In a small alley behind the Bronze, all was quiet and peaceful. A few mutant demon cats were poking around a garbage can, but they wouldn't be causing trouble until next Tuesday, at 8:00.
The stillness of the night was well and truly shattered when an odd blue portal appeared about 5 feet above the ground, and a computer geek who had just turned twenty came flying out of it, yelling at the top of his lungs:
"I'll get you for this, Anyaaaaaaa!!!!"
His connection with the pavement was slightly cushioned by the garbage can that got in the way, but he was still groaning in pain when Kirbyclause emerged from the gate and fell on him. Violater came out next, but fell slightly to the side, missing the pile entirely but putting some nice dents in the asphalt. Anya tumbled out next, and landed right on his stomach, elicting a startled "Ooof!" from the usually stoic fanficer. Mediancat, John, and Windrider followed closely behind her, crashing unceremoniously onto a pile of police tape that had been left there after the last body was found. Jeanie and Joel came together, with Kirbyclause breaking Jeanie's fall and Jeanie breaking Joel's. MeK and TJ had been more prepared than the others, and landed lightly on their feet. Sadly, though, their feet had come to rest on John, and they tumbled onto him when he started trying to get up. Stone Cold and the writer were the last ones to come through, with Stone Cold landing on Mediancat and the writer falling into a graceless heap on Stone Cold.
It took the group about five minutes to untangle themselves, with everyone testing for broken bones and gathering their stuff off of the ground. There was a minor crisis when Kirbyclause thought that he'd left his mice behind, but that was averted when Windrider extricated the rather battered wire cage from beneath Jeanie.
Glancing at her watch, the writer began to sort through some legal papers, and then began to read off some announcements while passing out sheets of paper to everyone.
"Okay, Buffy and Co. should show up at the Bronze in about 40 minutes. I've set the timer to automatically pull us back to my house at 1:00 in the morning. So that gives us four hours in Sunnydale. The sheets I'm passing out are your excuses should you be pulled in by the police, or need to go to the hospital. I doubt anyone will need to use these, but let's just be prepared!" Seeing no hands being raised, the writer conviently 'forgot' to remind her fellow travellers that the characters had been reading their stories, and led the way into the Bronze.
It was a slow night in the Bronze, so the thirteen fanfic writers had four tables to themselves. Biohaz and Anya grabbed one table, and Kirbyclause sat down with them to give them shameless plugs for his latest story idea. Windrider, Joel, and TJ took a second table, and Violater, John, and Stone Cold took a third. MeK and Mediancat dragged Jeanie over to the fourth, seperating her from Windrider, and the writer circulated among the tables.
After about ten minutes, everyone had settled in. While slightly worried about the characters showing up, most had forgotten about the writer's little warning back at the house. The only ones who *did* remember it were the writer, MeK, and Jeanie. None of them had done anything lately that would make them instant targets, and so they were relaxing and chatting lightly with their neighbors.
Kirbyclause went up to the bar to get a drink. With a dramatic swirl of his cape, he put the wire cage containing his favorite fanfic stars on a stool, and ordered an ice tea, shaken, not stirred. Mitch, the bartender, rolled his eyes at his arrogance, and took his time filling the order. Back at the tables, Violater noticed this, and got a rather fiendish idea. After a muttered exchange with Stone Cold and John, he got up. Walking casually and softly, so as not to gain attention, Violater snuck up behind Kirbyclause, and taped a sign to the back of his cape. He then backed up carefully and readied his baseball bat.
Hearing snickers behind him, Kirbyclause spun, spilling his ice tea onto the mice in the small cage. Everyone ignored the voices coming from it, having become used to Kirby's pets.
Spotting Violator, Kirby's quick and agile mind instantly grasped what Violator had probably done, and from the sudden guffaw from the bartender, he knew he had assumed correctly that he was now sporting a 'stake me' sign on his back.
As the face-off between Kirbyclause and Violater began, the band began playing showdown music, the other writers began moving their tables out of the direct line of fire, and the whole scene began to look like something out of a Clint Eastwood movie.
While Kirby assumed a Kung Fu stance, Violater gripped his baseball bat with his left hand, and with his right hand he smashed the bottle against a table, splashing Windrider and Joel with cheap vodka. The two gladiators ignored the startled yells from the now soaked guys, who were less than overjoyed to suddenly smell like a liqueur shop.
