"All right," Buffy reasoned. "I buy that you're a Vampire, but how does that work? You can be out in sunlight, you're wearing a cross around your neck, and you move like no Vampire I've ever seen."
Sita sniffed the air again. This was taking too long. She had no need of Buffy's help, taking her along was a courtesy, but it was slowing them down.
"There are more than one kind of Vampire." She explained. "In fact there are at least three that I know of. The only type that's truly evil, are the Dimishti. The type you're familiar with."
"And you are?"
"A Yakshini Vampire. The Dimishti are formed by replacing the human soul with a Demon. The demon is most often a Dimishti. But there are sometimes exceptions."
Buffy nodded absently. She remembered the Vampire who'd refused to kill Agent Scully.
"A Yakshini is formed by the joining of a Yakshini Demon and the human soul. They co-exist, becoming one entity. The personality of the soul remains, as does most of the moral code. The demon provides increased strength, and senses. It does tend to make one more violent however. I am the last of my kind."
Briefly, she explained the history of the Yakshini, including her own evolution from neophyte to drinking the blood of Kali herself.
"The third type is actually not really a demon at all." Sita continued. "Their blood is infected with a kind of Demon Virus. It gives them a bit of increased strength, but mostly it gives them other powers. I'm not clear on what all of them are really, they tend to keep it to themselves. I do know they can also come out during the day, and can turn themselves into wolves."
"And how is it that Giles has never told me this?"
"Because he doesn't know. What I've just told you goes no further." Sit stopped and looked at Buffy. "Promise me you will tell no one of what I have said."
"Sure," Buffy said. She could understand the need for secrecy. "I promise."
"Good, now, do you trust me?"
"Good enough." With that, Sita grabbed the Slayer, tossed her over her shoulder and ran along the scent trail leading her to her lover.
"So now what?" Oz asked. "I'm still relatively new to the Scooby Gang."
"Usually we just wait." Xander told him. "Unless we find out where she is, then we just sort of run off half cocked get ourselves into trouble and wait for Buffy to rescue us."
"That doesn't sound like a lot of fun." the young musician commented. "But then, nobody really said that saving the world was supposed to be fun. Well Spider Man might have said it once, but he was probably joking."
"Now remember," Jack reminded his students, "Do not harm the ones we came for. They're bait for our mystery Immortal. Any surplus ones, I'll take care of. Let's go."
The four homicidal sociopath Immortals entered the school, amazingly, attracting no attention.
"Why don't you just torture him?" Spike asked mildly. It was nearly noon, and Angel had yet to find out just what this Tom kid was.
"I've thought about it," Angel murmured, staring at the silent boy, "But it just doesn't seem, appropriate somehow."
"Don't tell me you're going soft," Spike said, "Again."
Angel just glared at him. "Hell with it." He stalked away, motioning for three others to stand watch over him. "I'm going to bed. You torture him if you want."
Spike merely shook his head in disgust. "Maybe later."
It was now or never, Tut decided. Angel and Spike were the only two, experienced (Vampires?) around. These three others were new. He could tell by the way they looked around nervously, shuffling from one foot to another.
"So," Tut said suddenly, "You guys audition for this gig or what?"
"Ooo, friendly. You're new here aren't you. What'd they do, put an ad in the paper? I've wanted to know how thugs get hired."
"I said shut up!"
"And I heard you. I've been around the block a couple of times, let me give you a few pointers. First thing is, you've gotta stay cool, like me. Don't let anything get to you, if you do, you'll make a mistake."
"I said-" The surly (Vampire?) took a swing at him.
Tut brought his long since freed hands around to the front and ducked.
"You ever hear of a guy named Houdini?" Tut asked, after dodging the blow. "Good friend of mine."
He dove to the floor, as if doing a hand spring, and in a way, he was. But as his ankles were still bound to the chair, it came up with his feet. It made such a lovely crunching noise when he smashed it over the creature's head.
Landing more or less on his feet, he swayed till he caught his balance. The legs of the chair were still bound to his ankles, but he now drew them out. Brandishing one in each hand, he quickly staked the two attacking creatures, who immediately turned to dust.
"Woah," Tut muttered, "Maybe they really are Vampires."
The one he'd knocked down but not out with the chair leaped at him, snarling. In one smooth motion, Tut drew his sword from his coat, and brought it around to the Vampire's throat. "You guys really should search your prisoners more carefully." he told it, then cut off it's head. It too disintegrated.
He stood still for a moment, listening for any sound or movement.
Nothing. He knew he didn't have much chance of finding Dru or the others, but he knew that Sita would be able to find them. Turning, he stalked out of the building, headed for the school.
Besides, Tut thought. If those things really were Vampires, then Sita's got some explaining to do.
He didn't quite know how he knew, but something was wrong. He knew the moment he set foot in the hall leading to the library. He picked up his pace, running now instead of his leisurely stroll.
