Joel tore out of the Bronze, with Cordelia close on his heels. Reaching the parking lot, he frantically looked around for a place to hide, and suddenly noticed what looked like a CIA fleet sedan. Racing up to it, he discovered that the doors were unlocked and the keys were in the ignition. He paused for a moment, caught by the morality of the situation and also by the fact that he would be driving without a license, but these thoughts were chased from his head when Cordelia came tearing into the lot. Jumping into the car, he screeched out of the parking lot, praying that he wouldn't be required to parallel park.
Glancing in his rearview mirror, Joel saw two very disturbing things. First: Cordelia had gotten into her car (which was either a BMW or a Chrysler Cirrus, he couldn't tell) and was pursuing him. Second: two guys in trenchcoats and carrying cups of coffee were yelling something at him as he sped away.
Violator ran out of the Bronze, knowing that Angelus was chasing him, and also knowing that he stood no chance of outrunnning him. Pulling a tight turn around a corner of the building, he stopped, pulled out a Catch 22 from among his many concealed guns, and waited. Angelus, in the joy of the hunt, came charging around in full vamp mode, at which point Violator slid out from his hiding place and put the gun against his head.
In a tight voice, he said, "Listen, bud. So far, I've had you beaten into the ground by two big demons. You've had your demon *and* your soul screwed with. I won't even mention what I did to you in 'Too Little, Too Late' or 'My Own Armageddon'. I have single-handedly done more to you in four fanfics than you did to yourself in 80 years of self torment. Don't screw with me, vamp-boy."
With a short laugh, Angelus responded.
"You really think you've got me, Human? I owe you. Big time."
With that, he spun with a speed that no human could even hope to match, and knocked the gun from Violator's hand. He pounced, wrapping his hands around Violator's neck in a perfect snapping position. However, at the same time, Violator had pulled out two *more* guns, and had placed them on opposite sides of Angelus' neck. Both men froze, neither so much as twitching an eye.
"I could snap your neck like a twig." Angelus snarled.
"Yeah? I could turn yours into a fine mist, instant decapitation." Violator sneered back.
They stood for another long minute in tense silence.
Finally, Violator's somewhat masochistic sense of humor caught up to him from where he'd left it around the corner. He started to chuckle.
"What?" Angel asked suspiciously.
Violator was having a hard time controlling his chuckles, but the hands holding the guns never wavered.
"This is great. See, you can keep me here until the portal opens without me. Screw me over royally. But by the same token, I can keep you here until sunrise. Either way, we're both up the creek without a paddle."
All Angelus could do was glare in fury as Violator began belting out an enthusiastic rendition of 'Riders in the Sky'.
Angelus winced slightly. Violator sang like a nightingale. A nightingale that had had its larnyx attacked with a chainsaw.
Back inside the Bronze, the five captive fanfic writers had been chained up, with the chains winding around a central link, and were now guarded by Giles, Xander, Oz, and two minor vamps. Apparently they had been ordered just to guard them, and so without the threat of immediate physical assault hanging over their heads,Kirbyclause, Jeanie, and Mediancat began aiming subtle kicks at Robyn.
John, however, had other things on his mind.
"Shoot, dropped my glasses." he said. He had noted that their captors were spending more time watching each other than the prisoners. Whatever the terms of the truce, it was obvious that neither side was comfortable in the others' company.
John, who had paid close attention to 'U.S. Marshals' scooped up his glasses and quietly snapped off one of the metal earpieces. Sliding inobtrusely over near the linchpin of the chain, he used the earpiece to cautiosly pick the lock. The chains came loose, but he was careful to make certain that they still appeared to be attached. The other authors didn't notice the sudden change in their situation, being far too busy watching their captors and wincing as sharp cries of terror and pain drifted down from the doorway that TJ had been taken through.
Turning the earpiece, John neatly sliced his hand. The cut was shallow, but blood immediately welled up. He pocketed the earpiece and removed something else from his sweatpants pocket, which he kept carefully concealed in his palm.
Giles looked up. "What do *you* want?" demanded the rather irritated Watcher. So far he hadn't been able to beat even one of the authors mercilessly.
John opened his bleeding hand in the direction of the vampires. "I cut myself somehow. I'm bleeding. Can one of you guys get me a band-aid or something?"
Oz shrugged. "You haven't written anything bad about me, I'll get it."
As Oz left the room, the fanficers felt their gazes drawn to the two minor vamps. They were staring at the dripping blood as though mesmerized. Giles realised the danger too late, and called out frantically, "Close your hand you idiot! They're vampires!"
