Disclaimer: I own disturbingly little. The Buffyverse or anything related to Vampire: The masquerade, are not among these things.
A/n: Special thanks for Barnabas.C who has inspired me to write this as well as helped me with the general quality of story. Awesome author, check his/her stuff out when you're done with this.
Also, anybody who adds this story to favourites without reviewing will be hunted down and slapped right in the face. Be afraid, be very afraid.
"What're you doing?" inquired a sleepy Buffy Summers, rolling over to her side in the bed.
"Reading," replied Satsu. She put the heavy tome aside, faced the blonde and kissed her hungrily.
"You're such a good student," remarked the senior slayer, a content sigh passing by her lips as the other attacked her throat with kisses.
"Had to do something to keep myself from ravishing you while you were still aslee--aah…" The sentence ended in a soft moan as Buffy moved on top of her, pushing her leg in between Satsu's thighs. On the side of the bed, the book titled "The Red List" lay forgotten--for the time being.
It had been almost a month now since their first night. Buffy hadn't lied then, it had been special and not only because it was her first time with another woman. There had not really been any talking about it, besides a playful and well-meaning teasing from the few who had caught them at it. Xander, in particular, thought it was hilarious, although mainly because Satsu would have been jailbait in America. She had turned eighteen two weeks prior, though, but that obviously had not shut the carpenter up.
Willow was mainly worried that Buffy would break the other slayer's heart, a worry they both shared. Was she just using Satsu for really, really great sex? At first, she was convinced and ashamed of it, that she was doing the same stupid mistake she had done with Spike. Now, four weeks later, she doesn't even know. She knows she cares for the girl, a great deal, more so than that of a student-teacher relationship (even a very forbidden one). There's friendship, sharing as well as something else, just out of reach of her perception.
It was 8 o'clock in the evening and all the forces in Scotland and England were gathered in the "Great Hall", as Dawn had seen it fit to dub the cavernesque dining room. Over a hundred and fifty slayers were present along with a few surprise guests Buffy had invited.
The moment she stepped up on the podium, which consisted of several large tables put next to each other, everyone went quiet. She didn't even need a microphone.
"The red list," she began loudly, starting to pace back and forth across the podium. "It's the list of the fifteen most vicious vampires ever recorded by the watcher's council. Over the last few days, you've been assigned groups and now you'll be given targets. But before we get to that, I'd like to introduce a guest who will be helping us out. Oh, and there'll be no staking of our guests."
Buffy waved her hand and from the shadows, a man in a black leather duster with slicked back platinum blonde hair appeared, taking in the scene with a cocky grin. There was an outburst of talking at his arrival. Some had, no doubt, read about him and recognized pictures of the second worst vampire currently alive. The rest were mainly interested because they lived in a castle with almost a hundred other girls and only one man.
"This is Spike," said Buffy, as the talking died down.
The introduction did not make things better, and neither did they. "What the sodding hell is he doing here?" shouted by a girl at the far right corner.
The vampire fired up at once, pushed past Buffy's outstretched arms and stared the crowd down. "Fighting the good fight now. Got me a soul and everything… but I've killed a pair of slayers with these two hands." He held up his hands for effect. "If any of you have a problem, form up in a neat bloody line and I'll take you on one at a time."
"Spike, maybe this isn't the best way--"
"Silence!" The female voice echoed across the hall, and the command and authority it carried was enough to bring all conversation to a halt, and caused all eyes to turn in its direction.
From the shadows, another figure appeared. She was noticeably thin in the tight leather-costume that covered her entire body, had dark hair with cobalt streaks in it and crystalline eyes that surveyed the room as though she owned it and everyone in it.
"So," began Buffy awkwardly. "This is-"
"I am Illyria, God-King of the Primordium!'
There was more whispered conversation as everyone tried to figure out just what the hell was going on.
"Right--" continued Buffy loudly, trying to rally attention before the crossbows' bolts started flying. "Seeing as Spike here was sired by Drusilla, who we will be going after, he'll have some information to share with that group later. Illyria is here to… help." Quite frankly she did not know anything about the strange woman-thing besides that she was an ancient demon who apparently fought for their side now. Looking at her, Buffy wasn't particularly confident on that score, despite Spike's word.
"While we have Spike here, I thought it would be a good opportunity to test your skills. Any volunteers?"
