RADIO PLAY

Author – D.M. Evans

Disclaimer- Everything related to Buffy is owned by Joss et al and not me. Same goes for all the Inner Sanctum references except for Mary Jo Hudson. She's mine.

Rating – PG-13

Spoilers – None, this takes place in 1945

Summary – Spike and Dru have fun with a radio personality just after the end of World War II and are foiled by an unexpected foe.

Author Note- The 'Inner Sanctum' excerpt is the introduction for the Nov 12 1945 show. It was a relatively long running show, which normally didn't have live-audience though publicity stunts like the one described in the story were common affairs. Raymond Johnson was very much real. Mary Jo is a figment of my imagination.

1945

Spike stretched out on the soft carpeting of his new home, his bare skin as warm as it would ever be from feeding and exertion. He and Dru had gone out for an early dinner before returning home to make love passionately on the living room floor. The fireplace glowed warmly, sputtering every so often when the wind outside kicked up. Frost, like eerie ghost, painted the windows as the November bluster chilled the night air and rattled the panes on their new home.

Dru was the one who had first spotted the older couple who owned the large home. They stalked them to various religious functions and charities. It thrilled Dru to see if they could get past the cross over the front door. They managed to get invited in pretending to be collecting for war orphans and promptly guzzled down the couple. Spike had driven their bodies into the dark heart of the city and dumped them.

He and Dru took over the home, luxuriating in their newfound comfort. The house was so large and the former owners were wealthy enough not to have to worry about having a victory garden to see them through the war rationing. Spike thrilled to find the man of the house was a devotee of cigarettes and scotch, both of which had become painfully hard to get. Rationings effects were still being felt, thanks to the war to end all wars, which was scarcely over for three months. Spike didn't have the heart to return to London to see what had become of his homeland.

Dru murmured a bit, shifting on the floor; her arms and knees still rug- burned from round one of their lovemaking. Round two left furrows down Spike's back bloodily etched into his pale skin by Dru's nails. Lazily he got up and peeked outside. A good thing about the house was that despite its many windows, the former owners had rich, thick curtains that easily kept him and Dru safe in the day. They could sleep in a king-sized bed instead of living like rats in the cellar. Spike turned on the radio, pulled on his pants and sat on the couch for a smoke. Dru rolled over on the floor and smiled.

"Spike what are you doing?" Dru sing-songed his name.

"Sunday night, time for 'Inner Sanctum'," Spike said, lighting up. "I bloody love this show."

Dru smiled again and curled up still naked on the couch. Raymond Johnson's voice spilled out of the radio, talking about the show's sponsor, Lipton Tea. Spike took a drag on his cigarette as the organ music started followed by the familiar creaking door.

"Good evening friends of the Inner Sanctum. This is your host to welcome you through the squeaking door into the land of ghosts, vampires, and other gay hilarious people. Friends, are you looking for an apartment? Well, we have just the place for you. It's sturdily built. Completely of marble. With cold running water – every time it rains. You don't have to worry about the landlord putting you out. The lease is forever. All you have to do to get this little love nest is call your undertaker and get yourself a little bit dead."

Johnson laughed and Spike grinned, waiting to hear another voice. He had his favorites when it came to the show. Dru laughed as well.

"Are we gay hilarious people?" She stroked Spike's cheek.

"Deadly hilarious." He kissed her forehead.

"Why do you like this show?" Dru ran her fingers through the curls he had slicked back straight with brilliantine.

She had tried teasing him into getting the vastly popular crew cut in the same manner he had tried to get her to try the short bob twenty years earlier. Neither vampire fit into their new era particularly well. The past was difficult to let go of. Spike was still trying to get Dru into the jeans and Sloppy Joe sweaters the college girls wore but she clung to her long dresses. They weren't completely out of step with fashion as that would be a beacon to any vampire hunters and especially the Slayer. Even if he couldn't get her into the taboo jeans, he, at least, had fond memories of Dru in flapper outfits. Just the thought of her shapely legs playing hide and seek with the fringe on the skirt hems was enough to warm his cock.

