Amy Madison had jumped to her feet the second she saw the gun. And as soon as it fired, her magick had already been unleashed.
"Relax, Spike," she said, her voice strained due to concentration. "I've got it."
And so Amy had. Two silver bullets hovered in mid air like they were frozen in time.
Cordelia vaulted over the table, and, hoping that her rushing him would make him unsteady, kicked the large man upside the head as hard as she could. She was rewarded by a hard blow to her stomach, that nearly made her reel back.
Grunting, she ducked his next punch, and slammed her shoulder into his stomach, causing them to fall over. Now on top of him, Cordy proceeded to pummel his face and upper body, until he flung her off, knocking her into the door. It swun open, and Cordy tumbled out of the Library.
"Damn," she muttered, tasting the blood on her teeth. "You made me bite my cheek, you bastard."
She heard a loud thump, and Cordelia turned, and jumped up, bracing herself for anything. What she saw made her grin.
Oz and Spike had jumped the guy. Oz, short as he was, had relative control over the much larger man's legs, while Spike...well, he was playing,`let's-see-how-well-a-human-head-bounces.'
"Do you like that, you little bitch?" Spike asked, grinning, as he smacked the man's head up against the floor again. "Huh? `Cause I don't know about you, but I just may go into spasms of pleasure."
"Please, don't give me that mental image," Cordelia grimaced. "And stop beating the crap outta the hostage, Spike. We can't find out why he's here if he has a broken jaw."
Spike gazed up at her, and when he realized she wasn't going to back down, he reluctantly let the man's head drop. "Ruin all my bloody fun," he mumbled, getting up, and stalking to Amy.
Cordy bent down, and pulled the man's head up so he was facing her. "Who the hell are you?" she demanded. "And what the hell do you think you're doing?"
The man glared at her in anger through blood soaked eyes. "I am Blade," he spat. "And I was trying to dispose of that bloodsucker in your midst."
Spike made an odd noise. "Dispose of? I'll dispose of you, you piece of garbage."
He tried to walk over, but Amy pulled him back.
"How very kind of you," Cordy sneered, "but we've grown kinda attached to our bloodsucker. Give me one good reason why I shouldn't let him have you."
"I hope he can't think of one," Spike snarled, wringing his hands in anticipation.
"I am here to help the Slayer," the man called Blade said. "I will speak only to him."
Cordelia huffed, and looked up at Oz. Her boyfriend gazed at her with an amused and muddled expression. Obviously, Blade was not well informed.
"Here now," Wesley made himself known, as he walked over to them. "What did you call yourself again?"
"Blade," the man looked up, his face fierce.
"Ah, yes, I've heard about you," Wesley nodded, as if he were talking to a small child instead of a 200 some-odd pound man who would tower above him if standing. "You're a vampire hunter. A very viscous one if I were to believe all of the rumors."
"Wesley?" Oz raised a brow. He was beginning to lose the feeling in his arms, he was holding onto Blade's legs so tight.
"Hmm? Oh, sorry. I am the Slayer's Watcher," Wesley informed Blade. "You are safe here. Let him go," he ordered Oz and Cordelia. Then, to Blade he said, "Try to be so kind as to not attack us again."
Looking at each other with confusion, Cordy and Oz released the large man, who immediately jumped up. Cordelia stood up, and braced herself. She was going to make sure he couldn't get up again if he tried anything.
Instead, Blade looked around, and said, "Where is your Slayer, Watcher?"
Cordy's mouth dropped. "Hey," she placed her hands on her hips, annoyed. "Who just whomped you good?"
He looked at her oddly, clearly not believing her. "The Slayer is a female?"
"Now, I'm not one to jump to conclusions," Oz said, "but I'm going out on a limb here, and saying that you obviously don't know much about the Slayer."
Blade shook his head shortly. "Only the bare facts. The Watcher's Council is too in the dark for my taste. Too focused on only one type of vampire, and the weakest, at that."
Spike gaped, insulted. "Now wait a bloody minute, you plonker. I'm been many things in my lifetime, but weak had never been one o' them."