Satsu's hand shot up immediately, accompanied shortly by half a dozen other. Most of those others were too green, though, so Buffy bade Satsu to come up to the platform. While she didn't want to give anybody a special treatment, she really did want Spike to get his ass kicked.
The younger slayer walked up to the podium with her back straight, grinning. But Buffy, who knew her better than most (Or at least she liked to think so) thought she saw some uncertainty in her eyes. "Play nicely, now," she told the both of them.
"Spike is my pet," said Illyria, her voice echoing across the room. "Should you damage him permanently, you will find my wrath terrible to behold."
Satsu took the initiative, aiming a high kick at Spike's head. The vampire quickly ducked and attempted to sweep away the slayer's other leg. But he wasn't fast enough and met nothing but air as the girl jumped backwards out of his path. He raised his hands like a boxer and threw out a few jabs, which Satsu deflected easily. Grinning, he walked closer to her.
"Not bad,' he remarked, standing back at a relaxed stance with a cocky grin. "You remind me a bit of that slayer I offed back in the day in China. You're prettier, though."
Satsu took a few quick steps forward and for a second, Buffy thought she'd been stupid enough to be provoked by the statement, but she dropped the haymaker she had initiated with her right hand and lashed out a vicious kick with her left leg instead.
Faster than anyone (Buffy included) had expected, Spike raised his right arm. As a result, the kick hit him just below the arm pit with enough power to bend a lamp post. The vampire grunted in pain at the broken ribs, but now held the slayer's leg firmly in his grip. Slowly, he dragged her closer, finally vamping out and kissing his would-be victim's throat.
"You're dead, pet," he drawled, before letting a struggling Satsu go.
"Good job, both of you," said Buffy, taking the younger slayer's place. "A rematch is long overdue, don't you think Spike?" She then proceeded to beat the (un)living shit out the vampire.
After helping the grimacing Spike to his feet, she turned to the audience. "For those who are unsure about which group you are in, there's a list on the door, but you'll have to look at it later. Don't do it now or you'll block the door. Group three, we'll meet up in the command central in twenty minutes. Dismissed."
Slayer command center, roughly 20 minutes later.
"I'm not gonna dust Dru for you and that's the bleeding end of it!"
"Then why the hell did you come visit in the first place?"
They stood ten yards apart, glaring at each other in a very familiar way. Spike took a few deep breaths and walked closer to Buffy. "I can help you, tell you everything I know bout the crazy bint--but I loved her for over a century. I can't kill--" His voice cut off abruptly as he walked past Satsu and took a deep breath through his nose, then took the few remaining steps towards Buffy and repeated the process, a cocky grin forming on his lips.
'Shit,' thought Buffy.
"Well well," the vampire said with amusement, looking at the Japanese slayer, then back at Buffy again. "Seems like someone's got a new plaything."
"She's not a plaything!" the blonde slayer hissed back.
"No, of course not." He glanced at Willow, who flushed red when he added. "Please tell me Wicca-gal is involved with these recent changes."
"Hey!" The witch exclaimed indignantly.
"You better start giving us information before I stake you, Spike," Buffy threatened heatedly. She really had forgotten just how annoying the vampire could be when he felt like it. Satsu was looking embarrassed and nobody was going to make her girl look emba--
Hang on. Freeze and rewind. "Her girl?" Where the hell had that come from? And why was she feeling like going over to the slayer and comforting her with a rather inappropriate display of public affection?
"Right--" Spike looked Buffy in the eye, just a second, but the look conveyed everything he would never say so the others would hear it. An apology, among other things. Then he continued talking as though it never happened.
"Drusilla sired me back in 1880. She was in turn sired by Angelus. Before turning her, he drove her out of her mind because… well, I suppose he thought it was amusing or something."
He plopped down in a chair next to Satsu, smirking at her for a second before continuing his monologue. "Angelus was a monster, even worse than I was, which is to say quite a lot. I'm number two on that fancy list of yours, ain't I?"
"You are," Buffy confirmed.
"Drusilla really was a masterpiece of torture. She's entirely out of her mind, but by no means stupid like her dear ol' sire, Captain Forehead."
"It says that she's a seer too, is that true?" the girl beside him asked, and Spike turned to her, though he addressed the whole room when he replied.
"It is. Complete bloody gibberish mostly, but sometimes she saw things. She's killed a slayer, too."
"Do you have a location on her?" asked Xander.
"Madrid last I heard."
