The Big Payback
Rating: PG for off-color words
Pairings: S/Dru, B/A/Aus, P/Gre
Feedback: Please. Constructive criticism is always appreciated.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything associated with BtVS and AtS. (Characters from the shows are borrowed with no infringement intent whatsoever.)
Distribution: Please ask and let me know where it's going.
Summary: When Buffy quits the Watchers' Council after they refuse to help cure Angel, she is captured by Council henchmen and taken to London where she is tortured by the Council and the head watchers. What Quentin Travers doesn't know about soul mates, he's about to learn – the hard way; and Angelus takes no prisoners, alive anyway.
A/N1: I have taken some liberties in this story: I have assumed that Angelus doesn't share Angel's concern about flying and that Penn's mate is Gretchen who was also sired by Angelus; I have borrowed the concept of Angel and Angelus being able to carry on a conversation with one another from other stories that I've read.
A/N2: Seasons 1 through 3 of BtVS happened; AtS happened up through 'Eternity' in Season 1 except that Doyle did not die in 'Hero'. After this the story goes AU.
A/N3: Okay, I'm still stuck on YouTube. I borrowed the story title from a song I found there. The lyrics don't fit, but I liked the title.
Chapter 1 - Buffy is Taken Prisoner
Most of the students, faculty and guests at Sunnydale High School's 1999 graduation ceremony survived with a few scrapes and bruises and several had to be hospitalized. The few that did not make it would be remembered in a group ceremony later in the week. For now the survivors trudged homeward. Buffy and her friends were the last to leave the school campus; they would see each other tomorrow or the next day, but for now the only thing on Buffy's mind was sleep, 'For the rest of today and maybe tomorrow' she thought as she dragged herself up the front steps of the house at 1630 Revello Drive that she shared with her mother, Joyce.
If she hadn't been so tired and concentrating so hard on getting to sleep, she would have noticed that something was wrong with the door – it should not be unlocked. She had sent her mother out of town until graduation was over so no one should be at the house. She only became aware of intruders in her home after she had locked the door and turned to head for the stairs that led up to her bedroom. Six men armed with handguns, a tranquilizer gun and a dart gun entered quickly from the dining. Buffy heard a noise and turned just in time to avoid the dart heading for her back; she was not so lucky with the tranquilizer and the second dart as they both hit her in the chest. "Who are you and wha…" was all she managed before the powerful drugs took her down.
"See. I told you we needed both to take her out," bragged Beckham, the man with the dart gun, "these slayers are tough cookies."
"Shut up and get her secured before she wakes up," demanded Winston Davies, the leader of the group as he holstered his handgun. "I'm not taking any chances with this one. She's supposed to be the strongest slayer to ever live; she's already put the other slayer in a coma. It'll be quite a fine feather in our caps when we bring her in."
"I don't like it," said Tom Griffiths, the second in command. "You know what they're going to do to her; how can we just turn a young girl over to those sadistic bastards?" he asked his boss.
"It's our job and those 'sadistic bastards', as you call them, are our employers. We are well paid for the work that we do and if you don't have the stomach for it, then you shouldn't be in this line of work."
"We're supposed to retrieve escaped convicts and return them to prison, not these girls. You saw what they did to the last slayer that we retrieved for them; the body barely looked human when they were done with her."
Davies' voice softened. "I know Tommy, but what do you think they'll do to us if we fail a second time?"
Griffiths did not reply.
Two hours after she was shot Buffy awoke to find herself bound and gagged on the floor of her living room. Her mouth was covered with duck tape and her hands and feet were bound together behind her back. She did not open her eyes completely at first; it might serve to her advantage if she did not alert her attackers to the fact that she was awake. She could hear voices that she did not recognize coming from her kitchen; they seemed to be arguing over next steps … and food. 'Don't tell me they've got the nerve to be raiding the refrigerator; what kind of fools are these?'
She struggled and was able to get up on her knees before Beckham, the guy with the dart gun, heard her and returned to the living room. He was eating a sandwich and carrying a glass of grapefruit juice. "You might as well give it up;" he said with a mouth full of food, "you're not going anywhere until we're ready."
Buffy mumbled something that he either did not understand or refused to understand.
"What's that you're saying," he laughed menacingly, "I can't understand your mumbling."
"For gods' sake, she's trying to tell you that she has to use the bathroom," Griffiths said as he walked into the room; "remove the bindings from her feet so that she can.
"Not a chance in hell that that's happening. You heard what Davies said."
"Fine," Griffiths said resolutely. "I'll take her myself."
He walked over to Buffy. "Miss Summers, my name is Griffiths; I'll take you to the bathroom." He picked her up marveling at how little she weighed and how tiny she was. He took her to the small downstairs bathroom. "Please excuse my presence, but I have been instructed not to leave you alone." He released her left foot and her right hand from the binding so that she could sit on the toilet seat, sort of. "Please don't try anything at all; the others will not hesitate to kill you." He whispered thinking no one would hear him.
Unfortunately, at that moment Davies, his boss, spoke up from behind him and said, "He's right about that. I'd rather transport a dead body than a live one any day. With a dead one I'm not bothered with potty breaks." He waved his gun menacingly at Buffy as he spoke.
'What does he mean transport? Where are they taking me? Oh gods, please don't let it be to the Watchers Council.' Buffy's mind was racing. 'I have to get myself out of this mess. How am I going to let anyone know where I am?'
