Summary: Lions always hit the heights.
The mansion thrums with tarry dark, thick black storms of von Weber off Drusilla's crackling gramophone.
Angelus is chain-smoking, cigarette after cigarette, caged and rough like an animal pulling at meat.
Dru is dancing with the smoke, silver twists, spinning wheels into the air. Dru laughs, her eyes shining hematite. She snaps at the smoke, flounces her skirt-hem, then smoothes it daintily over her knees. With the caprice of a child, her face is sadder, more abstract than poetry.
Spike is sitting. Thinking of territory and revenge. And hair-gel, toxic hair-gel that burns like holy water. Could arrange that easy enough. The stiff-haired wanker would never know what seared him.
The air shifts and Spike looks up, stretching out both legs as a cluster of fledglings enters, yellow eyes wide with respect. They give their report. And they wait.
For one bored word from Angelus. Fledge One, stocky and foreign, prickles visibly; he sees Spike watching and evens back out. It's forgivable. Language barriers and such.
Drusilla croons an odd, ululating noise. No doll lullabies, just the eerie trill of her stars.
A few days ago, there'd have been another sound -- the sepulchral grinding of teeth-to-teeth that was the Judge complaining about everybloodything, in that charming unhurried way of his.
But he's been put down. Scattered into the world's juiciest jigsaw puzzle.
Thank fucking hell.
Thank the Slayer.
Spike freezes for the tiniest second. The skin of his neck twitches, twangs, and a lightbulb explodes over his head.
Plans are made, implemented -- double-crosses are made, implemented -- and the car tires screech like stabbed whales as Drusilla leans out the window, dark hair fluttering and flying in the wind. She's a moon-mouthed banshee, the noise threading after the car as Spike turns circles in the parking lot.
The radio blares a song that's all guitars and threadbare yells. Spike flips up the volume, rewarded by his girl's airily mad laughter.
At the center of the circles are Angelus and his forehead. The dark tails of his coat blow out with each pass of the car. As the dull rock he is, he ignores the disturbance and lights a fresh cigarette.
"Do it, Daddy!" Drusilla yaps like a coyote, shaking her hair from side-to-side; Spike thinks maybe she's about to jump out, so he clutches at spills of bordeaux silk, steering expertly with one hand.
A few people have gathered to investigate the ruckus. Angelus waves. Strikes another match and drops it in a convenient gasoline puddle; after consideration, he throws down the matchbook, too.
Phwomp, a stump of fire sprouts off the puddle. As Angelus watches, the corona spreads savagely, surfing an inflammable wave.
Someone yells, rushes forward to stamp out the fire. His shoe fireballs, then his pant leg goes up. It's memorable.
And it's official. The fire's off to a great start, snapping and crackling its way into Sunnydale High. The help drops their gasoline jugs and move to head off the people swarming from the school.
A fledge yells, "Parent-Teacher Night's been cancelled," and Spike makes a note to stake him.
Angelus watches, motionless, disgust bulking his sizeable brow. The fire was his plan, but he does not like it; the kills are a good show, but not enough payback for the Judge.
Spike's got a different angle -- the kills will give the Slayer her hard-on for justice.
Sunnydale's a town of blood for blood, and it's on fire.
Just inside the school's lobby are three steel drums, metal dollies in a row. The DeSoto closes in towards the school, racing the line of fire.
Closer, closer, and then --
"It's parent-teacher night. She isn't there yet, but her friends are. And her mom, I think."
"Neat." Angelus says.
Spike rises, letting Drusilla envelop him in a storm of red silk and old coppery stains, and he presses his lips to her white teeth.
"How're we doing this, peaches?"
"I can point out her mom," one of the fledges begins and Angelus snaps a stake at him.
The fire was a brilliant idea.
Spike turns hard on the steering wheel as he and Drusilla rattle against the car seats, deafened, flattened, singed by the thwomp of fire. It bats the car aside like a toy, balancing it impressively on two wheels until it hits the ground bang! flat and hauls away from the conflagration. Spike pulls to a screeching halt next to Angelus.
