IT'S A FAR, FAR DEADER THING I'VE KILLED TODAY THAN EVER I'VE KILLED BEFORE
7:58 PM the same day; In the tunnels
under one of Sunnydale's cemeteries...
The scent of candles and something stale began to waft to Amy's rather unappreciative nose as she, Buffy, and Gwen came up to a bend in the tunnel with more light than usual coming from the other side.
"Shh." Buffy said in hushed tones, looking to Amy and Gwen and motioning for them to keep quiet, her senses picking up activity ahead of them. "I think we're here." She crept forward, motioning for the others to stay where they were.
As the scene before her came into view, Buffy sensed she'd been spotted.
"Remember you said, you'd keep Amy safe?" Buffy looked at Gwen meaningfully for a second. "Now's your chance."
"We have some uninvited visitors." A freakish looking bald vampire said, raising his head from drinking the blood of a girl his followers had brought him. "Luke, greet them properly will you? I'm busy." He commanded.
"Yes Master." Luke, a big and rather threateningly imposing vampire, turned to see a flash of motion coming at him. He readied himself to face it, but whoever it was fainted to the left then broke right and was past him before he could stop them.
The Master had just started to sink his teeth in again when he felt the sudden hard impact of a fist connecting with his face. The next thing he knew he was flat on his back wiping blood not his own from his face, and looking up into the face of Buffy Summers, Vampire Slayer.
Hearing Buffy's quick comment to Gwen about keeping her safe, Amy had watched in amazement as her girlfriend seemed to almost fly across the cavern so fast she could hardly even follow her with her eyes, and hardly making any noise, to attack the vampire who had the girl they were trying to save. Her sense of renewed amazement didn't last long though, as the big vampire named Luke returned his attention to her and Gwen, seemingly figuring that the other vampire could take care of himself. Amy had to tell herself that he was wrong about that, or at least that's what she hoped, but then again, she had her own troubles.
Luke and three other vampires closed in on her and her protector, Gwen seeming wary but unconcerned. Three other vampires, among them a blonde woman who looked amused at the whole thing, stayed back holding a groggy boy hostage, a boy Amy recognized.
"Jesse!" Amy called out, but he didn't hear her and the four vamps were now attacking Gwen who had placed herself in between her and them. Amy backed away as Gwen blasted two of the vampires into flames with bolts of electricity and caught the big vampire named Luke with a sweeping kick. The fourth vampire got by Gwen while she was dealing with Luke and jumped on Amy. She screamed as he pinned her to the wall and tried to bite her neck. It was scary and for a second she didn't know if it she'd really be o.k., but she was, and the look on his face when he pulled back, his fangs apparently having been unable to pierce her skin, was rather comical. Amy, thinking quickly, let her legs fall out from under her and scrambled along the ground to get away.
The vampire growled at her and tried to kick her face. It sent Amy rolling away, but didn't hurt at all! [This is so cool.] Amy thought to herself as she rubbed her cheek and felt no damage there. She smiled and got up. "Is that all you've got? Big scary vampire monster like you?" Amy laughed at how unreal this all was.
The vampire in question, of course, took it as an insult to his lack of virtue and decided to take another run at her, fangs bared and growling very ferociously. Of course his big monsterly charge kind of lost it's ferocity when the falling form of Luke the vampire collided with his and knocked him on his ass. Further cementing his bad day, Luke's big foot stomped on his crotch as the big vampire got off him, barking a threat at Gwen.
"Don't mock the monster movie rejects. It hurts their delicate feelings." Gwen gave her a devil-may-care smile as she met Luke's charge and let herself fall backwards, using his momentum and her feet to catapult him into the wall of the cave behind her. He hit head first and was slow to get up.
"Why don't you just blast them?" Amy asked.
"Tell you later." Gwen said as two more vamps advanced on her.
Amy wondered at that a moment, but then remembered something. "Jesse!" She turned and saw the blonde vampire from before still holding Jesse and backing away from the fight. She knew Buffy or Gwen probably wouldn't want her doing it, but she broke off into a run for the vampire and her hostage anyway. [Jesse's my friend, or at least he was once.] Amy reasoned to herself, finding she was unwilling to not try and help him if she could. [Besides, I'm invincible, what's the worse that could happen?]