"Paris actually," said Willow, stepping forward. "Massacred a orphanage there yesterday."
"She will be dealt with tomorrow," Buffy said firmly. "But she's not our target. We will be taking out Genina. Spike, have you heard of her?"
The vampire actually seemed to grow paler at the mention of the name, an impressive feat. "Oh, yeah, I know her."
* * *
Only the older, more experienced policemen went into the small suburban house that was the crime scene. At the first killings, some of the cockier rookies had gone in… and generally come rushing right back out to vomit at the gruesome sight. Based on the description the traumatized witness had given, this location would be similar to the dozen others and as such, everyone was cautious or even scared to enter.
The pattern of the victims was inconclusive. Male and female, rich and poor, young and old. Sometimes, entire families had been slaughtered right down to the infant children.
Based on the hair samples they had located, the murderer was a woman, which made the case of the ex-special forces member who had been beaten to death barehanded seem very strange indeed. The official theory was that there were several culprits, though there was no evidence whatsoever to support it. Several specialists had also pointed out that even if the murderer was a professional boxer, it was still unlikely she'd even get close to causing such extensive damage.
Ironically, the poetry on the walls, handwritten by the murderer, indicated that she had abnormally small hands. The method of the killings was impressively inspired, different almost every time, but always lengthy and painful.
Suffice to say, they were all clueless and the press would most likely be having a field day with their new serial killer, who they had already nicknamed The Red Poet.
* * *
"I met her back in the seventies, in New York. She was more of a discreet individual back then, which is why I think almost nobody knows anything about her. Fortunately for us, she was quite fond of Dru, probably liked the thought of parents."
Buffy took a step forward. "We know next to nothing about her. Just that she prefers killing families and that she lately likes to write on the walls of the houses where she kills."
Spike nodded and ran his hands over his platinum blonde hair, before reaching into the pocket of his duster for a cigarette. Buffy considered telling him to put it out, but changed her mind. The likelihood of passive smoking killing them wasn't exactly frightening.
"She's always been the smart kind of vampire," continued Spike. "Mostly, she killed the children and then cleaned up the mess. I suppose that's one of the reasons she's lived so long."
"How long, exactly?" asked Buffy evenly. Vampires did grow stronger the older they got, although the rate that it happened varied greatly from one vamp to another.
"Ain't rightly sure. Over seven hundred years. Couldn't have killed her if I wanted to. Never considered it, really."
For explanation, he reached into the pocket of his jeans, withdrew his wallet and took out a picture which he showed Buffy. Spike was standing there, wearing just about the same clothes as he was now. At his side, with an arm around the blonde vampire stood Drusilla--beautiful, even though she was staring off into space. In between them stood a girl, dark-skinned with waist-length ebony locks, looking no older than nine. They looked rather like a miss-matched family.
"Now you see why I couldn't kill her--not even when I didn't have a soul. I didn't have the heart."
"She's a child," whispered Buffy. "Just a little girl. Who'd do that to a little girl?"
Hand trembling, she handed the picture over to Willow.
"She's not a little girl," Spike contradicted her. "She's a monster, sadistic enough to give Angelus a run for his money and hell of a lot stronger."
The blonde Slayer glanced back at the photo, now in Leah's hands. 'She could've been Kendra's little sister,' she thought to herself.
Illyria observed the slayers displeasure at the picture they were viewing with her head cocked to the side. "You are troubled by the appearance of the half-breed," she concluded. "But still you know that she is naught but a demon trapped inside a shell as I am, albeit far less sophisticated."
"Human beings don't take killing children lightly, Smurfette," Spike told the Old One calmly.
Illyria fixed him with her cold gaze, clearly not satisfied with the nickname. "Were you not a source of amusement to me, I would rip out your intestines and feed them to you," she informed the vampire evenly. Spike grinned right back at her.
"Whatever she is," Buffy said finally. "She's in New York. We'll be taking a plane tomorrow evening to stop her. Make sure you're prepared and well-rested. We'll get weapons once we're there so don't bother bringing any." Understanding themselves dismissed, all the slayers but Satsu left the room.
Xander and Willow walked out too, with the witch putting a hand over her mouth to cover a yawn. The both of them would be meeting Faith in France to take care of Drusilla. Apparently, the dark slayer had thought it unwise to visit them in Scotland. Buffy didn't blame her--the two of them together usually led to an exchange of punches and/or knives.
