Disclaimer: I own most of the characters with the rest belonging to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy.
Author's Note: This story takes place between Consequences and Effects, it'll be much racier than those two stories, mostly because of its subject matter and will be filled with mostly new characters. This is the story of what happened to Katy and Maria and their friends and acquaintances after the battle in London and before their next battle. This story does not have to be read to understand Effects, but if you want to find out what happened to change the new characters along with Katy and Maria that appear in Effects then read this.
CHAPTER 1-ONE DOWN, ONE MILLION TO GO
The plane touched down in Miami on one of the brightest and hottest days of the year. For two of the young women exiting the plane this was a new beginning, one that their financial backers hoped that they would take full advantage of. One the perfect image of beauty that had seen and done more in her short life than most would do in their entire lives. The other is coming home to get on with her life, though now with a new friend that she has only known for a few weeks. Both are beyond nervous and excited. The only outward difference about Katy since her last day at The Orange Crush strip club in LA is that she had put on some muscle, trimmed away more of what little fat she had, and gained a small scar and a lot of confidence in herself and her abilities. Maria now had an idea of what she wanted to do with her life, and constantly battling the forces of evil wherever they may be was not it. Though unfortunately we don't all get what we want. The cab had barely taken them three miles when they had passed a club and Katy had recognized the name of one of the dancers that she knew and almost forced the driver to pull over.
"What are we doing here," Maria asked with a nervous look on her face as she looked up out of the window and studied the marquee.
"Visiting an old friend," Kay replied with a sly grin on her face as she opened the door and got out. She paid the cabbie from a roll of bills that she had stuffed into her front right jeans pocket and he helped them get their bags out and set them down on the sidewalk.
"So then we…have to go in," Maria added with a nervous and unsure look on her face as she bit her lower lip and looked back at Katy.
"That's the idea, don't worry Alice will remember me and everything will be fine, just whatever you do don't stare, it's rude," Katy said with a slightly amused at how Maria was becoming smile on her face before she started to pick up her bags, giving a few men getting out of a pickup a nice view of her rear end. A couple of the men whistled and before Maria could get out an angry retort Katy shook her hips and giggled as the men seemed to enjoy it.
"Why did you do that, now they're going to," Maria started to say with a skeptical and nervous look on her face as she glared angrily at Katy.
"It was fun…ah come on Maria relax a little, if they get a little to frisky we can defend ourselves, this your first time in a strip club," Katy interjected at first with a carefree shrug of her shoulders and smile on her face before she straightened up and pulled her shirt down a little bit, though still leaving her midriff bare.
"Yeah, and I'm not sure that I'm ready to," Maria started to say with a nervous look on her face before Katy picked up her luggage and headed for the front door.
"Those who stay behind rarely make history," Katy shouted back over her shoulder as she disappeared into the club. Grumbling in nervousness and anxiety Maria picked up her few pieces of luggage and followed after. Her first step into the club was like a step into a new world. She had heard stories about strip clubs from her older brothers and some of their friends. At first she had expected the club to more resemble a seedy dive that even the bums would disavow ever being to. But instead she was impressed, at least by how clean the club was. She was a little surprised that other than the dancers there were several women in the club, she had always thought that only men visited strip clubs. "Some of them are gay and others just like a good show, don't worry about it, just stay away from the stage and no one will think that you're a dancer," Katy shouted back over the din of the thumping music as she set her luggage down in an out of the way room and motioned for Maria to do the same.
"Are those…," Maria started to ask with a stunned silent look on her face as one of the dancers passed by wearing nothing and leading an excited looking man back to one of the back rooms of the club.
"That's really not supposed to happen but…stripping isn't exactly a union gig, you basically do what they tell you and hope that you make enough to pay the rent and other bills," Katy answered Maria's unspoken question with an unhappy and disapproving look on her face as she shook her head and headed off towards the dressing room while Maria was still trying to wrap her head around how big the dancers breasts were, thinking that breasts that big looked painful.
"Hey Alice, you got a visitor, some little hottie named Katy," A broad shouldered and paunchy older man shouted into the dressing room as he only poked his head in and glared at the woman at the far end of the line of vanities.
"Katy…but she…oh my God," Alice started to say with a confused and sad tone to her voice before she looked up and rushed over to meet Katy halfway as the two hugged each other tightly. Despite looking completely at home, physically speaking, in the dressing room Maria's blood pressure shot up and she tried to act casual until she could get back outside of the club and let out a breath.
"You look great," Katy exclaimed with a happy and almost giddy smile on her face as the hug ended and Alice and Katy took stock of each other. Alice reminded Maria of Jamie a great deal. Other than the hair color and the fact that Alice was black they seemed to be about the same size and from what little she had seen, a similar temperament.
