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The Queen (BtVS - Chapter thirty-one)

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Thanks to slaymesoftly







31. What's my Line? (Part I)






“… It wasn’t like an important meeting and I don’t even remember the guy!”

Spike rolled his eyes as he leaned against the wall. In most situations like this he would have pulled out a cigarette and smoked with satisfaction. Unfortunately Annie was particularly sensitive to the smell of tobacco and he also didn’t want to cause her any harm. Buffy and Angel were discussing about Klaus but even the prospective of a possible fight was boring.

“Oh really?” the Slayer snapped. “The guy in question is trying to kill us! And also he seems kinda cute  … how can you have forgotten him?” she asked in disbelief.

Angel frowned.

“She’s appealing at your homosexual tendencies, Peaches,” Spike taunted. “We know all about you. Don’t be ashamed.”

“Look who’s talking! I’m just saying that I can’t remember everyone I’ve met in my long un-life. I think I remember the guy but …”

“Do you remember him yes or no?”

Angel shrugged resignedly.

“Yes,” he admitted. “Darla introduced him during a trip to Paris. She said that he was very powerful but I thought he was just a vampire like the others. His only interest was in drinking from the necks of young girls and getting rose petals and fine cream for his face. Yes, he does that.”

“I should try it,” Buffy muttered. “We were talking about Paris …”

“Right. We were in a hotel in the countryside. A palace, if I remember correctly. Klaus explained that his brother was the owner.”

“And you met the Mercurial?”

“No. The alchemist was gone by the time we arrived.”

Buffy sighed. “So nothing happened between you two? A little demonic friendship?”

“All I remember was recovering from a massive hangover in his living room. Klaus was asleep lying on a very expensive couch and covered in blood and rose petals. He was that vain even when he was sleeping.”

Spike smiled. “Your soulmate!”

Angel rolled his eyes.

“That’s okay,” Buffy said. “For now at least. We need to know something more about the Mercurial or we won’t be able to stop the apocalypse.”

Spike sighed. “It’s not so easy, love,” he replied. “The Mercurial has managed to hide for centuries, and even the Watchers Council didn’t know much about him,”

“So?”

“He’s a powerful alchemist; he can bend reality if he wants to. If he really managed to discover the Philosopher’s Stone we won’t get him. On the other hand, Klaus is a vampire and he needs to eat and find a nest and make friends among the other vampires.”

“Do you think that we should find him first?”

“Sure.”

“Well, let’s get to work. I’m calling Giles.”

Quickly Buffy called her former Watcher.

“Buffy!” he said almost surprised. “I was just waiting for you. I found more about the Mercurial.”

“Update the research. I’m gonna search for Klaus, he may be the only way to get to the Mercurial.”

“Interesting idea.”

Buffy turned to Angel and Spike. “We have to move quickly,” she said. “If Klaus is hiding in Los Angeles we could end this tonight.”

“But you think that we’re facing an … organization?” Spike asked.

“Yes.”

“And so … how do we act?”

“We start with something. Since Kostas kidnapped me we’ve checked all the possible hiding places in the city. Klaus seems the luxury type, while Kostas is much more pragmatic. We’ll search in the areas marked by Kennedy.”

“Are you sure you want to do this now?” Angel asked.

“Yeah. I can’t waste any more time and it should be fun,”

“How so?”

“Spike and I, you and Faith. We can have a double-date!”







They reached a suburban area and parked beside a street light. Immersed in the darkness was an abandoned warehouse. Buffy and Faith got out of the car.

“If Klaus loved Parisian palaces he must be ecstatic about living here,” Faith joked, placing a stake inside her leather jacket.

Buffy nodded alongside Spike. “At this point I suggest we split up.”

“Not yet,” Angel replied. “Let’s look inside the building and see what happens.”

“There are four of us and only three of them …”

“There is also the magician. Maybe.”

“He will be harder to kill,” Angel admitted. “Shall we?”

Buffy smiled and grabbed her stake.

The group walked down the street between the warehouse and the rest of the neighborhood. It was unnaturally silent, like nobody was living there anymore. They reached the main door, but it was closed. While the vampires were trying to force it, Faith searched for a second entry.

“This thing looks perfect,” she muttered bending down to examine a small window on the wall.

Without bothering to warn Buffy, Faith decided to sneak in. Taking a deep breath and giving a strong push  on the window, she found herself inside the warehouse.

Faith stood up and shook her dust from her jeans. She coughed.

Someone was behind her.

“Don’t you know that it’s rude to enter from the windows?” a female voice said.

Faith shrugged. “I guess I’m still a bad girl.”

The vampire stepped forward. She was very tall and all dressed in black with long curly hair falling over her shoulders. Her face was pale and beautiful and her expression was strangely indifferent. She was holding a sword.

“So you are Roxane …” Faith said. “You look less hot in the pictures.”

The vampire cocked her head and narrowed her black eyes. “You’re going to die,” she said flatly.

“Don’t be so sure about that!” Faith exclaimed trying to take her with a frontal attack.

Roxane stopped her blow and swung her sword before kicking Faith’s forehead.

“I am,” she replied.