As she closed on them though, she found out. The sickening sound of a neck snapping halted her in her tracks, and Jesse's limp body impacting her at high speed knocked her across the room and onto her back.
"Not so tough, now are we little girl?" The blonde vampire could be heard taunting her from across the room in a hauntingly melodious voice.
The death cry of another vampire brought the room to silence. The blonde vampire, as well as Luke and the one remaining vampire that Gwen was still having a fair amount of trouble with, all looked over and saw.
"Master!" They all heard the blonde vampire woman call out in disbelief.
The silence was further broken by Buffy tackling and staking the vampire that was menacingly coming at Amy from behind. It was the one that had tried to bite Amy from before, his bad day now come to an end.
When Amy looked back, the blonde vampire woman had vanished without a trace.
"Shit…" Buffy said, a look of almost despair coming to her face as she saw that Darla, the vampire who'd killed her in her dreams, had disappeared. [I guess I'm still on track for my murder then...] Her mind morosely assessed.
Amy looked at her in question. "Buffy?"
Buffy just looked over to her and smiled. "It's o.k." She said.
The last other vampire that had been squaring off against Gwen chose the better part of valor upon seeing Buffy stake her second vampire of the night (well, ninth actually, but he didn't know that).
Luke, the last left, his head still ringing a little from the impact with the cave wall, was genuinely at a loss for a moment. His pride demanding that he stay and finish the fight with Gwen, while his mind told him that if the Master had fallen to this other girl, and she hardly seemed to have a scratch on her, that he would fair no better. Especially out numbered as he now was. His mind easily won out and he took off. "Another time." He called behind him hatefully as he made his retreat, vowing to gain his vengeance another day in his own time.
"Are you two all right?" Buffy asked, glancing over to see that Gwen was all right, then looking her girlfriend up and down to see if there was any damage.
"Yeah... I'm okay. Invulnerable, remember?" Amy said, her gaze not leaving the fallen body of Jesse, his head twisted at an unnatural angle, a deathly blank look on his face. "I'm fine."
"Oh, Amy..." Buffy touched Amy's face. "I'm sorry..."
Amy was silent and Buffy took her in her arms and held her.
"It'll be alright." She said softly. "I know it doesn't seem like it, but it will." She didn't know what else to say. She still remembered the first time she'd seen someone die in front of her, knowing that if she'd just been a little smarter, a little faster, they'd still be alive. It wasn't something you got over very easily.
As she held Amy though, Buffy's thoughts caught up with her heart and she remembered the girl she had come down here to save. [I'm developing a blind spot for her.] Buffy assessed to herself about her budding relationship with Amy Madison as she turned and saw Gwen kneeling silently by the unconscious girl, looking back up at her with a concerned look that told Buffy she was still alive, if worse for the wear. [This could get us in trouble some day.] She didn't quite know what to do about it though. Could she really not think of the girl she was with first? She'd never been able to do that very well with Gwen back in the day, even though she knew Gwen could take care of herself in a fight. And it was looking like it would be even worse with Amy.
"Is she all right?" Amy asked when Buffy let go of her and she noticed that she was going over to crouch down by the fallen girl's side.
Buffy was feeling the girl's pulse and checking her over. "She's lost a lot of blood, and it looks like her shoulder might be dislocated... but I think she'll be o.k. if we can get her to a hospital soon." Buffy took off her jacket and ripped a length of fabric from around the bottom of her shirt. She used it to bandage the girl's neck and stop any more bleeding. There wasn't much blood coming from the wound, but she knew from experience that that could change any time.
Amy gulped, she couldn't help it. [That is so very sexy.] She thought to herself a little guiltily of how heroic Buffy looked.
"Hey Ann, looks like the vamps had another prisoner down here." Gwen noticed the guy chained to the wall looking at them silently and got up to go over to help him.
Buffy and Amy looked over. "Gwen, don't." Buffy said. "I noticed him earlier. It's just another vamp."
