The others took the car, while Spike insisted on going on foot. The roads around Sunnydale were winding and completely fucking pointless. It wasn’t so much A to B as A to everywhere else and then B. Spike was positive he could make it back to the Magic Box faster if he ran.
It was a warm night, typical for Sunnydale at this time of year, but there was a chill running through Spike’s bones. He felt it climbing his spine and, as the air rushed at his face as he ran, he wished he could turn off his brain and just stop thinking.
There was a time when Spike laughed in the face of death, said piffle to it and showed it two fingers. Whether it was the bluster of the young and undead or simply the arrogance of William the Bloody, he wasn’t quite sure. But that was a time now long gone and every time Spike looked back over his shoulder all he saw was that same death, flipping him off back and grinning with an I-told-you-so attitude and far too many razor-sharp teeth.
You’re not gonna get me. Not gonna get me. Not gonna get me.
I’ll get you, all your friends and your lover and your whole undeserved life. And I’ll get your little dog, too.
Spike’s boot-clad feet pounded the sidewalk in thunderous rhythm. He had no heart to beat out of his chest, but he still felt the exertion pulling at his muscles. He pumped his arms harder and clenched his teeth against the strain of his protesting legs and the deepening dread in his gut.
What the fuck? Why the fuck? They barely had their shit together and already everything was falling apart. Vamps everywhere, an unexplained number of them, and yet the Hellmouth ticked along, happy and oblivious. What the fuck was going on?
Nearly there. Not gonna lose another. Gonna do that hero thing again. Might get another blow job out of it. From Xan, I mean. Then again, this is Angel; I’m just as likely to get a clip ‘round the ear.
Spike cut himself off before a hysterical laugh bubbled up. There were noises in the distance: growling, snarling, the sound of tearing flesh and dust dispersing into the air. He rounded the corner without slowing pace and tried to clear his mind of everything except what he was seeing.
He counted up eleven vampires varying in size, but none varying in temperament. Like mad dogs they circled their prey, diving forward when they dared, when they’d clocked a weak point. And in the middle was Angel, bloody and exhausted but still holding them back with reflexes and tricks learned from two hundred years of fighting. Angel lunged when one got too close and another kicked him from behind, sending him sprawling to the ground, his chin connecting with a loud crack that made his attackers whoop with delight and jump up and down in a childish display of glee.
Tempted to scream his fury, tempted to shout his anger with obscene threats, Spike ignored all his natural urges. Instead, with a surge of rage-driven power – his Turbo Boost, as Xander liked to call it – Spike silently charged the group, heading for the biggest, the tanker.
“Mess him up, Forrest! Get him in the-”
Spike stopped, turning swiftly within the falling dust without losing balance. His stake connected for a second time and another vampire exploded with an anti-climatic poof.
Nine to go.
“Hey, that’s the other one!” All the vampires turned at Big Mouth’s announcement. A few of them grinned, but some of the others looked unsure.
“But he said only the big one.”
Spike lifted an eyebrow at that. He stood stock still, weighing up his options: the distance between each potential victim, what it would take to drop each one, which one to save until last and how much bloody use Angel was going to be. None, was the answer to the latter, if the Angel-shaped pile on the ground was anything to go by.
One of the other vampires shrugged. “He said only go after the big one. Didn’t say nothin’ about if the gay one just happened to drop in.”
The others laughed and Spike struck. Focused and very fucking angry, he charged at the nearest vampire and staked him before anything had registered. The others weren’t going to be so easy. A steel-toed boot caught him in the jaw and Spike fell heavily, his shoulder impacting the ground and saving his head from the same fate. He kicked his leg out without looking and was relieved to feel it strike something. Quickly he rolled, grabbing an ankle as he went and pulling down a random vampire. As he sprang back up and tumbled out of the way, another tried to grab him.
Too many. Too many to do much damage, except for any cases of sheer luck. Concentrating on bringing down any more could result in the others getting the upper hand. He backed away from the vampires, grinning only briefly when he heard the squeal of distant tires. They heard it, too, and several of them turned, their attention leaving Spike for valuable seconds. Lady luck strikes again. Spike jumped back, pulling the closest vampire with him, securing his hands around his neck and snapping it with one quick tug. There wasn’t time to stake him, but that was okay; the vamp was down and effectively out for the current count.
The car was getting closer. Spike could hear the engine picking up. Xander’s car. It ran much more smoothly since Spike had poked around under the hood. The acceleration was poxy - 0-60 in one hundred years - but given enough time and a firm foot on the pedal, its top speed was impressive. And deadly.
Spike grinned through his fangs as 3000lbs of car smashed into the gaggle of vampires, knocking them down like skittles. The four doors of the vehicle opened and the fight really began.
But something was wrong. There were too many, more than Spike had started with. A quick count revealed 13 standing and maybe another ten on the ground, twisted and broken. A vampire dusted right in front of him and Spike flinched back, surprised.
“Hey!” Xander yelled, lowering his crossbow. “Pay attention, Blondie!”
Spike nodded at him then quickly looked around, reassessing. “Get back! Take them down from the outskirts!”
