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Chapter Seven: Doom that Impends



"Just out for a jaunt. Thought I'd swing by and say howdy."-Spike



I used to have long vivid dreams about how much fun it would be to tear through the streets of a big city in a tank. I think that now I prefer the Winabago approach cause...Damn...tearing through the streets of L.A. chasing Spike's matching rig and being chased by nine more is the closest to heaven I've ever been.

I didn't come down from my high until we met up with Angel in a small park. We parked our rigs in a row on the street behind his Angelmobile. I jumped down from my mammoth perch and didn't stop grinning until I saw what looked like an entire neighborhood of young black kids, all twentyish and younger. A lot of the older males were carrying guns and stakes and were grouped together near Angel. The Brooding Queen was dressed all in black as usual and he was speaking quietly with a young black man with a blue bandana on his head and torn jeans and T-shirt. Upon closer inspection, the young man looked like he's been through a wringer as did most the other men.

"Oi! Sunbeam! We've come to rescue you!" Spike bellowed as he came up next to me. I winced. The vampire had the tact of a fish. Angel was instantly on guard, as were the group around him. Hoping to diffuse the situation, I grabbed Spike's arm and pulled him close.

"Keep your mouth shut Spike, or I'm going to tell Gilly you want his tight ass." I threatened. He glowered at me but stayed silent so I turned to Angel, hold my hands out, palms up. "Hey Angel, its me, Xander. Wes sent us here with the transportation." Angel was instantly a foot away, brooding at me. "Who else did he send?" He asked urgently. I shrugged, surprised. He grabbed my shoulders and shook them rather painfully. "Who else?!" I was going to inform him that he was denting me when Spike stepped forward and placed himself between Angel and me.

"Don't touch him." He growled. I collected my brain to me again and peeked over Spike's shoulder at the glaring Angel. This was going so very badly.

"Angel, its Spike and nine other demon dudes and me." I told him in a soothing voice. Spike and he continued their stare down so I reached up and put my hands over Spike's eyes, effectively ending the testosterone battle. Angel turned and started speaking in low tones to the bandana guy. Spike whirled on me and gave me a look that'd melt stone. I just grabbed the collar of his shirt and yanked him down to eye level.

"Thank you for protecting my arms but we've got bigger things to worry about right now than whose cahones are bigger." I hissed at him. <He has purty eyes.> My mind commented idly, I shook it off. "Anyway, mine were bigger than both of yours so drop it." Spike was scowling and looked like he was about to mutiny so I kissed him on the cheek and released him. He stared at me for a minute then he relaxed, shoving his hands in the pockets of his duster and looking around with a bored expression. I turned back to Angel and then blushed bright red.

"Uh, Xander, this is Gunn, he's in charge of the group here." Angel introduced me to the Bandana guy. I nodded to him and he smiled grimly. "We have a little problem with our present drivers." He said. Looking back at the rigs I saw that the drivers had all stayed inside of their vehicles.

"They're a little colorful, but I don't see how that's a problem." I commented. Gunn looked at Angel a little angrily.

"These people are somewhat, xenophobic." Angel told me. I nodded, recognizing the word from an episode of Star Trek.

"Well then we'll have all demons in Spike's rig and get these lumps of manflesh to drive." I suggested, gesturing to the nearby angry, armed youths. Gunn nodded in agreement.

"Can you and Spike get them all to his without being seen?" Angel asked. I nodded and glanced at Spike. He shrugged, lighting a cigarette.

"The doors are all facing the street so it shouldn't be a problem." I reassured him. "Get your people ready, Gunn, I'll go round up the uglies." Gunn nodded and turned to his men shouting orders. I dragged Spike to each of the rigs and relayed the plan. Soon enough we were ready to head out. A few demons bitched about giving up driving privilages but Spike growled them into submission quickly enough.

I ended up piloting the second rig with Gunn as my navigator, Angel rode in the demon rig driven by Spike, and Gunn's refugees handled the rest. As I followed Spike through the city I managed to speak with Gunn.