"It's fun, just like the Green Hornet," he said with a shrug.

"Buzz!" Dru nipped his lip.

"Play later, love," Spike said, settling back to concentrate on the show. He distractedly rubbed Dru's back while he listened, eyes shut, to Mary Jo Hudson's silky voice. She had recurring roles on the Inner Sanctum and she sang on the variety shows. Spike knew talent when he heard it.

He let her image flicker across the inside of his eyelids. Of course he had no real idea what Mary Jo looked like or what sort of person she was. All he had was Mary Jo's wonderful voice but from those sultry tones he had built Mary Jo in his mind; dark hair, eyes like fine chocolate, porcelain skin, legs to drive a man wild and generous curves, especially nice firm breasts. Mary Jo looked like Dru with just a bit more meat on the bone and features a little less sharp.

Not that he didn't love Dru just the way she was. He could get lost in her every day and had done just that since she first gave him her special kiss over seventy years ago. Still steady diets for such a long period of time tended to lose a bit of flavor and he was just a little bit in love with Mary Jo Hudson. He wondered if Dru had any idea that the dreamer in him had fallen for a voice on the radio. He felt foolish for it but it was there. And for that reason alone he never missed a show.

After the episode was over, they made love again before heading out for a late night snack.

* * *

Mary Jo Hudson shivered in the cold November wind but it felt good. The studio was too hot. She leaned against the wall, sending furtive looks up and down the alleyway. They were on intermission for the latest 'Inner Sanctum' episode and she didn't have much time for her breather. She was glad she didn't smoke. Some of her co-workers could barely make it to intermission before having to light up. Mary Jo would never damage her throat with such things.

She had big plans. Voice acting was just a part of it. Maybe she'd take her voice to Broadway or the blues clubs of Chicago or better yet, head to the studios of Hollywood. Exercise, voice lessons, dance, all of her money was spent on making her career, but first she had to survive this city. Plunging all her money into her career left nothing much for apartment living. She had to cut through some scary areas to get home, far more frightening than the alley she was currently standing in.

Even so, she startled, hearing someone moving back in the shadows. Mary Jo was used to bums. Most city dwellers were. She had seen this one once or twice before. Pity welled up in her as it always did. It was what got her volunteering at the soup kitchens and at the Sisters of Mercy orphanage. The man was too young to be living in boxes. She couldn't see him well in the poor lighting but he was dark-haired and tall. Under the dirt she thought he might clean up well.

"Can I help you?" she called, ignoring the little voice that said 'danger.' "Are you hungry?"

The man's head snapped up and she saw brown eyes staring at her with a mix of fear and humiliation. Even in the bad light she could see the haunted quality of his gaze. He shook his head frantically and hurried off past her and out into the street. Mary Jo was torn between going to see where he was living at the back of the alley, in hopes there might be a clue or two there as how to help him, and listening to inner reason and not put herself in danger. She let the time decide for her and headed back inside so she wouldn't miss her cue to go back on the air.

* * *

"Are you ready for your surprise, my pet?" Dru cooed, leading Spike by his hand.

"You know it, ducks." Spike was having trouble resisting opening his eyes. He knew Dru would have blindfolded him if it hadn't brought unwanted attention and he didn't want to upset her by peeking. They were on the streets and from all the sounds he figured they were in a busy section of town.

He felt her tongue circling his ear. Her lips pressed to his cheek. "Open your eyes."

Spike gazed at the building she had him facing for a few long moments before he realized what it was. "A radio studio?"

Dru pressed something into his hand. Spike beamed, unfolding the newspaper, noting bloody thumbprints at the corners. He merely assumed that Dru had eaten the former owner. 'Inner Sanctum's' sponsors were having Christmas holiday treat, a once in a lifetime live audience for the show. Spike couldn't contain a whoop of joy as his blue eyes lit up.