The library appeared empty at first glance when he entered. But a soft groan soon alerted him to the presence of an occupant. The library was a mess. Looking over the counter, he saw Oz, looking quizzically at his midsection.
"Um," Tut greeted, "Hi Oz."
"Hey, uh, Tu- er, Tom."
Tut caught the slip. It seemed he'd been found out, but it also seemed that Oz was willing to let the secret stay a secret. Good.
"The hell happened here?" Tut asked, trying to stay calm. Had the Vampires been here?
Oz struggled to his feet, staring at his own stomach again. "Uh, some guys, I think it was those guys behind the murders. They came and just, well, attacked. They grabbed Giles, Cordelia, Xander and Willow. And, left I guess."
"Why didn't they kill you?"
"Uh," Oz looked once more at his stomach, where, Tut finally noticed, a ragged hole lay in his shirt, "I think they thought they did?"
Oz wasn't an Immortal, Tut knew that, so how could he survive what looked like had been a fatal wound?
"Why aren't you dead?" Tut asked him. Oz hesitated. "Look, I know you know what, or at least who I am. I'll make you a deal. You keep my secret, and I'll keep yours."
Oz took a deep breath. "I'm a Werewolf."
"Ah," Tut realized, "That would explain it. Their weapons must not have been made of Silver."
"You don't seem exceptionally surprised."
"That's because I'm not." the Immortal told him. "I've met your kind before."
"Oh. Cool." Then he seemed to remember something. "Oh!" He ran around the counter and grabbed a piece of paper off the floor. "They left this for you."
"Did they." He took the note and read it quickly. It was from Jack the Ripper. He wanted Tut to meet him on the roof of the Bronze at midnight. If not, the hostages would be killed in typical fashion.
"So what are you going to do?" Oz asked. "You know it must be a trap."
"Of course it's a trap." Tut agreed. "It's always a trap. But the priority here is to make sure our friends stay safe."
"So I'm not going to the Bronze."
"We're going to find the hostages first, free them, and then I'll take care of our sociopath friends."
"Do you always sound like a comic book character in these situations?"
"Only in recent years. They didn't have comic books for the majority of my life."
"Okay, so how are we going to find them?"
"Well, that's where it gets weird."
"Okay, after recent events around here, I'm ready for anything."
"We're going to use your Werewolf abilities."
Oz looked at him for a moment. "But it's not a full moon."
"It doesn't matter. That part of you is still in you. I can get in synch with that, and use it to find the scent."
Oz smiled. "Okay I'll buy that. I suppose that means I'll need to tag along. Good. What's the plan once we get there?"
"I distract them while you get the others clear."
The look on Oz's face told him that even had his presence not been required, he would have insisted on coming along. He was after all, Willow's boyfriend.
"Let's go get 'em."
Buffy stared at the smashed chair in the empty warehouse that Alisa had brought her to.
"Looks like we missed the party." she said.
Sita could see the particles of dust left by three dead Vampires.
"He's quite proficient." Sita remarked. He killed three of themsingle handed. She beamed inwardly with pride. She sniffed the air. There were three others in the warehouse, but they left recently. She turned towards the door. "Let's go."
Buffy shrugged. "Where to?"
"Where ever Tom went of course."
"Gotcha." Did Alisa know what Tut was? Or even who he was? She decided not to betray his secret just yet. It was really for him to tell her.
Geoffrey smiled at the young man bound to the chair before him. He hoped Jack would return soon. He couldn't wait to get started. The others were similarly bound. Ted had claimed the one named Willow, as Jack had called dibs on the taller one. As for the old man, Richard wasn't too upset with the leftovers. He'd always been a versatile sort. He was right now devising just how he would kill the Librarian.
The look of absolute terror in the hostages' eyes delighted and excited all three Immortals. Apparently these people knew exactly who they were and what they had planned.
Xander struggled briefly against his bonds briefly, mainly to make him feel as if he were at least trying. The gag in his mouth made it hard to breathe, but he managed. He hoped to God, Buffy would find them, hell that anyone would find them. Otherwise, they were screwed.
Ramirez paused in his thinking, in his hands was a brand new double barreled shotgun. He had yet to decide if he would use it to kill his victim or not. It seemed to lack originality, but it made such a lovely noise. The reason he paused was that he suddenly felt the presence of another Immortal.
"Jack's back." Ted muttered, smiling slightly. "The fun begins."
"If that's what you wanna call it." Tut called from above.
Stunned, all three psychos looked up. The Immortal that Jack had discovered was in town dropped from the rafters on top of Ramirez, forcing him to drop the shotgun.
Tut dragged the Immortal to his feet, and drew his, and Smith's swords, handing Smith's to Richard. "By the rules. Let's go."
"Sure," Ramirez said, "Why not." He lunged at Tut, feinting.
Tut realized with almost pleased surprise that Ramirez was much more skilled than Smith had been.
Ted smiled at Geoffrey. "Looks like they're ignoring us." he said. "Let's have some fun."