"So do you, what are you doing here, I thought that," Alice asked with an overwhelmed look on her face before she pulled Katy into another tight hug.
"Thanks, it's a long story…one best kept for another time," Katy replied with a grateful but slightly nervous smile on her face as she stepped back away from Alice.
"You here to work, not sure if Rodney will go for a tandem act on such short notice but maybe if you butter him up he'll let you two dance," Alice said with a thoughtful look on her face as she crossed her arms and looked back and forth between Katy and Maria. Maria simply kept smiling warmly until her mind alerted her to what Alice's had actually words meant.
"W…what, I'm not…I mean," Maria stammered out with an embarrassed look on her face as she tried her best to act casual and not draw to much attention to herself.
"You sure, you certainly got the right look for it, and there's no one better than Katy to…," Alice replied with a slightly unsure look on her face as she looked Maria up and down a couple of times, leaving Maria to curse herself for not wearing something much more conservative. Though she decided, in her own defense, she hadn't expected to visit a strip club a mere fifteen minutes after stepping off of the plane.
"She's not trust me, so now tell me…what have you been up to, other than the obvious," Katy said with a toothy grin on her face as she did her best not to laugh at Maria's scared look before she changed the subject to try and help ease her new friends fears.
"Not much really, moved into a bigger apartment, got married and then got divorced three months later, came home early one morning to find him in bed with one of the other dancers, haven't seen either since," Alice replied with an eerily confidant and proud tone to her voice as she recounted her latest troubles.
"I'm sorry that," Katy started to say with an honest look of empathy in her voice before Alice waived her off.
"I don't need or want your pity little Katy, I'm over it, have been since a week after they left, I decided that there was no point in killing myself with the pain of what they did, these days I live fine and fancy free, open to everything and everyone, human, demon, gay, straight I don't care," Alice stated with a laid back and happy look on her face as she returned to her chair and put on the finishing touches of her makeup. Maria swallowed hard as her head swam with thinking about the ramifications of all that Alice had said. She was about to give voice to a question when Alice spoke up again. "If you need some extra money I could probably convince the boss to let you dance, though he'll probably take most of it, you up for it," Alice added with a hurried look on her face as she checked the clock on the far wall twice while speaking to Katy.
"Wait you know about…I would but I don't have any of my outfits, they were all destroyed in the fire," Katy started to say with an unsure and confused look on her face before one of the other dancers turned around in her chair.
"If you're as good as Alice says that you are then you can take Kelli's costume, she's sick today and it'll probably look better on you than it does on her anyway," The dancer said with a little to eager of a smile on her face as Maria couldn't help but notice that the dancer was staring hungrily at Katy the whole time.
"She won't mind," Katy stammered out with a slightly flustered expression on her face as she felt awkward under the other dancer's stare.
"Hell no, it'll just make her work harder tomorrow, besides I'm sure that there are plenty of guys and girls out there that'd want you to…arrest…them," The dancer answered with an eager grin on her face as she handed Katy the costume on the hanger. Katy pulled down the zipper and snickered softly when she pulled out a very revealing policewoman's costume.
"I can't believe that you did that, we're going to be so late to commencement now," Maria grumbled with a nervous and frustrated frown on her face as the two left the club with Katy stuffing a small wad of bills into the back pocket of her jeans while Maria checked to make sure that they still had all of their luggage.
"Oh come on Maria, it wasn't that bad, we got some extra money and I got to catch up with an old friend, sounds like a good day to me, besides commencement isn't that important right, the professors and the dean just get up there and talk and talk and…," Katy started to say with a bored and slightly annoyed look on her face as the sun slipped down behind the nearby hills and the streetlights flickered on.
"Well yeah…but that's not the point, we've probably missed any chance that we had at getting into any of the good sororities," Maria started to agree before she changed her tone and bemoaned their situation.
"So what, we're already in a sorority and it's very exclusive, the sorority of the slayer," Katy stated with a proud smile on her face before a long line of motorcycles pulled into the parking lot.
"Oh no," Maria said with a scared look on her face as she slowly started to back away from the motorcycles, even though their riders hadn't seemed to have notice either young woman yet.
"Oh no what, oh it's just Chucky, I could have done without bumping into him," Katy started to say with a serious tone to her voice as she straightened back up before she looked over and recognized the group of riders.
"You…you know them," Maria asked with a scared look on her face as she ducked down behind one of the cars.
"Unfortunately…yeah it's just Chucky and his biker buddies, their bark is far worse than their bite, they're more wannabes than anything else, last time I saw them one of the bouncers at The Orange Crush scared them away, they're completely harmless so you can quit hiding behind that car," Katy replied casually with a but of unhappiness in her voice as she glanced over and scowled at Maria at the end.