"Ma'am." Satsu approached, and Buffy felt a tingle of excitement run down her spine at the title. It still bothered her how hot it got her when the younger slayer called her that. Thank god she didn't know that.
"You don't have to call me that when there's no other people around." Buffy smiled when Satsu glanced in the direction of Spike and Illyria. "They're not people, strictly speaking."
"I was just wondering--" Satsu didn't complete the sentence, once again watching the Old One and the vampire, who were observing the exchange with interest.
Unable to help herself, Buffy stepped forward, caressing her fellow slayer's blushing cheek. "You were saying?" she prodded.
"Yeah… I was saying something… and then you started doing that." She leaned into the touch, eyes closed.
"Now, that has to be the hottest damn thing I've seen since Darla and Drusilla played in the bathtub that once back in--"
Both slayers and, surprisingly, Illyria too, glared at the vampire. "I was studying their exchange," she said coldly. "I have never seen lovers of the same gender and now I shall no longer be able to observe due to your interference."
Buffy leaned in and pressed a soft kiss to Satsu's lips as she nodded in the direction of the door, surprising both herself and the receiver of the kiss. The younger girl's eyes were round in confusion as they left the room. Their relationship had thus far never really extended to any other area than the bedroom. Except that one time in the sparring room… And once in an alley after they had been slaying.
In a future not even 24 hours away, the bathroom of an airplane would be added to that list.
They found themselves in Buffy's room again that night, as they usually did.
"You're looking odd," Satsu pointed out, ever observant.
"I'm feeling odd."
"Is… Is it my fault?"
Buffy smiled at the Japanese slayer, sitting down on the bed next to her. "Yeah, sort of. But not in a bad way. I'm not gay." Her last statement lacked conviction to such a degree that it bordered on being a question. "But then there's this." She indicated at the both of them. "And now I'm confused."
Satsu did nothing. She never really pushed their relationship in any direction, but simply seemed to be content to take whatever Buffy offered. The blonde slayer felt guilty about that, how she had all the control when she quite frankly did not want it.
"I don't understand."
"I don't either," said Buffy, smiling gently at her lover. "'Cause for someone not gay, I'm starting to like this a lot."
"Dummy." Satsu looked her in the eye and leaned in slowly. She would wait for Buffy to make the move, though.
"Kiss me. You don't have to be afraid," Buffy told her firmly.
Satsu looked down, caught. "Sorry. I'm scared of the day when I would--and you'd say no. Say that you had changed your mind."
For a little while, Buffy didn't know what to say to that. She'd really messed things up again.
"When I was with Spike… I wasn't feeling good about myself--or anything else for that matter. I used him and then spat at him, and even if he was a soulless monster then he didn't deserve that."
Satsu was about to speak, but two fingers at her lips silenced her.
"Just let me… I promised myself that I'd never do that again. I couldn't live with myself if I just used you and as strange and new as this whole relationship is to me, I kinda like it."
"Relationship?" Satsu brightened, and hugged the senior slayer so tightly that if she were an ordinary human, her ribs would be in some serious jeopardy.
"I think I'd like to try," Buffy whispered softly. "What do you say?"
During the weeks they have been lovers and some before that, Buffy had learned some Japanese. She wasn't fluent, like her sister with the crazy gift of learning languages, but she had picked up a few words here and there. "Hai" meant yes, she knew. She had also learned a few phrases like "Hello" and "How are you doing", just for the fun of it.
Then there were the sweetly whispered pet names that Satsu only ever used in private after Dawn had overheard them and teased her mercilessly about it.
And, of course, some of the words she only ever heard in bed and sometimes when she screwed up during training or when they were killing things. With some deduction from her very clever mind, Buffy figured that they were most likely weren't the nicest of words and, to be quite honest, she rather liked them despite herself.
Satsu's hands strayed to the blonde slayer's neck as they kissed, caressing the scars from the two vampire bites she had received in the line of duty. Buffy has always hated the scars, whereas her… girlfriend?… always said she thought they made her look tough and sort of sexy.
Well, that's something. She did have quite a few scars collected. Even with the slayer healing, such things were unavoidable.
"When are we taking the plane tomorrow?" Satsu whispered, her labored breathing washing over Buffy's ear before seizing said ear between her teeth.
"Oh, ten in the evening. We're leaving four hours before that--check in and everything."
"Plenty of time to sleep all day then, huh?"