Xander nodded back at him and Spike had to tear his gaze away. Xander knew what he was doing. He was smart and he was a good shot.
The vampires were going for Angel again. One ran at him, his stake raised and a battle cry on his lips. Spike intercepted and got rid of the stake with a precise kick. He plunged his own stake into the vampire’s chest, pushing it until flesh gave way and the stake impaled another. Two vamps with one stake: that was going to be his new catchphrase.
A wooden bolt whizzed past his face with a shoop and embedded in yet another heart. Yeah, damn good shot. Spike turned to give a thumbs up. Xander gave him a thumbs up back and turned to fire another shot; the bolt missed the heart of Xander’s target by a mile, but landed snugly in a handy eye socket, conveniently now vacant of its eye. With a warm feeling that he couldn’t control, he watched Xander mouth “Whoops” to himself and reload the crossbow. Spike turned back to the other vampires and watched as they did something strange.
A tall vampire, late twenties maybe – human age – mousy brown hair, unremarkable in every way, cupped his hand to his ear and nodded. “That’s an order, boys!” he shouted to the others. “You heard him. Neutralise the target and head out!”
They all turned, every damn one of them, and Spike watched in horror as they closed in on him and Angel.
This was a hit of some kind, there was no doubt, but why Angel? To take out the strongest of the Slayer’s allies, perhaps? Spike had just enough time to be offended by that before he realised that if he didn’t do something now, Angel was toast, very dusty toast with a spread of hair gel.
He needed to get Angel out of range. Xander’s car sat to the side, two of its doors hanging open. Xander probably had the keys. He looked around to find his lover and, as if reading his mind, Xander discreetly held up the car keys. Spike tipped his head, gesturing for Xander to get in the car and start her up. Xander seemed to understand and he moved carefully forward, his progress made easy as the vamps’ attentions were elsewhere.
“They’re going for Angel again!” Dawn called, her voice shrill and wavering.
“Got that, Bit. Angel? You need to get up, mate.” Spike quickly squatted beside his grand-sire and noted with worry how pale and still Angel was. The vampires were advancing quickly, in some kind of defensive formation. They didn’t seem interested in anyone or anything else but Angel and only quick, powerful kicks from Dawn, furious punches from Gunn and short bursts of magical fire from Wesley kept them nearly at bay.
Spike heard a car door slam shut and the engine fire. It reversed as he looked up and then stopped. He heard Xander rev the engine and knew exactly what he was going to do. The headlights flicked onto high beam and the car hurtled towards them. Spike’s only thought as he pulled Angel out of the way and the headlights effectively blinded him and any dumb-ass vamp that turned to see what the commotion was, was that he would never complain about Selina’s acceleration again…and that Xander’s car actually had a name.
The headlights dipped and Xander stopped the car before it careered through the Magic Box’s front window. His door swung open and together he, Spike and Gunn dragged Angel onto the back seat while the vampires on the ground wondered what the hell had hit them – again – and the ones standing did battle with Wesley and his Flames of Increasing Panic and an ass-kicking Slayer who appeared to be going somewhat postal.
“Dawn!” Spike shouted. He slammed the back door and ran towards her. “Come on, we’ve got to..!” A cry of agony stopped him. He turned and his heart fell into his stomach. He wasn’t even aware that he’d started running back, but he was and Dawn was running with him, her breath fast and harsh, rushed words spilling from her lips.
“Oh god, oh god, oh god…Xander…”
Spike fell to his knees as Xander sat up, cradling his arm. “Ow, ow, ow, lots of ow.” His face was wrinkled up in pain and a trickle of blood ran down his cheek.
Spike pulled him up, ignoring Xander’s firm protests and threats, and dragged him back to the car, opening the back door and squashing him inside. “Everybody get in the bloody car right now! Wes?”
“Flambé vampires coming right up.” Wesley adjusted his glasses, squinted at the text in his big, red book and let rip with a ball of fire big enough to throw back the remaining vamps. “Ooh, hot,” he said, springing back from his own magic.
“Get in,” Spike demanded, and Wesley didn’t hesitate.
“Dawn!” Spike grabbed her arms and pushed her into the car. She was still breathing too hard and as Spike got in and slammed the door, his foot smashing down on the accelerator, he felt her shaking next to him. Spike patted her leg quickly as the car sped away, leaving the remaining vampires in its wake. “’S alright, Bit. We’re done. It’s over.” He adjusted the rearview mirror so he could see Xander. “Xan?”
“Fine, fine. Still alive and all limbs attached. Just.”
Spike nodded into the mirror even though he knew Xander couldn’t see him, especially as his eyes were closed and his head was tipped back against the back seat. Gunn was next to him, and the two of them were squished up together. “Hospital might be an idea, if you don’t mind a detour,” Xander added. “I’m sensing breakage.”
“We’ll be there in a sec, luv.” Spike’s voice was tight, and he knew he should say more, but he didn’t trust himself to speak, to keep his voice steady. Spike looked quickly over his shoulder at Angel and hoped to fuck they could get to some human blood in time. And the hospital was just the place.
Beta'd by kitty_poker1