He realizes he's been yelling, his throat is meat raw. He pummels his fists on the steering wheel, wanting to howl and run and beat the shit out of everything.
Angelus, in the window:
"I'm not impressed."
Spike, burned with heat-madness, shaking and high, knocks his teeth against Angelus's.
They clatter, scrape, kiss, a fever of fire raging in the backdrop.
After that first round, there's a miscalculation of supplies that pisses Angelus off mightily. Spike tells him it's no one's fault but his own that his hair can't do numbers. The other truth is that Spike's to blame, but you don't cop to the backstab before the knife hits home.
The nearest hardware store is closed -- it's temporary; the front end of the DeSoto makes it open up nice and wide.
Spike checks the aisle signs while bouncing on the heels of his feet.
"My kind of shopping," he says, turning down a row of pronged garden tools.
Drusilla pirouettes around the store, turning out her skirt, fish-white arms twining and swimming over her head. And there's still that strange song, warbling closer under Spike's skin now, the sound of blood in stasis.
Bingo. He grabs a heavy-duty shovel off the rack.
Sirens are heard, miles away and gaining.
Angelus yells something that Spike tunes out. He examines the weapon in his hands, heavy and reassuringly metal. Damn nice.
He slams it into the gardening displays, spraying topsoil and pellety bits of fertilizer, then smashes all the lawn animals in one vicious arc.
"Spike!" Sharper this time.
It's followed by Drusilla, scrabbling at Spike's jacket. "We should leave before -- " and then a broken-hearted wail too desperate to deciper.
Angelus turns, is sent to the ground by a jump-kick to the jaw.
"Hey, what's the rush, bad guys?"
Buffy hoists her cross-bow.
Spike and Drusilla look at each other.
Buffy looks at Spike.
Spike looks at Angelus.
Angelus looks at Buffy.
Buffy yells, "Enough!" and things freeze.
"You can't kill me."
"Won't hurt to try."
"Oh, it's gonna hurt -- " but it doesn't, least not Buffy. There's a couple stakes involved, some improvising with a garden hose, and somewhere down the line, there's dust.
But Spike, Drusilla, and the shovel have made it out by then. Bloody da Vinci couldn't have sketched it better.
The getaway goes clean until a lamp-pole attacks the car, scrunching itself around the hood.
Bollocks. The night is definitely --
-- going Spike's way.
The Watcher's battle-gray Citroen is parked nearby.
Inside are the car-keys, a box of donuts, and one of the Slayer's friends. He's rifling through a weapons-bag and doesn't look up until Spike climbs in the driver's side.
"Whoa. Wrong car, guy -- eeee."
Pretty eyelashes. Open, scared mouth.
Fuck. They could grow them in Sunnydale... Plus, there's continuing with the whole theme of payback. Even if Spike did sign off on the dusting, there are principles involved. Other principles involved include dinner and depravity.
"I'll just get out and you can -- "
Spike clocks the kid and bundles him into the backseat as Dru opens the passenger side.
"Picked up a souvenir, baby. We'll call him Peaches Jr., in honor of."
The kid moans.
Spike tweaks the mirror, flips the radio, and drives off.
They reach city limits without trouble and the 'Now Leaving Sunnydale' sign waxes and wanes to a smudge on his horizon, until it is eclipsed entirely by night.
Credit to Tones on Tail for title, summary, lj-cut, backing music.
* Also. My brother sponsored a zombie double-feature last night. Shaun of the Dead? Worth every second I waited for the US release and every cent we (okay, he) paid without my student ID. Nevermind the paroxysmal seizures of zombie fear -- I bask in the warm, coppery rinse of Shaun's genius. Plus, Simon Pegg. Is gorgeous.
Now, I must download episodes of Spaced because I can't find Region 1 DVDs.
In contrast to Shaun, I felt justifiably shamed in watching Resident Evil: Apocalypse. I love Milla Jovovich with a fury, an unapologetic fury -- that singing voice, those dramatic caterwauls, the vienna sausage nipples. *C'mon.* -- but I also love cohesion. No, really.