"Are you happy, my star?" Dru asked, practically dancing in place.

Spike grabbed her around her tiny waist, spinning her around before kissing her deeply. They went in and took their seats, wooden chairs haphazardly arranged in a half circle in the tight area. 'Inner Sanctum' wasn't set up for an audience but that didn't stop the sponsor's publicity stunt

. Spike didn't know what he was expecting a radio studio to look like but this wasn't it. Heavy mikes drooped from the ceiling casting shadows in the light as they waited for the stars. There were a handful of musicians in the pit warming up. On the far left was a man setting up various sundries on a table for sound effects.

The wait was far too long for Spike. He was beginning to get antsy and even their various displays of public affection that really seemed to upset the older couple seated a few chairs away had grown unsatisfactory.

The familiar theme music started and the announcer came out to plug Lipton Tea and Lucky Strikes. If he had breath, Spike would probably have been holding it in anticipation of seeing Mary Jo Hudson. He only half listened to Raymond Johnson, the host. He was an unimportant cog in the production as far as Spike was concerned.

She came out onto the stage, looking nothing like Spike could have imagined. The words coming out of Mary Jo's mouth didn't matter, just her body. She was taller than he expected, lean and athletic looking. Her blonde hair fell to her shoulders where it curled lazily. The way her black and white checked suit dress moved with her body was hypnotic. From this distance he couldn't see her eye color. She wasn't beautiful but she was cute and he had to have her.

"You like her," Dru hissed in his ear. A cross look pinched her thin face.

"Yes I do, pet." He patted her hand, hoping to keep her calm. He didn't want her to spoil this rare treat.

Dru swayed in her seat. "You want her to replace me," she whispered, her lips trembling.

Spike put his hands on her, drawing her face to his. He kissed her quick. "Never, poodle. No one could replace you, not ever."

Dru relaxed against him. "I'm afraid."

"Of her? Nothing to fear. I love you, pet. Even if we made her a companion I'd still love only you."

Dru tucked her head under his chin, letting her cheek rest against his chest. "My beautiful star," she purred.

Spike kept his arm tight around Dru and let his eyes float back up to Mary Jo Hudson on stage. He sighed. He would have to make her his.

* * *

Mary Jo took her break out in the alley, feeling ill at ease. There was something off about the night, a sense of foreboding flittering around like the moths drawn to the lights that illuminated the mouth of the alleyway. It felt like eyes were tearing through her while she was on stage. Granted there were always eyes on her. It came with performing but never before did she feel so uneasy, so shook up that she dropped lines. Still, the feeling might be chocked up to the chilling script they were enacting and the publicity stunt with a live audience wasn't helping. They threw off her rhythm.

In her hand she held a steaming coffee and a donut. They weren't for her. She couldn't handle food and drink when performing. Her mother would say she was too kind-hearted, too charitable for her own good but Mary Jo believed if everyone tried to reach out just a little it would be a better place. Even if humans tried harder, things like the war might still happen but the world could be improved. She wasn't naïve enough to believe the world could be totally changed but she figured her little section could be cleaned up.

"I know you're here," she called out. "I've seen you every night this week."

Mary Jo took a step back when the object of her search glided out of the shadows. There was something so different about this poor unfortunate young man. He didn't move like many of the others bums Mary Jo had seen littering the streets. His eyes were no less haunted, he was no cleaner but he had something less defeated about him. He moved differently. She had noted that off and on over the last month. She had begun seeing him in the area more regularly. He said nothing but his dark eyes were sharp and never left her face.

Mary Jo held out the coffee and donut. "I know it's not much. It's all they provide for the actors. I don't need it. I thought you might like it." When he didn't move to take the offered food, she walked over to him, the food and drink in her outstretched hands. "Please, you probably could use a little coffee to warm you up."

He looked at her with eyes that reminded her of a beaten dog being approached by a master who could be occasionally kind and the dog didn't know what to expect. "No, thank you."