Gwen stopped in her tracks and looked between Buffy and the vampire chained to the wall. He was definitely in a bad way, obviously haven taken a hell of a beating. And, Gwen noted, he was really beautiful looking with his bare chest all exposed like that. Amy noticed the slightly longing look Gwen gave the vampire. [She's attracted to him?] Amy wondered at this new development. [But wasn't she and Buffy... Maybe this was the 'sort of' part?] She speculated, determining that she'd ask Buffy about it later for sure.
"My name is Angel." The vampire spoke.
"How nice for you." Buffy spoke absently, tossing Gwen a stake which she caught. "We need to get her to a hospital."
Gwen took the stake and looked at Angel uncertainly.
"Wait!" The vampire spoke. "I know this is going to be hard to believe, but I'm not... like them, not like other vampires. I... I have a human soul. Please..." He looked up at Gwen. "I promise, I won't hurt anyone. I was here trying to help... to stop them. Look, they caught me, they beat me, and they tortured me. Doesn't that prove I'm telling the truth?" He asked. "If you let me, I can help you fight them." Her promised.
Buffy turned a skeptical look at the vampire as she rose to her feet, the injured girl cradled safely in her arms. She considered it for a moment. "Nice try." She looked at Gwen. "Gwen, he's a demon, he's lying. Just do it, we've gotta go." Gwen still looked unsure. "Gwen, he probably just got on one of his buddy's bad side and now he's trying to con us into letting him go."
Gwen was still undecided for a moment. Then she looked at Angel and her gaze hardened. "Right." She said, going over to the vampire with her stake raised.
The vampire looked back up at her, like he was trying to think of something to say, but he didn't speak. He just looked like he was resigned to his fate. Gwen took in that look, one of genuine sorrow and remorse, and it gave her pause again. Kneeling beside him, she closed her eyes and tried to sense something... anything to tell her that what Angel had said might be the truth. Surprisingly, she found it. It was small, but it definitely different, definitely human. "Anne, I think he's telling the truth." Gwen got up and looked over at Buffy.
"Gwen..." Buffy started, feeling skeptical and, Amy could tell, a little icked out by the other girl's obvious tentative, and characteristically doomed, attraction to him.
"No, I could sense it. He's definitely got some kind of... energy or something that other vampires don't. That's got to be his soul, right?" She pleaded her case.
Buffy eyed the vampire skeptically, seemingly making a decision. Amy was just looking on, feeling quite out of her depth.
"Alright. Vampire boy gets a pass..." Strange as it was, she knew Gwen wouldn't make this up. And if she was right, and he was innocent? Then it would be like murder. Still, it was too much of a risk right now. "But we leave him here and come back later. Human soul or not, he's still a vampire and he could still be dangerous."
Gwen looked at Angel then back at Buffy and Amy. Buffy would have to carry the girl they'd saved, Amy was safe but couldn't really do much, and she herself had used a lot of energy that her body would need time to regenerate. "All right. Deal." She said, recognizing the necessity of getting the girl to the hospital and knowing that she was needed to fend off any vampires they encountered in the cemetery while Buffy carried the girl in her arms. She looked at Angel. "I'll come back for you. I promise."
Angel was silent, just looking back at her and nodding he understood, his eyes speaking volumes though. Gwen gave him a kind look and then turned to go. "Thank you." Angel said just as Gwen was leaving the cavern. Gwen didn't turn around, but a small smile appeared on her face.
"You're hopeless, you know that?" Buffy teased Gwen as she made her way through the tunnels, careful not to unduly jostle the girl in her arms.
"Yeah, I know." Gwen smirked.
Amy just shook her head. [And now, my girlfriend's ex-girlfriend has a crush on a vampire boy who has a soul. Which, apparently, is not a normal condition for vampires. Yup, that makes it official. It's Amy In Wonderland day. Where did I miss the rabbit hole I fell into? All I did was take half her ham sandwich!] Amy laughed to herself before sobering. [Except... in Wonderland, no one died.] She remembered again with sickening clarity the sound Jesse's neck made as it snapped. Shuddering, she continued to walk along, Gwen again having inexplicably clamed her hand to hold onto as they walked behind Buffy, who needed the breadth of the passageway to carry the injured girl without fear of bumping into the uneven rock walls.
to be continued in part eight...
CORDELIA TO THE RESCUE (IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT)
see you next time!