"Are you sure, they don't really look friendly," Maria said back with a slight stutter as a few of the bikers got off of their bikes and started to walk casually towards the two young women.
"Of course I'm sure, what did you think that they were…vampires," Katy started to reply with a joking laugh before the bikers that were approaching her slipped their game faces on and snarled at her.
"Madre de dios," Maria gasped with a very surprised and scared expression on her face as she tried to keep her balance but failed and fell flat on her ass.
"Well what do we have here, two tasty little treats," One of the vampires sneered with a very hungry and lustful look in his eyes as he looked Katy up and down and then peeked around the edge of the car at Maria, who was scrambling back up to her feet while fumbling for the stake that she had slipped into her purse before leaving the airport.
"Only if you like the taste of your own blood," Katy snapped back with a very determined look on her face before she hauled off and slammed her fist into the vampire's jaw, knocking him over the trunk of the car and into the dirt on the other side.
"Stupid bitch, that wasn't very smart," Another of the vampires said with an angry scowl on his face before he bared his fangs and leapt for Katy's back, only to be stopped by Maria's foot slamming into his stomach and then her knee crushing his nose.
"Neither was attacking two trained slayers," Maria snapped with a defiant and invigorated expression on her face as she turned to face her next attacker while not noticing that the biker gang was encircling her and Katy.
"Maybe, but there's only two of you and thirty of us, the odds don't look to good for you," Chucky joked with a sly grin on his face before ridges appeared on his forehead and soon Katy and Maria were gazing back at two golden eyes and a set of bared fangs.
"Chucky…you're a," Katy started to say with a very surprised and sad expression on her face before Chucky cut in as he got off of his motorcycle and began to walk towards the two.
"Vampire…yeah little Katy, me and the whole gang, the only reason that you're not one of us is because of those stupid bouncers at The Crush, guess now we don't have to worry about them anymore, but now I find out that you're a slayer," Chucky said with a very arrogant and proud grin on his face as he made his way across the parking lot towards Katy and Maria, who were both busy trying to defend themselves against several vampires, with only the one stake that Maria was desperately trying to pull from her purse between them.
"And a damn good one to," Katy sneered back with a very angry and frustrated tone to her voice as she broke the nose of the nearest vampire to her before she hissed in pain at being hit in the ribs by a crowbar.
"Ooh, that'll leave a mark," A female vampire taunted with a gleeful expression on her face as she slid off of the back of Chucky's motorcycle.
"Katy," Maria shouted with a scared tone to her voice as she finally succeeded in pulling the stake out of her purse and plunging it through the chest of a vampire that charged towards her.
"You disappoint me Chucky, I thought that you were one of the good guys, guess I was wrong," Katy said with a sarcastic grin on her face before she kneed a vampire that was charging her in the stomach and then vaulted over him in an attempt to get to Chucky.
"Very wrong little lady, and now you're going to have to die," Chucky started to say with a mocking sneer on his face before he was interrupted.
"Let me sire," A voice from the side said as Katy and Maria whipped their heads around and were both stunned when the voice was revealed to be the dancer that had been eying Katy earlier in the dressing room. Looking like she had walked out in the middle of her act, wearing only a pair of sheer panties the vampiress slipped her game face on and licked her lips at the possibility of tasting slayer blood.
"I knew that there was something wrong with her," Maria grumbled with a nervous and angry scowl on her face before she dusted another vampire.
"Oh no…there's nothing wrong with me, I'm perfectly fine, I've been released from the bonds of mortality," The vampiress said with a very proud and confidant tone to her voice before she sent an air kiss Katy's way while brushing some of her hair back over her shoulder.
"Hello…you're a vampire, a blood sucker, a demon in sheep's clothing," Katy exclaimed back with a very sarcastic and mocking tone to her voice as she smashed her elbow into the nose of one of the vampires.
"And a damn good looking one, don't you think," The vampiress said with a very sultry tone to her voice as she looked herself over while swaying her hips, checking once or twice to see if Katy or Maria were watching.
"Just get on with it already, yes we can see that you're hot, now kill them," Chucky snarled with a frustrated and fed up expression on his face as he shoved aside those vampires nearest to him before backhanding the vampiress across the face.
"Hey, what was that," The vampiress started to growl with a very angry sneer on her face before Chucky grabbed her by the hair and jerked her head back until she submitted.
"You were supposed to kill them, not hit on them, now do I have to find someone else that will or can I trust you to complete the mission," Chucky demanded with a furious expression on his face as he finally let go of her hair at the end and she half snarled at him when he did.
"I will do it, or die trying," The vampiress said with a very determined, although somewhat fearful, tone to her voice as she started to approach Katy, who was busy trying to get back up off of the ground after she had tumbled backwards over a vampire that Maria had kicked hard in the stomach.
END OF CHAPTER 1