Mary Jo smiled. It was the first time he had ever said anything to her. He had a pleasant voice, if a wary one. Mary Jo resolved to learn as much as she could about him. He had the perfect radio voice. Maybe she could help him. He would do well as part of their team. Her smile widened, knowing she was jumping the gun. He could be insane, beyond help but there was nothing mad about his eyes or the set of his jaw. He looked sad and tired. Maybe he was a war veteran who couldn't fit back in. Mary Jo heard that was happening all over the country or maybe he was a deserter forced onto the streets to hide. Either way, Mary Jo felt obliged to help.

"Please. I want you to have it." She glanced back at the studio door. "I have to get back. We'll be starting the show up again soon." She packed a lot of apology into that sentence.

He reached his grimy hands out and took it from her. She was surprised that his dirty skin was soft and uncalloused. "Thank you."

There was something about his manner that suggested he was just humoring her and she wouldn't be surprised to find the donut gone uneaten if she checked later. "My name is Mary Jo. Maybe sometime after a show we could go to the diner across the street and have coffee and talk a bit. It's good to talk sometimes. Oh, I really have to go," Mary Jo darted back inside noting he didn't respond or give his name. Oh well, take it slow, she decided and went back on stage.

* * *

Mary Jo pulled her wool coat around her. The night wind could be chill. The heels of her less than sensible shoes clicked on the sidewalk as she started for home. This was the part she didn't like about her job. She couldn't afford a car and buses didn't run this late at night. Cabs were expensive. On bad days she cadged rides from coworkers but most nights she walked home. The dark streets could be scary even decked out in tinsel and lights like they were now.

Mary Jo paused, thinking she heard something, the soft click of another women's shoes. She glanced around but saw nothing in the deep shadows. She clutched at her black little hat as the wind tried to pluck if off her head and started on her way again. The echoing heel strikes came again. Mary Jo stopped once more. When she looked back there was young couple on the sidewalk. She was shocked that they were there as if appearing from nowhere, a pretty woman with a heart-shaped face and a short man with blond curls peeking out from under his hat.

The blond man was eye-catching considering the gauntness of him. The petite brunette with him was amazingly even thinner. They were too well dressed to be hungry and homeless but there certainly appeared to need a good meal. Mary Jo's pale brow creased as something else odd caught her eye. They were sans overcoats despite the winter breeze. The man wore a well-cut grey suit that she was sure to be silk if she felt it and the woman's dress was like something from Schiaparelli. It looked like black velvet with multicolored stars appliquéd on. Two crescent moons, made of mirror, lay on either side of her sternum.

"She's so pretty in the moonlight, Spike," the brunette said, moving toward Mary Jo. The grace and sway of her movements put Mary Jo in mind of a dancer. When she paused under a street lamp Mary Jo get a good look at her face. Those blue eyes had the insane quality she expected to see in her vagrant's eyes.

"Can I do something for you?" Mary Jo asked, hoping her voice wasn't shaking. She wasn't' the type to spook easily but this night had her jumping at the least little thing.

The brunette tossed her head as she looked back at the well-dressed man, her curls spilling over her back with the movement. A crazy thought raced through Mary Jo's mind, wishing she had hair that lovely.

"I want to keep her, Spike. I'm not afraid of her any more, such a lovely star."

The corners of the man's mouth crooked up and he straightened his fedora. "Anything for you, Dru."

Mary Jo backed away slowly, watching the blond man pace closer. There was a hunger on his thin face that made her knees feel swirly and insubstantial like smoke.

"Keep me?" she asked, when what she really wanted to do was run. To that end she slipped out of her heels. The look on the man's face said he wanted under her skirt. She had seen that look many times before.

"Don't worry, sweetie, you'll love it," Spike said, as he pulled the brunette to him. It must be a trick of the poor light but Mary Jo could swear he didn't reflect in the mirrors on her clothing.

"You first, Spike," Dru said, kissing his cheek.

