Silently crying as she struggled in vain against the wrist shackles biting deeply into her flesh, Faith looked through her tears at a leering Kakistos heading over to the rickety table where an unconscious Diana Dormer lying there was about to be subjected to a horrible death after hours of vile torture. Desperately searching around the decrepit Boston dockside warehouse where the kidnapped Slayer and her Watcher had been brought tonight, Faith saw nothing in the place that might save either of them from their ultimate fates.

It might've improved her spirits if Faith had bothered to look up. She didn't though, so when the dimensional portal quietly opened in the warehouse ceiling, the Slayer was just as surprised as everyone else there when a screaming figure dressed in black plunged downwards out of thin air, landing directly upon the misshapen form of a master vampire who for once in his unlife had been taken totally off guard.

Driven to his knees by the impact of the falling body, Kakistos lurched back up on his cloven-hoofed feet, roaring in shock and rage at this unexpected attack. Particularly when the anonymous assailant maintained his terrified grip of both arms wrapped entirely around the Greek vampire's head. His minions, which just moments ago had been waiting for a nice little atrocity or two and possibly the chance of feeding upon a Slayer, now all watched open-mouthed as their master staggered around the warehouse floor, futilely flailing away at the determined hitchhiker refusing to be removed from his safe position hanging onto the back of his opponent.

These underlings standing around the warehouse uneasily glanced at each other, with nobody daring to actually go to Kakistos' aid. This ancient monster might take offense at their help, with this assistance perceived as some kind of insult for being unable to defeat on his own an unanticipated foe, or some subtle attempt to usurp the alpha vampire's leadership. So, they, along with Faith still chained against the warehouse wall, all continued to stare in fascination while Kakistos finally calmed down enough to try something that would finally get whatever was clinging to him off.

Reaching back with both arms, Kakistos got his deformed hands in proper position under the chest of the person continuing to hold onto the snarling vampire's head, and with all the supernatural strength he possessed, the creature of the night thrust upwards as hard as he could. However, just when this began, the panicked attacker sensed he might be pushed away, so this adversary also instinctively increased his grip with their own tremendous mystical might that he ordinarily never used.

It all resulted in Kakistos' entire skull shattering like a trampled walnut shell, and as the impetus of the wounded vampire's final heave powerfully shoved the aggressor upwards, this being single-mindedly continued to hang onto what he'd just crushed. Which resulted in the millennia-old monster now getting his head completely torn off.

There was a hasty rush for the exits then by every single minion after Kakistos' decapitated body instantly puffed into ashes, signifying his utter destruction. None of them really wanted to stick around and deal with whoever had done that to their master. This meant a few seconds later, nobody was around in the warehouse except for an out-cold Diana on her table, a gaping Faith standing against the wall, and someone lying on the warehouse floor next to Kakistos' ashes and moaning about their aching back.

After a few more moments, Faith's dazed mind cleared enough for her to warily eye the guy curled up on the ground while facing away from her and still sniveling some stuff. At length becoming irked about it all, despite her perilous situation, the Slayer called out, "Hey, fella, I 'spose I should be grateful, and I am, kinda, 'cept I still wanna know who the hell are ya, what's going on, and will ya get me outta these fuckin' chains, already?"

With those last words, Faith angrily rattled the links running from her shackles to the ringbolts attached to the warehouse walls, none of which she'd previously been able to break. That seemed to actually get the complaining dude's attention, since he stopped whining and tottered to his feet, to then shakily turn around for her to get a decent look at him at last.

The Slayer in the young woman's soul now shouted in warning: Vampire!

The rest of Faith Lehane's personality instead mentally boggled: Ya gotta be fuckin' kiddin' me!

The man there soon beginning to shift nervously on his feet under the girl's incredulous gaze was a short, dumpy male in his late forties, with particularly fake-looking fangs, a widow's peak the result of a furtive combover (or, shall we say, a combdown, given there wasn't enough hair on the sides of his balding head for this otherwise), a rather scruffy evening dress suit with a stained opera cape, and for the final touch, a ribbon medal dangling from his neck with its gold leaf flaking off to reveal cheap pewter underneath.