"So you seem pretty comfortable with demons." Gunn commented, whispering the D word. I grinned at him.

"I grew up on a hellmouth. I've seen pretty much anything. Hell my ex- girlfriend was a vengeance demon before I dated her." I told him. He got this obnoxious gleam in his eye that meant he was envisioning lesbians. I rolled my eyes. Was I ever that horrible? "That was before she decided that I didn't understand women well enough. She turned me into a woman." He stared for a minute. Then he started laughing.

"That's a good one." He gasped, laughing hard. I sighed.

"No, really. I was a guy until about, oh, three months ago." I insisted. He believed me that time.

"Woah. Dude. Sorry, man." He managed. I shrugged and decided that a change in conversation was in order.

"You seem pretty uncomfortable with demons." I said, eyeing the stake tucked in his belt. He nodded, grim.

"Someone has to protect the humans no one cares about anymore." He shrugged. I nodded.

"You'll like my friend Buffy. She's the Vampire Slayer." At his confused look I elaborated. "She's like a superhero born to fight vamps and other unfun things. I've been on her team since my sophomore year of High School, we fight evil and solve mysteries like Scooby Doo. We've got Buffy, the Slayer, Giles, the Watcher, Willow the Witch, Spike the irritating Vampire that can't bite, and me, the uh...chick." Bubbye good mood! I'll miss you! I sighed.

"Wait, that bleached guy was a vampire?" Gunn asked, startled. I nodded, shifting in my seat to make a tight right turn.

"Yup, he's my roommate too. The government put a chip in his head that zaps him if he tried to hurt anything that's alive. He requires violence though, so he helps us keep the demon population under control." Gunn looked totally confused. I reached over and patted his arm. "It's a bit disorienting, I know, but if you keep in mind that demons are just like humans it helps. Some are good, some are bad, and some just want to be left alone." He looked suspicious but I suppose it gave him something to think about.

"So what do you think is going on? City-wide clam bake?" I asked him, changing direction. He shrugged and leaned forward to look out the windows.

"I don't know but it looks like the cities called for a complete evacuation." I sighed. Oh the chaos. And traffic. Luckily Spike was leading us through nearly empty backstreets. "Why're we going to this Sunnydale if it's a hellmouth thing?" He asked curiously. I shrugged.

"Well the rest of the our crew is there. They're working on figuring out just what's going on there. We're really good at this sort of thing. Its why we're the 'Scoobies' and not the, uh, dead people." I said, trying to sound confident. He nodded thoughtfully then grinned.

"Which Scooby are you? Thelma?" I snorted and grinned back at him.

"Hell no, I'm Shaggy! And Spike up there is Scooby." Gunn laughed at that. "Only place you can get a pet Vampire is the wonderful city of SunnyHell." I smiled and watched as two figures that could only be Buffy and Lorne flagging us down.

There was some conversation between the Demon fold and the Slayer before Lorne joined them. Suddenly Angel shoved a struggling Spike out onto the sidewalk and gestured emphatically at him. I groaned. "Bad Puppy!" I whined, making Gunn smile. Buffy looked over at me and then at Spike and rolled her eyes. Then she grabbed the offending vamp by the ear and dragged him back to our rig and pulled him through the door. "Hey it's the Buffinator! How goes it General?" I called to her as she hopped in and settled on the floor between Gunn and me, she waved Gunn back into his seat when he would have offered it. I decided to ignore the errant vamp as he settled on the floor behind my seat, leaning against my chair so I could feel his weight.

"Keep following Angel, we're going to meet Cordy and Wes and their refugees at a rest area halfway between here and SunnyD." Buffy instructed me. "We've gotten everyone we can right now, its time to get out of here." She sounded extremely weary and somewhat annoyed. "And if you can't keep your pet vampire under control, Xan I swear I'll stake him so hard Drusilla will be dust." She added, glowering at Spike.

"What'd you expect, pet? I was locked up with that lot listening to you old boy toy go on about impending doom and what. I had to say something! It's my duty as a vampire." He said, as if he could make me feel bad for him. What I noticed was the amount of suddenly nervous passengers sprawled on all the open spaces in my rig. I sighed.