"Take a breath, Spike," Amy said, soothingly.
"Don't need to breathe, ducky," was the tart response.
"One type?" Cordy tilted her head. "Okay, now you've lost me."
Oz smiled at that, but smartly kept his mouth shut.
"Perhaps you should start at the beginning," Wesley suggested. Blade nodded. "Agreed."
Cordelia's eyes kept going back and forth between Oz and Blade. Oz, for support, and Blade, because she couldn't believe what was coming out of his mouth.
"So," she rubbed her eyes, frustrated, "let me get this straight. In the House of...Arabic?"
"Erebus," Blade corrected.
"Whatever," she waved her hand. "Anyhoo, in this House there are twelve clans. Each clan is from some part of Europe or South America, and each has some specific funky thing they're good at."
"Correct," Blade nodded.
"Shyeah," Cordy sighed. "But this thirteenth clan, Frost, isn't part of the House."
"Because it is the Clan of the Turned," Wesley mumbled more to himself than anyone else. He seemed enraptured with this idea. Enraptured and horrified. "Ones who weren't born vampires, but became them. Like Spike."
"Yeah, like Spike," Oz frowned from his slouched position in his chair. "So, if they're like our boy Spike here, why isn't he part of this clan?"
"Part of it?" Spike snorted. "Haven't even heard o' this ruddy clan!"
"You're from Britain," was Blade's sharp response. "Vampires from Great Britain and Ireland are not included in the House."
"But why?" Amy asked.
"They are considered weak due to their afflictions."
"Dammit, I am not weak!" Spike growled.
"`Cause they die from wooden stakes, holy water, and have a major thing against crosses," Cordy listed.
"Least I don't die from silver," the vampire spat. Amy patted his shoulder sympathetically.
"The vampires from Britain and Ireland are considered freaks," Blade said, not even flinching when Spike hissed. "They are the true fringe of the vampire element."
"Which is why they don't know much about the whole load you just dumped on our laps," Cordelia grunted.
"It's the truth," Blade stiffened.
"It would explain why that vamp wasn't bothered by my cross," mused Amy.
"So, we have new vamps to deal with," Oz stated. "But, why are they here? I mean, it's the Hellmouth, and that should be explanation enough, but..." he looked at the large man next to him.
"The leader of the Frost Clan wants to take over the Hellmouth," Blade explained. "To do it, he has to get rid of the competition."
"Huh?" Cordelia frowned. And then it dawned on her. "Oh, God. It's a vamp war."
"Angelus' gang against this Frost Clan," Oz's eyes widened slightly. "Not good."
"Very not good," Amy agreed. "Angelus is relentless, and Drusilla's..."
"Looney," Spike filled in.
"The Frost Clan will not stop until they win," Blade said.
"So," Cordy narrowed her hazel eyes, "just who is this big, bad clan leader?"
Blade's face looked absolutely savage for a second. He snarled, "Deacon Frost."
"Impossible," mumbled Wesley, still partially in his own thoughts.
"Excuse you?" Cordelia said.
"Huh?" Wesley looked up, startled to see everyone staring at him.
"Why is it impossible?" Oz prodded.
"Oh, ah, you see, from what I heard through the Council," Wesley stumbled, "there was quite a big uprising surrounding this character last year. Something about becoming a God, and bringing Hell on earth."
Cordelia's mouth dropped open. "Why wasn't I informed?"
"From what I can recall, you were quite busy dealing with Angelus trying to bring Hell on earth himself," the Watcher reminded his Slayer. "The vampire hunter, Blade, who we've only heard about, till now," he added, looking at the armored man, "was said to have, um, dealt with him."
"Dealt with how?" Cordy asked, reluctantly.
"I killed him," Blade said, bluntly.
"Not bloody well, huh?" Spike smirked.
"He was somehow...resurrected," Blade frowned.
"And now he's back," Oz stated, "and looking for a little bit of payback, Hellmouth style."
"Just spiffy," Cordy groaned.
"I'm outta here," Amy said, picking up her purse. "If I oversleep and miss cheerleading practice one more time my mom's gonna kill me."
