shook his head, but the bright multi coloured chart was still there. He stared in horror at the objects on the table.
Anya smiled happily, “Yes merchandising, it can be a very profitable operation utilising very little resources but yielding larger net profit than the actual service provided. For instance look at the movies, StarWars made more profits on merchandise than the actual film and then there is the website”.
Dave picked up a bunch of brightly coloured T shirts all baring the Deadly Dave Bar Logo with various motifs and catchphrases. There was a bunch of glasses, mugs, ashtrays, sweets and even baseball caps. He was speechless, ten years in the force and five years as a vampire, but he was still unprepared for this. It was a nightmare.
“I thought perhaps we could look at a new staff uniform”, Anya suggested chattily “holding up a black cape and fake canine teeth”.
Dave sank heavily into his seat.
Anya pursed her lips and tapped her fingers against her thigh nervous as she waited for Dave’s verdict, she was surprised to find that she was actually anxious for Dave’s praise, it was almost like when she was a newly into the vengeanace fold, and wanted D’hoffryn approval.
Dave cleared his throat, and Anya waited with bated breath.
“Anya”, he began slowly, his anger long having left him, shock the only emotion he could manage now, “Anya… I do not think this is…”
“Oh I almost forgot the accounts”, interrupted Anya, rushing to the cupboard she pulled out a folder. “I have filled out all your tax returns and balanced the accounts for this year, did you know you were several months behind? Anyhow bottom line - sales are up by 248% and profit margin increased by 25.6%. I have also negotiated for new credit terms with three of your major suppliers, which should assist in increasing profit and improving cash flow”.
Dave rubbed his temples, he could feel a headache coming on, he had never had a headache as a vampire. He looked up at Anya, waiting breathless for his announcement, she looked so eager and fresh faced. “Anya…” he cleared his throat again, “Anya… I … Well Anya… Good job, I’ll take your recommendations into consideration. Can you give me a few minutes, perhaps you can help Luther he looks like he needs a hand”.
Anya beamed with happiness. “Okay, perhaps we can discuss stage 3 later I have a few progressive ideas that we can thrash out”.
“Err yes right thrash out”, Dave repeated weakly. As soon as Anya sashayed out his office he put his head on the desk and groaned. It was at times like this he could really do with a stiff drink of bourbon.
Several hours later Dave was still in his office, he would never admit it but he was a little afraid to go out again and face Anya. She was like an automotive, a bulldozer. He needed a plan, she couldn’t work here, why couldn’t she have been like the other casual staff the ones that drank the booze, barfed in the toilets, stole from the tip tray. Maybe he could persuade Luther to fire her, he didn’t think he had the heart to. No No that wouldn’t work. He needed a plan, a good plan. He picked up the bourbon glass sniffed at its contents, sighing morosely.
The phone rang on his desk, he ignored it but it was very persistent. “Yes”, he growled down into the receiver. “Jason’s here to see you, official business”, Luther stated. Dave closed his eyes great just what he needed Jean Claudes lackey, “Fine send him down”.
There was a knock on the door and Jason sauntered in without waiting for reply, sprawling on to the chair.
“Interesting stuff? ” he commented picking up one of the blue T shirts.
“Jason,” Dave ignored him, “what’s Jean Claude wanting”
“Actually its Asher, he wants to know if you can spare Luther to help out at the new club bar tonight, the manger took off and all the other vamps are either too inexperienced to run the bar or are out assisting in the search for the Buffee monster.”.
Dead Dave scowled, “Luther’s already done 10 hour shift, he’s due to get off now. He glanced behind Jason and spotted Anya on the CCTV as she stretched to amend the drinks menu board , “However I may just have somebody else that will do”. Jason turned around and whistled “Oh yeah she’ll do just fine”, his eyes gleamed.
Dead Dave grabbed him by his shirt collar and lifted him off his feet “If I hear you have been annoying her, I will rip your innards out every day for a month dogboy”, Jason swallowed nosily and nodded carefully. Dead Dave slowly lowered him and brushed the wrinkles out of his shirt. “Good, glad we got that straight she’s a good kid a bit weird perhaps but a decent person, watch out for her Jason I will hold you accountable”. Fixing Jason with a glare he picked up the phone and instructed Luther to send Anya down.
Anya was confused but like a dutiful employee it wasn’t good to argue with the boss. Why when D’hoffryn said go to Russia - she went no questions and that had proved a most fruitful trip. Still she was slightly annoyed, her strategy for the bar would have to be put on hold until she came back.
Luther awkwardly patted her shoulder, “You take care now girlie”. He sounded a bit gloom.
“I thought this bar was Dave’s ”, asked Anya suspiciously. Luther shrugged his shoulders “The JC corporation lets Dave pretty much do as he likes but they took over a few years ago, they like to have control in this city”.
“Oh like a hostile takeover”,
“Well something similar, now remember what I told you girlie, no looking in their eyes and be polite but firm, don’t piss them off and above all don’t talk too much not all vamps are as decent as Dave”.
“Yes most are evil bloodsucking soulless creatures with terrible fashion sense and bad breath”.
Luther gave a bark of laughter and the ever constant cigarette trembled on his lip threatening to fall. “Hmmmph perhaps you shouldn’t talk at all”.
Dead Dave came out to give her her the tips for the day, he looked slightly discomforted and just a tad guilty. “Now Anya, this is a big chance for you, we are really just small fry, you know you are like a big fish in a small bowl, you need room to expand and really widen your opportunities. Now Jason is going to take real good care of you and we will see you in a couple of weeks”.
Anya surprised both him and Luther by giving them a big hug “ Now take good care of the money and I have left a plan to follow it is colour coded”, she smiled at them before disappearing with a cheery wave.
Luther snorted disgustedly at Dave, before going back to polishing the bar. Dave mused to himself “Big Fish, more like a freaking barracuda… he could almost feel sorry for the vampires.
Jason glanced repeatedly at her, it was slightly irritating, thought Anya. He should be concentrating on driving.
“Perhaps we can go get a coffee sometime”, suggested Jason slyly, she was a looker alright and a chick that hot, would probably only take an hour - two max for him to get into her panties.
“Coffee … yes primitive mating ritual leading to…hmmm sex, lots of sex, that would be good, but then there would be getting close, snuggling”, Anya sneered “dating, weddings, betrayal, vengeance, death, dismemberment … no that would not be good idea”.
Jason stared at her confused and just slightly appalled, Dead Dave was wrong she was not slightly weird this was one very weird chick. “Errrmmm I’ll just tell Willie you are here”. he replied as he opened his door.
Sorry Guys did something real stupid and deleted story so lost all my reviews. DOH!!!
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