"Buffy, reassure these people of Spikey's harmlessness?" I whispered to her. She turned and took in the frightened looks on the people and nodded in understanding. Grinning dryly she stood up and started lecturing the poor people on how she was a Slayer and Spike was harmless and she would stake him if he tried anything. Meanwhile Spike slid around the seat and took her spot on the floor between Gunn and me.

Gunn was listening to Buffy with half a grin on his face but still regarded Spike with curiosity and not a little disgust. Spike ignored him for a moment then finally looked up at him in irritation. "Its mutual." Gunn scowled at him and turned his attention back to the outside world. I sighed and reached down to pinch the ear that Buffy had dragged Spike by, knowing that it probably still hurt. He yowled and turned his glower to me.

"I told you to drop the macho shit, Spike." I growled at him. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him wrap his leather-clad arms around his chest and he slumped against my seat. <Is he pouting?> I risked a look at him before turning my attention back to the now clearing road. <Omigawd, he IS pouting!> And suddenly the new part of me that led to girly giggles and 'Awwwww's tingled. He was so pathetically cute! I growled at myself. < He's a man! A Vampire Man!> I sighed and let my right hand run through his gelled hair where it was on the level with my thigh. <A cute, loyal, protective, licky, Vampire Man.> I amended. Oi, I'm soooo gay! Or, uh, straight? I dunno. I'll ask Willow later, she'll figure it out.

Spike relaxed into my hand and I smiled to myself. <Cute wittle bloodsucking puppy.> I decided that next chance I got I would throw away his hair gel. It was far to stiff. I bet he looked a lot better with soft fuzzy hair than gelled slickness. I pondered hair idly for a while, not really paying attention to my pet.

Then he purred. Looking at him again, I saw that his eyes were closed. I restrained the urgent need for giggling building in my chest and exchanged a look with Gunn. He had a look on his face that said "Damn, that's cute in a twisted Omigawd its an evil soulless beast kinda way." I smiled at him and turned back to my driving, right hand still combing through my pet vamp's hair.

*Spike* (First four paragraphs are Spikey thinking)

"You're not fleeing. You're ... moving at a brisk pace."-Dawn

<If I get any bloody higher I'm not going to be able to soddin' think. First the nummy thing just sits still in my grip while I taste his skin, marking him with my scent to all those horny bastards we were traveling with. And then the boy kisses me on the cheek. I can see how I was acting like a puffed up possessive arse, but Angel was hurting him and bollocks if I'm gonna sit still while the Poofter crunches my pet.

And that was bloody hilarious, covering my eyes so I couldn't finish my stare down with Angelus. I should teach that boy some manners to go with his perky new tits. And to claim that he had bigger knackers than me? He's off his nut! Made me entertain a few chip-zapping thoughts, he did. But then he looked at me with those big innocent doe-eyes and kissed me on the cheek. Pointed out that there were bloody great reasons for acting like a ponce.

I was good too, kept my mouth shut and behaved like he wanted, too. Wasn't my fault that Peaches tried to start something as soon as Xan-pet was out of sight. Said he knew what I was thinking about and that I better keep my claws off of the boy. He didn't even like the boy last I checked, and here he was puffed up and threatening me because he smelled my scent on the boy. I'd hardly gotten into the discussion when the Slayer flagged us down and suddenly she's going maternal on me, telling the Bastard that she'd watch me. Bitch pulled me by my ear like a stupid child.

Then Xander was picking on me too and I was about ready to start a much- needed fight with that Gunn bloke when he snapped at me. So, poofter I am, I pouted. And suddenly there's a soft hand in my hair, soothing me and making me loose coherent thought and I hope I don't start purring, that'd be bloody fantastic in front of Slayer and Sundry and purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Bloody Hell.>

"What is that?" I heard Slutty ask from behind me. I tried desperately to stop the insane sound but its one of those things that's easy to start and hard to stop. Especially when it can embarrass me. I heard Gunn shift in his seat to look at her. I just kept my eyes clamped shut.