When the lithe woman looked back at her, Mary Jo couldn't suppress a shriek. The woman's eyes flashed gold in the streetlights and her forehead was furrowed with inhuman bumps. But it was the gleaming mouthful of saw- like fangs that put the real terror in her heart.

Mary Jo turned to the blond man, not sure why she even thought to do so. He sported the same deformities. Mary Jo took flight, praying she wouldn't step on broken glass or anything else that would bring her run to a disastrous halt. She could feel the rough sidewalk tearing through her expensive silk stockings, a nod to her vanity.

"I love it when they run." Spike laughed.

Mary Jo screamed for help even as she ran back toward the studio. It would be deserted but Rusty the guard would be there. She didn't know what he could do against her inhuman pursuers but it was better than nothing. And there was the diner, too. Maybe help would come from there. She screamed loudly as something jerked her to a halt with a motion that felt like it would rip her scalp free of her skull. The blond man twisted his hand, dragging her closer by her hair. She felt the hardness of his body as he pulled her tight to him. Cigarette smoke was caught in the soft silk of his suit.

"I've been waiting to tell you how big a fan I am of yours," he said and Mary Jo screamed again, hoping to attract any kind of attention.

"She's your present, my star. Play with her," Dru said, clapping her hands.

"I intend to, poodle," Spike said, then clamped his mouth over Mary Jo's

He tasted of cigarettes and something odd and metallic. The tongue that pulsed in and out of her mouth was strikingly cold. Mary Jo bit down as hard as she could. He shoved her away wiping his mouth, dragging a bloody streak across the pearly skin of his hand.

"No, no. I bite you first, then you get to bite me back," he said, amusement dancing in his amber eyes.

He caught Mary Jo as she turned to run. She tromped on his foot but he just lifted her up and she could feel the sharpness of his teeth brushing against the scented skin of her neck. An inhuman growl crackled through the night air and the arms around her vanished. Off balanced, Mary Jo ended up on her backside. To her left, the blond man rolled on the ground with her vagrant, each man landing horrible-looking blows.

"Daddy! It's Daddy, Spike!" The brunette cried bouncing like an excited child.

"I can see that, Dru," the blond said aggravated, managing to escape the vagrant's grasp.

"Mary Jo, get out of here," the vagrant said, staggering up to his feet. He reached down and yanked her up. "Run, don't look back."

"You can't fight them. They're not human," Mary Jo protested, praying for her legs to steady.

"Do you have a cross? If you do, use it if they get too close," he said, shoving her away.

"No fair telling our secrets, Daddy," Dru scolded, shaking a finger at him.

Mary Jo stumbled down the sidewalk, her feet too sore to run. She frantically dug her crucifix out from under her coat and her suit jacket. She fumbled for the clasp as she built up steam and got it free. She looked back, despite his warning to see him and the blond man brawling. The growling seemed to come from both of them. The woman in the stunning dress was right behind her. Mary Jo tried to pick up her pace but she couldn't go any faster.

Dru captured her and dragged her closer. Mary Jo slapped the crucifix to the woman's face, not expecting anything to happen, that her vagrant's warning was just part of his madness. However, the woman's soft milky flesh began to smoke and she shrieked like something out of an 'Inner Sanctum' script. She let Mary Jo go and turned back to the men.

"She hurt me!" Dru wailed, fingers picking at her burnt skin.

"Why are you getting in our way, Angelus?" Spike asked, belting Mary Jo's vagrant in the face.

That was the last Mary Jo heard before she made it out of earshot and into the diner. She sat numbly at the counter while Mark, the short order cook called the cops.

* * *

Spike slammed his fist into Angel's face again as Dru, burnt-cheeked, leapt on his back. "That's for ruining our fun."

Angel flipped Dru off of him and into Spike. "This is my territory. You two aren't welcome."

"Daddy's all smelly," Dru whimpered, sprawling on Spike.