This fight had been a long time in the coming, and to make the occation truly memorable, they picked up on an old arguement that had never been truly laid to rest.
"So what are ya up to now? Let me guess. Drusilla=Good. *snicker* Oh, wait, you really tried that for a little while.... and people say *I'm* a few monks short of a monostary." Violater said in a decidedly antagonistic tone of voice, with a derisive snort at the end. Needing no more prompting than this, Kirby launched into a long and extremely well-phrased account of why Drusilla was good. Or as near as a vampiress could get to good without the aid of a soul. The speech lasted a total of nine minutes, and when it was done, he recieved a standing ovation from eight of the still-seated fanficers (the writer among them).
Knowing he couldn't compete with Kirbyclause's eloquence and felicity of expression, Violater swung at Kirby's arm with the baseball bat, hoping for an immediate broken bone. Kirby's response was to step into the arc of Violater's arms while matching the turn, allowing him to grab the bat and re-swing it at Violater's head. Sadly, Violater topped Kirby by a good six inches, and the blow struck him on the shoulder.
"It'll take a lot more than that to put me down." Violater sneered.
Reajusting his angle this time, Kirby connected the bat with Violater's head.
Blinking his eyes a few times to orient himself, Violater groaned. "Yeah. Something like that. Ow."
He then smacked Kirby upside the head with his fist while shoving the broken bottle toward his face.
"Fortunately, I'm too stubborn to know when to quit."
Kirbyclause pulled back just in time to avoid a facefull of broken glass, and grabbing Violater's shirt front, rolled on his back and used his momentum to flip Violater over him. Violater landed on one of the tables, which collapsed easily beneath him (the Bronze owners had learned from experiance and now bought only cheap, easy to replace furniture).
While all of this was going on, Stone Cold slipped unnoticed over to the bar, grabbed the wire cage containing Kirby's mice, and ran out the back door into the night.
As the fight progressed, the other fanficers settled back into their conversations, ducking the occational flying bottle or innocent bystander. The band started up again, and Mediancat managed to persuade them to play his favorite song. He began to groove across the dance floor, and after a few minutes Anya and John joined him.
Dead dog on the highway
median cats are growling at me
I turn my lights on brighter
I'm counting through the night ride and it's one more life for the taker
one more song for the maker
Biohaz, whose table had been reduced to sawdust in the bruhaha, moved over to sit with Joel, TJ, and the writer. MeK came over to join them, completely forgetting to watch Jeanie, who snagged Windrider and began to beat his head against the side of the bar.
All in all, it was turning out to be a nice evening for all (except for Windrider, and possibly not for Kirby, who was getting whupped) when the two side doors slammed open. Out of the right door came Buffy, Xander, Cordelia, Willow, Oz, and Giles. Out of the left door came Angelus, Drusilla, and two lacky vampires.
All the Bronze regulars filed quickly out the door, the band packed up and left, and Mitch locked up the alchohol and took a break. The room was now empty save for the fanficers and the characters. The writers quickly left whatever they were doing, and gathered around one of the tables. Biohaz began to say something, but stopped when he realised that only nine people were listening to him.
The four girls had gathered in a small sub-group and were now busy casting *very* appreciative looks over at Angelus. The males rolled their eyes at their peers, and were about to get down to the serious business of fleeing, when they noticed Buffy's skirt length. They paused to get a better look, but the expression on Buffy's face when she noticed their attempts quickly snapped them out of their drooling reverie. Looks cast at Cordelia were met with the same sub-zero glare, and it was close enough to a full moon that no one wanted to drool over Willow and risk Oz's wrath. So they then contented themselves with sending aggrevated looks at Angelus, who was taking the admiring looks of the female writers as his due. In that moment, all of them very clearly understood Xander's instinctive dislike of Angelus. This went far beyond the mere fact that he was a vampire who caused death and mayhem, this was the instinctive annoyance guys hold for better looking guys.
Anya (who has the will of a Goddess) managed to break free first, and with slaps and glasses of water to the face managed to revive Robyn, Mek, and Jeanie from their comatose state.
This being resolved, the characters began to form a circle around the defenseless fanficers....