But it was too late. Licking their lips, the hungry bloodsuckers moved in for the kill. The other authors backed away in terror, and blinked in surprise as John turned his back to the vamps. The bleeding author spoke as the nasty pointy bitey ones rushed at him from behind.
"I loved that one scene in Braveheart where the Scottish mooned the English. But I've always been the sort of person to go one step beyond."
Just before the blood-maddened vampires reached him, John yanked down his sweatpants and farted a long sour one. The expressions on the wathcing authors faces slid from horrified to shocked and disgusted. But as John did so, he triggered the object in his hand -- a lighter.
The fart burst into flame, engulfing the vamps. Squealing in pain and terror they rolled on the floor, trying desperately to put themselves out. John yanked up his pants and kicked loose the chains.
"I'd recommend hauling for it!" John yelled as he sprinted for the door. His words jolted the writers from their shock, and they followed suit, breaking for the doors and windows.
"Stop them!" Giles yelled frantically, trying vainly with Xander to put out the fart-induced flames.
As they ran out into the night, John looked over at Robyn.
"I didn't get the name 'the Flatulent Skunk' for nothing." he said proudly.
As there really was no responce for that, Robyn saved her breath and kept running.
Anya finally called a halt to their mad dash, and Biohaz and MeK flopped to the sidewalk, exhausted. While MeK attempted to get her breathing under control again, Biohaz and Anya discussed what to do.
"We need to catch up with Robyn, because that gate will open around her, and if we aren't there when it happens, we're stuck here." Anya said.
Biohaz quickly checked his watch. "We've still got three hours, it's only 10:00."
But Anya was thinking now. "We also have to assume that the others are still stuck in the Bronze, so we're going to have to stock up on some weapons and break them out of there. Where's the best place to get some weapons?"
Biohaz answered her the same time she answered herself.
With MeK in tow, they set off at a light jog for the high school.
Spike rolled into the main room when he heard the voices coming from the direction of the main door. He wasn't expecting anyone back this soon. Surely, they hadn't finished casigating all those bloody fanfic writers already?
Spike was surprised to see the Slayer and her little red-headed friend walking into the warehouse dragging a body between them. A well-trussed body.
"Spike?" Buffy called, "Spike? Are you here?"
"Well, now," Spike replied, wheeling into the light, "What have we here?"
"Um...," Buffy hesitated.
Willow wasn't so restrained.
"We wanted to ask you for a favor."
"Me?!? A favor?!?" Spike was stunned. Even with the general cease-fire tonight while all of Sunnydale's residents dealt with those impertinent fanfic authors, this was a bit much to accept.
"Are you sure you have both oars in the water, ducks?"
Willow shot Spike a deadly glare that had him wondering how fast he could go in this damned chair.
"Hey!" Buffy interrupted, "Spike, Willow and I have a score to settle with this one. He's *special*. And we thought that since you couldn't go out and join the fun, that just this once, we could bring some of the fun to you."
Spike raised a disbelieving eyebrow.
"Well," Willow continued, "We also wanted to know if we could borrow a few of your railroad spikes for a little 'constructive criticism' we want to give our friend here. And maybe something to heat them up with?"
Willow's venomous tone caused Spike to really focus on the prisoner for the first time. The thirtyish man lay on the floor between the two girls, shirtless, barefoot in torn and grass-stained jeans, trying to gasp wheezing breaths around a gag in his mouth. His bare ribs showed numerous bruises.
And he was well and truly trussed up like a roast for the spit. Legs bound at both ankle and knee, arms bound at the wrist and elbow behind his back. But the part that really impressed Spike was that the man's thumbs were tied to his big toes, completely immobilizing him.
"Nice job with the ropes, Slayer," Spike complimented.
"Don't look at me, Spike," Buffy said, "Willow did the wrapping."
Spike wondered what the Hell this guy had written that could get *Willow*, sweet, gentle Willow, to participate in and even orchestrate such brutality. Spike couldn't imagine *anything* that could set Willow off like this.
"Now, about those spikes?" Willow asked.
"On one condition," Spike replied, "You satisfy my curiosity. What did this chap write that could put SunnyHell's very own PollyAnna in a mood that could rival Angelus at his worst?"
Willow glared at Spike for several seconds before facing Buffy and sighing in resignation.
"You tell him," she whispered.
"He wrote a slash piece," Buffy said, "Starring me and Willow."
Spike was just floored. Not even the Master had been that depraved.
"I'll go get my spikes," he grinned, "And then we can start the fun."
TJ made a small whimpering sound.