Griffiths returned Buffy to the living room and re-secured her bindings. By that time the other intruders had gathered in the living room, all of them except Griffiths carrying plates of food or sandwiches in their hands. 'I see they've helped themselves to what they found in the refrigerator; pigs; I hope they choke on it.'
Davies spoke with an air of extreme contempt that showed in his voice and his mannerisms when he said, "In case you haven't figured it out yet, we're a Retrieval Team sent by the Watchers' Council in London. You are to stand trial for your crimes against your calling and against the Council. Don't bother trying to escape; we are more than prepared for you this time. We pumped enough drugs into you to keep an elephant down. I guess it's true what they say about slayers…"
Griffiths interrupted his boss. "Why don't you leave her alone, Winston? You can see that she is frightened. She will have enough to deal with once we turn her over to Travers."
"You're a blooming bleeding heart, you are; no one gives a damn about these girls, not even their own families. Why else would any parents turn their child over to strangers just because some watcher tells them that the child has a destiny to save the world? These watchers could be lunatics bent on kidnapping young girls, but with little effort they easily persuade seemingly intelligent adults to relinquish their daughters with no assurance that they will be taken care of and with no prospect of ever seeing them again. Now you tell me why I should care about them."
"For the reasons that you just gave: because nobody else cares about them." Griffiths realized he was letting his emotions get the best of him. He took a deep breath to calm himself and said, "I don't understand it either; I just don't want us to harm her, she has enough ahead of her as it is."
Buffy listened to the conversation between the two men. 'So, I have at least one of them on my side. I'll use that to my advantage if I can.' When she heard them mention the Watcher's Council she began to struggle more fiercely to free herself, knowing full well that if she left American soil, she was as good as dead.
"Shut the bloody hell up," an annoyed Beckham yelled with food flying out of his mouth as he rushed over to Buffy, kicking her in the side before Griffiths could stop him.
That was a mistake. An outraged Griffiths grabbed the taller man by the arm and spun him around; without hesitating he punched Beckham in the nose so hard that blood splattered everywhere. "Don't ever hit her again," Griffiths yelled shaking his fist at Beckham as he lay bleeding on the floor. "Go near her again and I'll kill you." He turned and bent down to check on Buffy who seemed to be choking under the gag. Griffiths carefully removed the gag and lifted Buffy into an upright position. She continued coughing as she tried to get a calm breath. She nearly fell over before he caught her; he pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and used it to wipe Buffy's face and mouth as he held onto her shaking form. "Don't worry, miss, I won't let him get near you again," he said as he glared daggers at Beckham.
"I'm pressing charges against you, you bloody bastard; wait 'til we get back to London," Beckham yelled.
"And what're you gonna say in court, Beckham? What reason will you give for my punching you? He was trying to stop me from beating a defenseless girl who was bound and gagged? That'll go over big in court."
"Let it go, Beckham." Davies told him. "You deserve a lot more than you got, now let it go."
"You're always sticking up for him," Beckham complained; "you're always taking his side."
"That's because he's usually right. Now get something to get that blood out of the carpet. We can't leave any evidence that we've been here." Then to the entire team he said, "Let this be the last display before we turn over the girl. Nothing else happens to jeopardize this mission, is that understood?"
There were a few nods from the others.
"I said, 'Is that understood?'" Davies bellowed.
A chorus of "Understood" came back loud and clear.
Davies turned to Griffiths. "She's your responsibility from now on. You'd just better make sure she gets to her destination in one piece."
Griffiths nodded briefly and, without uttering a sound, picked Buffy up and carried her to the sofa. "This'll be a bit more comfortable for you, miss."
"T-Thank you," Buffy spoke for the first time since being shot with the tranquilizers. She looked up at Griffiths with sad green eyes. He nodded at her but did not say anything.
It broke his heart to see the look of helplessness on her face. He left the room and returned with a small glass of orange juice. He lifted Buffy upright, held her while she drank and wiped her mouth when she was finished. "There now, miss, would you care for something to eat?"
Buffy shook her head, no.
"I'll leave the gag off then; try to get some rest." He laid her down on the sofa and took a seat in the opposite chair so that he could watch her.
Buffy knew that begging for additional help from Griffiths was not wise at this point. The others could hear everything that was being said and she could not put him, her only hope, in jeopardy. She would have to better gauge her time for the best moment to act. She looked at the others around the room. Apparently they had all finished eating and returned the kitchen to the state they found it in. They were all staring at her with varying looks on their faces. Some she interpreted as self satisfied sneers for having captured her; others, such as Davies, she interpreted as outright hatred. Only one face showed any degree of shame or concern. Griffiths. Buffy heard a noise that sounded like a car pulling into the driveway, but before she could scream for help, she felt the stings of the tranquilizer darts hit her in the shoulder and chest and she was out cold.
"And another for good measure," came Beckham's nasally voice that was hampered by the broken nose he had received earlier. He pumped another dart into Buffy's back.
"That wasn't necessary, you asshole," Griffiths said with a warning.
"But then I'm the one with the gun and I say what's necessary," Beckham shot back.
Davies pulled back a corner of the window draperies and looked out; finding what he expected, the opened back-end of a huge black van, he gave the signal and the men moved toward the door. Griffiths picked Buffy's unconscious body up and carried her out. He secured her in a seat in the van next to one of the blacked-out windows and took the seat next to her. Wilson, who was responsible for making sure everything in the house was as close to its original state as possible, took a last look around, closed the front door and stepped into the back of the van. With that the van pulled off into the night carrying an unconscious slayer to a destiny so horrible she could not have imagined it when she went to bed the night before.