Buffy tensed up at the hand on her hip, sneakily working it's way up her shirt. "Doesn't sound like a--mmm--bad idea."
"Good, 'cause tonight--" She continued the sentence in Japanese. Buffy did not know then that Satsu had told her she was going to fuck her senseless, but oh was she about to find out.
"All Americans aren't fat!" Buffy insisted heatedly.
It was noon and the two slayers were getting dressed. The last two times they had tried, distractions had ensued, but the rumbling of their stomachs could only be put aside for so long.
"Oh come on, I read it's like 50%," Satsu pressed.
"That's…" Probably true, "…complete crap!"
"Naw, it's true."
"There weren't many fat people in Sunnydale." It was true, the people of her old town had been in strangely good shape in general.
"'Cause they got tons of exercise running away from the hordes of monsters, I imagine."
Buffy couldn't help but to laugh at that. She put her hand on the other slayer's shoulder for a playful shove, but could not help tracing the soft tan skin down to the elbow and back up again.
"You've got to stop doing that or we'll never get down to eat."
"I might," Buffy replied, grinning wickedly.
They spent another hour in bed before there finally came a knock on the door.
"Who is it?" Buffy called out. She was just too tired to go get dressed and check.
"Willow, can I come in?"
"If you're wearing that BDSM leather stuff and want to drink my blood, no you can't."
Taking that as an invitation, the witch opened the door.
"Oh, hi, Satsu." The redhead blushed when she realized the both of them were in bed, together, most likely naked after loads and loads of sex.
The two of them had gotten on quite well since the trip to Japan, but then again, anyone who didn't love the sweet woman just wasn't worth spending time with, as far as she was concerned. Buffy was glad that at least someone approved of her choice for the whole 'relationship' thing.
"Am I interrupting?" the witch asked, eyeing their obvious state of undress with amusement. Both of the other girls blushed.
"Just cuddling," Buffy mumbled defensively, though it was actually true.
"But the cuddling's great!" exclaimed Willow, looking guilty as she got up from the chair she had only spent a few seconds in.
"I think I need to have a talk with Kennedy, then," Satsu mused, making Willow's cheek go red.
"No, no, nothing wrong with Kennedy," said Willow, her face taking a vacant, happy look. "Especially with the tongue piercing. I mean, wow."
"Do you think I should get one of those?" Satsu asked, ignoring the witch's rampant babbling.
"No!" Buffy insisted firmly. "I like your tongue just the way it is--and, uh, I don't think Willow wants or needs to know that. What's up?"
"I just wanted to see how you were doing."
"Oh, not bad. Yourself?"
"Just spent my lunch trying to explain the whole lesbian thing to the God-King of the Primordium, which, sidebar, isn't my idea of a good time."
Both slayers laughed at her and the witch pouted, trying to look annoyed when Buffy knew she too thought it somewhat amusing.
Suddenly, Buffy's stomach growled loudly.
"Godess Buffy, when was the last time you ate?"
The slayer blushed as her eyes drifted to Satsu for just a moment, and then the blush deepened when she realized her best friend caught it. "Um, last night. We were going, but--distractions."
The witch sighed knowingly. "How about you go take a shower." The younger slayer's face lit up and Willow quickly added, "Separately. I'll stay here for some girl-talk with Satsu."
Buffy pouted but left, knowing that her friend had a very good point. She made a mental note to get a mini-fridge full of snacky goodness for future events like these.
They managed to get down to the dinner table eventually, though Illyria caught up with them and demanded that Willow speak further to her.
Dinner was messy affair because, somehow, Satsu even managed to make eating look dead-sexy.
There was no time to do anything about it, though, as they were forced to leave for the airport. The groups had been spread out over three days to make things look less conspicuous. The worst part was the disguise. Considering they were going by airplane to America, where Buffy's name lay just below Bin Laden's on the most wanted list, Willow had to work some of her magic and set the slayer up with a glamour charm. But at least the rest of them weren't wanted, which Willow had confirmed through some computer work of questionable legality.
Now a brunette with an entirely different appearance (thankfully not a horrible one; she owed the witch that much) and very grumpy about it, Buffy sat in the cool airplane, trying to ignore Satsu's hand on her leg under the blanket, shooting the younger girl looks every now and then to tell her to cut it out. She didn't, sadly--just kept rubbing, raising those evil fingers higher and higher up her thigh.
The older slayer managed another ten minutes before dragging Satsu off to join the mile-high club.