"Ra, Sunnydale, ra," Cordelia cheered, with a half smile. She remembered when she was on the squad, back in the days where she wasn't risking her life.
"I'll walk you home," Spike offered. Blade frowned.
"Is it wise to allow this bloodsucker to bring you home?" he ignored the snarling vampire.
Amy wrinkled her nose in offense. "I can take care of myself, thank you."
"Yes, I suppose you can. You're a Wiccan?"
"A Witchy Woman, that's me," she shrugged. "Come along, Deadboy," Amy called as she walked to the door.
"I love it when she's bossy," Spike grinned, following her.
"You don't have a problem with witches, huh?" Oz asked.
"They are not vampires." Suddenly, Blade looked at Oz strangely and said, "You...are not human, either."
Oz looked startled for a second. "Well, not completely," he thrusted his hands in his pockets.
Blade stared at him a moment longer, then stated, "Werewolf."
"Hey, you're good," Oz nodded, impressed. "You would've kicked ass on the One Thousand Dollar Pyramid."
"No one here is human," Blade said.
"I beg your pardon," Wesley grimaced.
"`Cept you, Wes," Cordelia smiled, politely. "Yeah, we're odd. We've got two vampire slayers, a vampire, a witch, and a werewolf. We're a big ol' sci-fi convention. Without the dorks dressed like Klingons."
Blade scowled. This Slayer was not what he expected. She was...not very professional.
"Well, if it's all the same to you all, I'm heading out. Home, Jeeves," Cordelia flashed a loving grin at Oz, who smiled back.
"Yes, Mistress Cordelia," he nodded, solemnly.
Taking her arm, Oz and Cordy walked out of the Library.
When they were gone, Blade breathed in, deeply, and said, "They're very...odd."
"Why does that sound like the Hunter calling the Slayer strong?" Wesley quipped.
Blade did not respond. Wesley sighed. At least Spike would have groaned at the bad joke.
"So," Cordelia stared out of the van's window, "what do you think about our new friend?"
"Well, he's definitely..." Oz floundered for the word, "different," was the best one he could come up with.
"He's got a nine foot poll up his ass," she huffed.
"Yeah, major chip on the shoulder there," he agreed. "But I think we could use the help. And he's strong. Not that you're not," Oz added, when she glared at him.
Cordy sighed. "I know what you mean. `You're strong, but it wouldn't hurt to have another heavy on the team.' Correct?"
He nodded. "C'mon, Cor, you can't expect to be everywhere at once. I know there's this whole, `there-can-be-only-one,' Highlander type crap about the Slayer, but even you could use some help every so often."
"I don't know about that."
"What do ya mean?"
"Well, look what happened to Buffy Summers' help," her voice and eyes were distant. "They were killed because they knew about her. And now I'm doing the same thing, and the Council is clueless about it," she threw her hands up.
"You know they can't know," Oz kept himself rational. He wanted to tell her he'd help whether she liked it or not but that wouldn't do much except anger her. An angry Slayer who was easily four inches taller than him he did not need. "If they find out they'll blame it on Wesley, and he'll be sent off to some sort of Watcher jail, or what have you."
"I know," Cordy pouted. "I just...I don't even know why I allowed you guys to get sucked into this in the first place."
"`Cause we can help," he patted her shoulder. "And because we care about you."
"When you're not trying to eat me," she grinned, slightly.
"Hey! I only tried that once," Oz defended. "And I didn't know what I was at the time. Eating people is not exactly a hobby of mine."
"Let's hope not. I guess you're right, though, about the whole helping thing. I don't know what I'd do without you guys."
"You'd figure something out," he shrugged.
Cordelia smiled. "I love it when you give me more credit than I deserve."
"I never do, Little Miss Self-Conscious. You really shouldn't underestimate yourself," Oz scolded. "You're the Slayer. Doesn't that say that, at the very least, you have a pretty damn good reason to be here?"
"As long as there have been vampires, there has been the Slayer. One girl in all the world, to find them where they gather and to stop the spread of their evil...the swell of their numbers," Cordy quoted what Wesley had said to her so long ago.