Geoffrey drew a stiletto from his sleeve and advanced on Xander.
And flew sideways sharply, blood spraying from the gunshot wound he suddenly sported.
"Woah," Oz swallowed. He'd picked up Ramirez's dropped gun. "I just shot somebody." Unflappable was a word that many used to describe Oz. But there were some things even he had trouble handling. His face betrayed no emotion, but his eyes were locked on the body of the man he'd just shot. He felt frozen.
Ted took advantage of the boy's distraction and grabbed Willow's chair, intent on dragging it away from the fray. The sight of Willow in danger shook Oz from his state of shock. He dove at Ted Bundy, slamming into the man's side, knocking him down, but dropping the gun in the process. Willow gave a muffled scream as she fell backwards, pain flared through her arms as they struck the floor with her full weight slamming down on them.
Infuriated, Ted wrapped his hands around the Oz's throat. "You're not my type kid, but since I'm not using my usual M.O., I think it's okay."
Oz knew this man couldn't kill him, he was a werewolf. If being run through didn't kill him, he was sure that being strangled wouldn't do it either. But if he lost consciousness, then Willow would be at the man's mercy.
Out of the corner of his eye he saw the dropped gun.
Tut knocked the sword from Richard's hand. "You were more of a challenge than your friend Smith." Tut told him. "But still not good enough." He raised the sword. "There can be only one." One swipe finished off Richard Ramirez, a.k.a. The Night Stalker. The electricity began to build as the quickening began.
Oz's hand closed on the shotgun even as his vision began to fade.
His blood pounded in his ears, and he could hear Tut screaming. He hoped that meant he'd won.
Ted grunted as the barrel of the gun slammed into his head, but he held on, only drawing back from the boy a bit. But it was as much room as Oz needed to place the barrel against the man's Adam's apple.
If I was an action hero, Oz thought, I'd say something witty right about now. Instead, he just pulled the trigger.
Ted's head was blasted from his body by the shot gun, spattering Oz with blood.
Tut's eyes widened when he realized what was about to happen. The quickening from Richard wasn't even finished, but another Immortal was dead, and he was the only, no, he realized with gladness. Geoffrey was closer.
Oz freed Willow from the ropes and helped her to her feet.
"You okay?" Oz asked, hugging her.
"Yeah," she answered. "I think so." She checked her arms. "Nothing broken."
They walked to Xander, somehow ignoring the massive electrical storm that surrounded the fallen Geoffrey Dahmer. Or the dying one that still assailed Tut.
Willow took the gag from the boy's mouth, and he immediately took a deep breath.
"Some party." he muttered. Then his eyes widened in shock. "Look out!" he cried.
Oz and Willow whirled to see Dahmer charging at them, the stiletto still clutched in his hand. He screamed something incomprehensible and thrust the blade at Willow.
For the second time in two days, Willow was saved from being run through at the last second. The stiletto dropped from Dahmer's lifeless hand, hitting the floor at about the same time as his head.
Tut stood panting, behind the now dead Immortal. "I hope this isn't going to become a habit with us." he said, instantly before Dahmer's Quickening hit him.
Willow and Oz quickly freed Xander and moved on to Giles.
Tut rocked with the energy flowing into him, finally falling to his knees. "Ugh," he grunted, "Two Quickenings in a row. That's not happy."
"Then allow me to end your suffering." someone said, just before Tut felt cold steel at his throat. "I waited for you at the Bronze, Tut." Jack said. "Naturally I didn't expect you to find us here, but when you didn't show I hurried back anyway. And what do I find? All my students, my friends dead. But at least I'll still have your head."
He kicked Tut's sword away and swung back, ready to make the kill. "I do hope you'll relay my farewells to the others when you see them in hell."
"You'll be able to do it yourself!" Sita screamed in fury from the doorway. Before Jack's sword could reach her lover's neck, she'd leaped across the floor. Jack managed, by sheer luck, to impale the girl on his sword, running her through. But her hands still found his head.
"You can't interfere!" Jack admonished her, thinking she was as good as dead. "The rules!"
"I've never been one for rules." she hissed, and prepared to finish him off.
Somehow sensing that she was fully capable of killing him, his eyes teared. "No, please," he begged softly. Only Sita was able to hear him. "I don't want to die."
"Then you should never have been born." she told him, and ripped off his head.
While Tut was struck with the third Quickening in one night, Sita pulled the sword from her body, grimacing in pain. But she was healing already.
Buffy shook her head, half in amazement, half in sadness. She suddenly felt like a fifth wheel. The bad guys were dead, and she hadn't had to lift a finger.
Sita, fully healed, helped a thoroughly exhausted Tut to his feet. To his knowledge, no Immortal had ever taken three consecutive Quickenings. He would need a good night's sleep tonight.
"So," he asked, "Is it always this exciting around here?"
"Are you kidding?" Buffy said, as they joined their friends. "This is a slow night."
"Yeah," Willow said, "It always seems to start on Tuesday."