"Just Xander's little kitty." That worked. The purr turned into a growl. I opened my eyes. Xan's hand froze mid-pet.

"No, what is that?!" Bitchy repeated herself, pointing up. "Do you hear that?" Gunn shook his head and Xan shrugged, his hand going to the wheel. I stopped growling and concentrated on what I was hearing. Sure enough there was a rumble that would only be audible to vampire or Slayer ears. I got to my feet, bracing myself on the seat backs.

"I hear it, Slayer, don't know what it is though." I told her. Xan started turning the wheel and slowing down. We were on the freeway maybe twenty minutes into the hilly desert between L.A. and Sunnyhell.

"Looks like Angel hears it too, we're pulling over." Xan said, sounding a little worried. I squeezed his shoulder and looked back at the Slayer. She was turning her head this way and that, trying to identify the eerie thrumming. She looked like a little dog. I restrained a chuckle knowing that it would get me slapped and Xan would get mad.

By the time we were all piling out onto the shoulder, turning to see what was causing the sound, everyone could hear it. It sounded like a great big engine idling or something like it. We couldn't see the city because the portion of road we had stopped on was the type that had been chopped out of the center of a hillside.

We all climbed up the hill as quietly as we could under the strange press of the thrumming and stood on the hilltop looking back at the mostly empty city. What I saw made the cigarette drop right out of my mouth and onto a small dead weed, which caught fire.


"It's all falling into place. Of course that place is nowhere near this place."-Buffy

Jeez! Spike can be such a moron sometimes. He just drops his cigarette, who cares where it lands. He just stood there too while I stomped out the fire he started. He could've caught himself on fire and that DOES hurt vamps. <Dumbass> I grumbled and finally was able to pay attention to what everyone was staring at. I looked up and burst out laughing. I couldn't help it. Just the idea, having seen so many monsters and demons through the years and always wishing they were aliens because the sci-fi geek that I am, I KNEW about aliens. They were my frigging hobby!

And now there was a huge Independence Day-esque saucer lighting up the sky, hovering over the sparkling city of L.A... I giggled. Cool. I realized then that no one else got the joke. Everyone, from Buffy to the littlest of Gunn's refugees were staring at the saucer with expressions ranging from fear to confusion and even to irritation. That was Buffy. She broke the silence.

"Can we go home now? Alien invaders are soooo not my jurisdiction." I started laughing again and a few people turned to look at us. Okay, so maybe we're a little hardened towards life-changing revelations. We both learned long ago that to try and decide what can't possibly happen was to invite it to. Hell, I'm a girl.

"What do they want?" A young woman next to Gunn asked worriedly. He put his arm comfortingly around her shoulders. They kind of looked alike so I figured her for the little sister.

"Xan-pet, you're a geek, what're they going to do?" Spike asked from right behind me. I shrugged and decided that maybe leaning on him would be understandable, given the circumstances. We'd been working all night and I was beat, not to mention the freakin' spaceship. I leaned. <That's nice. I'll have to think about what this means when there isn't an ominous thing in the sky.> I sighed and he slipped his arms around my waist and set his chin on top of my head. I tried to think of a suitably tension-breaking, Xanderish thing to say.

"Not sure. Either they'll provide us with oh so gruesome deaths, enslave us all, do both, or they present us with a new flavor of chocolate and be on their merry way." I answered him. I sighed. Not quite as positive as I hoped it would be.

"I vote for option number three." Buffy said from next to us. I smirked, we were the only ones really able to converse everyone else's voices were low whispers. All eyes were on the ship. Buffy got annoyed again. "Why are they just sitting there? Are they going to do something this century?"

"Give'em time, Slayer, they'll attack, the soddin Powers wouldn't have evacuated us otherwise." Spike pointed out. I tensed at that thought. Ah hell. He was right. And there had to still be people there.

"Oh crap." I whispered. "There's still people there. We have to go back." I said, turning to look at Buffy. She started to agree with me but stopped with the thrumming of the ship's engines changed pitch. We all looked back at it, dumbly waiting for something to happen.


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