"Jesus Christ, dude, did ya steal that vamp costume from the cheapest section in a Halloween shop?" disbelievingly burst from Faith's lips.

Doing his best to draw himself up in affronted dignity, the man grabbed the side of his opera cape, and in a swirling motion, he lifted this up to hold it at around chin level as he glared with burning eyes over the cloth, all while snarling, "Hold your tongue, you insolent child, or face the wrath of Count Notfaroutoe- OW!"

Not looking at where he'd been moving his arm, this so-called Count had just raised it too rapidly to stop himself from giving the tip of his nose a good, painful whack. Letting go of his cape to tenderly rub at this injured proboscis, he now heard the chained young lady uttering a short statement loaded with a lifetime's cynicism, "Yeah, riiiiiiight."

"No, honestly!" anxiously appealed the funny-looking little man. "I inherited the title, and, er, all the rest of it, too," as he then ruefully waved a pudgy hand at his vampiric form. He went on to hastily reassure the very skeptical prisoner, "Not the whole drinking from humans thing, mind you. Dor- I mean, the Countess, she doesn't approve of that, so every evening, I have a cup of good, strong beef blood sent over straight from the butcher's."

Closing her eyes to give a little headshake to fit that really creepy bit of news into her brain, Faith's eyes popped open at hearing a faint groan coming from where Diana was on her back at the table. Without even thinking about it, she snapped to the man, "Get over there, and bring the lady back here! Don't ya dare to be anythin' but gentle, or I'll mess ya up good!"

An alarmed look instantly appearing upon his pale countenance, the Count scuttled off with equal alacrity, instinctively obeying those feminine orders given in a truly no-nonsense tone. He soon stopped by the table, reached out to deftly pick up Diana, and carefully walked back towards where a concerned Faith was waiting. Continuing to hold the unconscious woman in his arms, the vampire stood by the chained girl and he waited patiently while the younger woman started to intently look along every inch of her cherished Watcher.

Naturally, when someone else now caught sight of this, it was easy enough of them to jump to the exceedingly improper conclusions.

From the glowing portal which had just appeared in the wall next to a startled Faith and the Count, a satisfied woman's voice was heard, "Ah-ha! I knew hitting the dratted thing with a broom enough times would make it work! Artie? Artie? Where are- Arthur Winkings, what in the world are you doing?" finished the unseen shrieking woman, who in a fraction of a second had shifted from wifely concern into a murderous fury that Medea herself would've envied.

Confusedly glancing at her vampire companion, Faith saw on his face a truly fearful expression, as he defensively stuttered, "D-, D-, Doreen! It's not what you think!"

"Oh?" came in a very icy tone, with the air temperature in the vicinity lowering further to sub-zero levels. "I'm sure there'll be a most interesting explanation, which I want to hear right…this…second! You put that hussy down and get back here!"

Giving an open-mouthed Faith his most sheepish smile, the Count (or Arthur, if that was really his name) bent down to gently place Diana onto the floor. Straightening up while avoiding the younger girl's eye, the vampire now unhesitantly stepped over to the side to get into the proper position, and then he went through the portal, which immediately vanished after him.

Still in her chains, Faith stared blankly at the shabby, unbroken wall of the warehouse, until another, stronger groan came from the floor by her feet. Glancing down, Faith met her Watcher's blinking eyes, until Diana focused enough to stare upwards in absolute bewilderment. Gingerly touching her pounding head, the British woman struggled to sit up, and she looked around the building which was totally deserted except for herself and the Slayer. In her most cultured tones, Diana then cautiously inquired, "Faith, what's going on?"

The Boston-born girl had to think it over for a few moments, until she resignedly answered, "Guess yer not gonna accept me just sayin': Weird shit happened. Look, see if ya can find somethin' here for me to use as a pry bar to get outta these damn chains, and while yer at it, I'll tell ya the whole gonzo story."