"See? There you go," he smiled.
"Yippee," she rolled her eyes. "Too bad I take the motto, `live life, taste death,' a little bit too close to heart, huh?"
"Stop that," Oz frowned.
Cordelia had meant it as a joke, but she could tell he didn't think it amusing at all. Oz's mouth was a thin line, and his usually friendly eyes were cold.
"I'm...sorry," she whispered.
He sighed. "No. I knew what you meant, I just..." Oz slammed a fist against the steering wheel, surprising Cordy.
"Dammit, I just don't like the idea of you risking your life everyday. I mean, why the Hell weren't you given a choice?" Cordelia's eyes widened. "You're really worried about this one, aren't you?"
"Yeah, Cor, I really am," Oz admitted. "These new vamps who are immune to our usual ammuntion show up outta no where, and this huge guy with even bigger guns pops up and tells us we basically have a vamp-turf war on our hands, and you're stuck in the middle of it. Truthfully, if it were up to me," he stared ahead, "I'd lock you someplace safe till this whole thing was over."
An agitated Oz. Things really were topsy turvy. Cordelia smiled, grimly. "But, it's not up to you," she said, soothingly. "If I could do it, I'd find a small room to hide in. Unfortunately, that choice can't come into play. I'm here to help keep this place safe. Well," she amended, "as safe as Sunnydale can get.
"And, much to our chagrin, that means sticking my neck out at times. It's not an ideal situation, but that's the one I've been saddled with.
"You know," Cordy couldn't look at him, "you don't have to be a part of this." Beside her, Oz stiffened. "You can just walk away."
"That's not happening, Cor," he said. "No chance, no way. You're stuck with me."
"I was hoping you'd say that," she grinned.
Oz smiled, and pulled the van to a hault. "You're palace, oh beauteous Princess."
"Abandoned, I'm sure," Cordelia smirked.
"Where'd they go this time?"
"Who knows? I'm hardly ever home for them to tell me, not that they would even if I was," she added. "I'll see you tomorrow."
"You betcha. Have a good night's sleep," Oz said, "you'll need it."
Cordy scrunched her nose. "Don't I know it?" she leaned over and kissed him softly. "Good night."
He ruffled her hair affectionately, loving the annoyed face she made. "Night."
Cordelia got out of the van, and walked up to her door. She could hear Oz's van leaving, and she smiled. He was such a good guy.
It was only when Cordy walked into her house that she had a horrifying thought; could these new vampires get into people's houses without their permission?
With her stomach in her feet, Cordelia reached for her phone. After relaying her thought to Amy personally, she left messages on Wesley's and Oz's machines. It took Cordy forty five minutes to lock all the doors and windows in her huge house.
Angelus growled lowly as he waited. One of his strongest familiars, Farsel, had disappeared two days before, and there had been no sign of him.
He knew either Farsel was dead or captured. Angelus didn't like it. He hated it. His forces were the top, they weren't supposed to be so easily defeated!
Not that he had to worry that Farsel would say anything. No, no, the vampire was far too loyal to do that, but still...
Drusilla sat on the king sized bed that sat in the upper floor of their factory. She had a small doll in her hands that she was stroking.
"Miss Edith is afraid," Dru whispered, her wild blue eyes darting around the room.
"And why is that, Dru?" Angelus asked, trying to throw aside his fustration. Listening to Drusilla's ramblings usually worked.
"She says Mr. Frost is a very bad man," the crazy vampire's bottom lip trembled. "He's very, very bad. He needs to be punished."
"And he will be, lovely," Angelus sat next to her, and petted her long hair. "He'll be punished severely."
"And then we can go on a vacation!" Drusilla exclaimed, suddenly excited.
He smiled, and chucked her under the chin. "Yes, Dru, then we can go on a vacation."
"You ready to go?" Cordelia asked.
Blade didn't answer. He stalked passed her into the cemetery.
"I'll take that as a yes, Mr. Talky Man," she mocked under her breath. Cordy hurried up to him. "Now remember, these are my type of vampires," she said.
"A vampire is a vampire," Blade said, shortly. "The weak will fall quicker than the strong. If a woman can take these down, I'll have no problem."
"Hey, buddy, I don't know who you think you're talking to, but I'm the Slayer, not you," Cordelia snapped. As much as she complained about her job, she kinda liked the responsibility. It made her feel important; special. "I've killed the Master, and stopped Hell on earth, which makes me have seniority, I do believe. Now, if you think that bulging biceps, huge guns, and an attitude the size of Arkansas is going to make you better than me, then you're wrong.
"God," she scoffed, "just what the hell emotionally scarred you for life, huh?"
Cordelia Chase used to get scared if the wind blew suddenly. Her threshold for fear had, once upon a time, been nearly invisible. But, that was before she had been called. Being the Chosen One had forced her to throw away most of her fear. She had come face to face with the Master without flinching. She had seen the Mouth of Hell open up without a shutter. Nowadays, it took a lot to scare Cordelia Chase.
The look Blade had on his face nearly terrified her. His eyes were blazing, filled with anger--no, oh boy--hate. He had hate in his eyes. And his lips curled up into a sneer, revealing oddly pointed teeth.
"God, you're a vamp!" Cordelia took a swing, but he grabbed her arm.
"No, I'm not," Blade growled.
She looked at him, doubtful for a moment. And then, she uttered, "You didn't...cross over completely, did you?"
"No. I was not given the chance," he let go of her arm.
"Oh. Lucky you. And," her eyes widened, "lucky me." Suddenly, Cordy jumped in front of him delivering a hard kick to a rushing vampire. "Unlucky them," she grunted, as she elbowed the vamp in the chest.
"Agreed," was the only thing Blade said. He was already busy with another two who had decided that it was best if they tried to take the large man down at the same time. He had hold of one vamp's neck, when the other landed a hard blow to his stomach. Blade only grunted, and slammed the vampire he was holding down into the ground.
"Armor works," Cordelia commented, and staked her vamp after backhanding it. He had to stake these vampires? Ridiculous. If the little girl wanted to do it the old fashioned way, fine. She could waste her time, and possibly lose her life fighting with kindling wood. He'd be a bit more modern.
Blade pulled out his sword.
"Whoa," Cordy whispered.
The one vampire still standing backed away. It didn't get a foot away before Blade decapitated it. The one on the ground Cordy almost felt sorry for. It didn't even have a chance.
"My," Cordelia tried to smile, "that sword is awfully...pointy," she finished, her smile slipping.
"It does its job," was the short answer.
"You're not a conversationalist, are you?" she asked.
"I do not talk when I hunt," said Blade.
"Well, normally I don't either, but only because it would be to myself. I'm guessing you don't have a partner."
He stiffened. "No."
"Is that why you're not comfortable around my friends?" Cordelia queried. "`Cause, ya know, I wouldn't be able to do this without them. It's good to work with a team."
"I work alone now," Blade walked passed her into the darkness.
"Now?" she whispered. `What about then?'
Cordelia didn't have the slightest idea where Blade had disappeared to. He had just vanished after their little chat. She was going to have to tell him that if he wanted to help her, he had to, well, help her. Which meant sticking together for patrols.
As she walked the streets, Cordy could sense the tension. She could feel the rage that was bubbling below, the secret war that the regular citizens of Sunnydale were so good at ignoring.
But she couldn't ignore it. It was screaming at her, making her nerves fly off. She had never felt something more chilling. Cordelia tensed when she heard footsteps suddenly behind her. A hand grabbed her hair, and she deliberately fell back, unbalancing her attacker. She grabbed on to his upper arms, bent back, and kicked out, up, and back, slamming the bottom of her boot right into the man's face.
He fell to the ground, and Cordelia managed to keep her balance, and turn to face him. It was then that she noticed the weirdness. His face was normal, quite human, blonde hair, dull brown eyes, but his teeth! His teeth were fangs. A vamp with no game face. How odd.
"All righty then," Cordelia nodded to herself. "You're one of the new neighbors, I take it. Let me welcome you to the neighborhood." She kicked him square in the face, pulled out her stake, and nailed him in the heart.
And nothing happened. Cordy was stunned for a second, until she noticed her mistake: She had used a wooden stake.
"Oopsie," she said, before getting kicked off.
She landed on her back, and felt the air whoosh out of her body. As she coughed, the vampire was on top of her, hitting her face back and forth.
"Hey, nobody touches the face!" she yelled, and grabbed onto the vamp's face with both hands. She couldn't help but feel redeemed when he screamed out in agony. "What? You don't like my rings?" Cordy asked, pushing him off her, not letting go of his sizzling visage. "But they're so pretty. And silver shines so much nicer than gold, don't you think?"
As the vamp twisted in her grip, Cordelia felt something knock into her back. She let go, and got slammed in the side, sending her sprawling in the street.
"What is it with you guys going around in packs nowadays?" she asked, wobbly getting up to face the two Frost vampires. "I liked it so much better when you were solitary animals."
"Stupid fleshbags," the new vamp, a tall female with hair that was way too red to be real snapped. "They always think they're so tough."
"Oh, I don't think I'm tough, honey," Cordelia finally managed to fish out the silver stake Blade had given to her. She held it in the air with confidence. "I know I'm tough."
The two vamps hissed. "Who the hell are you?" the male snarled.
She smirked. "You haven't heard of me? Well then, let me introduce myself. I'm Cordelia, the Vampire Slayer. And you're on my turf, soon-to-be-Mr. Dustbunny."
Cordy ran toward them, and then surprised the two by sliding, and knocking them off their feet. She easily picked off the male, and was releived to see him dissipate into dust. At least they died the same.
The female came out gnashing her fangs. She jumped at Cordy, who took advantage, and cleanly kicked the vamp on the stomach, and over her head. Cordelia twisted herself around, jumped up, and slammed her foot into the vamp's forehead when she had tried to get up.
"Stay down," Cordy commanded, and forced the stake into the vamp's heart, and it promptly disintegrated.
Cordelia looked around her, noticing no one was around. But she still had a nagging feeling that someone was watching. She dismissed it. If a vampire wanted to confront her now it was the fang face's funeral. She was wired.
"Nothing like a couple vamps to get the blood flowing," Cordelia quipped. She was glad no one was around to groan at that.
Across the street, Shire watched intently. This girl, this Slayer had just dusted two of the Frost Clan's strongest, and she was walking away without a scratch. Oh, no, Deacon would not be pleased.
"She did what?" Deacon snarled.
Shire flinched. "This girl came out and killed both Lars and Hallie. She called herself the Slayer."
"Fuck," Deacon turned away. He had heard about the Slayer. A lone girl born to kill vampires and other creatures of the night. He had thought her a myth. He hated being wrong. "Did you see where she went?" he demanded. "I swear, Shire, you better have the right answer," he balled his fists, just aching to smash the smaller vamp's head in.
"Y-yes," he nearly squeaked. "The High School."
High school? Ah, headquarters. Smart. Who'd be there at night? "And you're sure that she called herself the Slayer?"
"Yeah. `Cordelia, the Vampire Slayer,' that's what she said," Shire nodded, nervously.
`Cordelia? What the fuck name is that for a Slayer?' "Good," Deacon said. Then, in a quick motion, he grabbed Shire by the neck and began to sqeeze. "I hate scared asses that can't fight," he glared the choking vampire down.
Deacon was quite content with the idea of tightening his grip until he heard something snap. Fortunately for Shire, Deacon realized that if he now had Blade and a Slayer against him he'd need every vamp at his disposal. Even the cowards, for, if anything, a shield. Deacon dropped Shire to the ground.
"Get the hell out of here," Deacon commanded, and the smaller vampire shuffled out of the room.
So Blade had a new partner, huh? Well, that was fine with Deacon. He killed the first two, he doubted he couldn't do it again. Of course, it would be interesting to see this girl in action before he did anything.
Part Eight Coming Soon