"No kidding," Spike said, rolling to his feet. He pulled Dru up, all three vampires wary and ready for more violence. "Just look at you, Angelus. It's disgusting. I'm ashamed to know you."

Angel unconsciously scrubbed at his filthy shirt. "No more than I am to know you two. You leave that girl alone."

"Or what?" Spike said, leering at the elder vampire.

"I'm watching over her, Spike. I'm not going to let you hurt her. I'm giving you and Dru a chance to pack up and get out of town."

Spike snorted. "Like we're afraid of you," he said but didn't press the attack. "I looked up to you and now just looking at you makes me sick."

"Daddy has a spot of brightness in him, a worm in the apple," Dru said, reaching for him.

Angel caught her hand, spun her and shoved her back at Spike. "I mean it, get out of town and stay away from Mary Jo."

"Filthy soul, I would have thought you'd figure a way to get rid of that thing by now, Angelus. You're stupider than I thought," Spike mocked, lighting up.

Angel swept his arm out, pointing the way down the road Stench rolled off of him with the movement. "Just go, Spike, before I change my mind."

Spike looked at him then draped an arm around Dru's shoulders. "Did he tear your beautiful dress, baby?" he asked as he steered her away.

"Daddy hurt me," she moaned, leaning against him.

"Is that anyway to treat family, Angelus?" Spike called over his shoulder. His grandsire said nothing just stood his ground and watched them go.

Spike led Dru back to their car and started for home.

"Are we leaving, Spike?" Dru asked, her pouting lips quivering.

"This town? Not likely. We have it too good here."

"I'm sorry you didn't get to keep your present," she said, cuddling against him.

He kissed her crown. "That's all right, baby. We had fun. And he can't really stop us if we don't want him to. Let him think he's won and we'll find another night to play."

"Good."

* * *

Mary Jo had avoided going outside on break for a week Finally she ventured out, half expecting those creatures to be right outside the door. Instead, her vagrant was there, sitting with his back to the wall. She suspected he had been there every night since then. Seeing her, he flowed to his feet.

"You're all right, good," he said.

"I was going to say the same about you. What were they?" she asked, closing the distance between them. He bore no old bruises and she wondered at that given the fight he had been in.

"Troublemakers."

A scowl of disbelief cut across her cute face. "The cross burned that woman but you already know that. I never believed in ghosts and vampires and werewolves, no matter how many 'Inner Sanctum' scripts I read but that's what they were isn't it? Vampires?"

Angel's lips quirked up. "No such thing."

She rolled her blue eyes. "Fine. We can pretend that if you want. They knew you. One of them called you Angelus."

He shook his head. "That's not my name."

"And Daddy is?" She cocked an eyebrow at him.

His lips pulled into a thin line. "It's Angel."

"Well, Angel, one day you'll tell me how you know those vampires but for now just let me say, thank you for saving me." Mary Jo braved a kiss on his dirty cheek. "Are you going to run off now, now that they found you?"

He shook his head. "Not until I'm sure you're safe. They've probably won't be back, but I want to be sure."

Mary Jo swallowed nervously. "I thought they might just try again."

"I'm keeping my eye on you."

"I guess there's not much more I can do," Mary Jo said, fingering her crucifix that she now wore on the outside of her clothing. "I have to get back in. My break's over."

As she turned to go, he caught her shoulders and reversed her direction. "Some day maybe we could go for that coffee."

"Something tells me you don't drink it but I'd like that," she said, heading inside. "We might even get you cleaned up and back into this world."

Angel watched her go. She might just be able to do that. This living as he was, wore on him. He would have to move on soon but not until he was sure she was safe. Spike and Dru could be tenacious but not more so than him. He wasn't sure he wanted back into the world but he also didn't want Mary Jo to leave it. With a sigh, Angel settled back against the wall and waited for Mary Joy so he could walk her home.

It became a nightly routine for him until he finally saw Spike driving around in a De Soto. He managed to pop the trunk and hide out until Spike came out of the bar he was in and went home. Armed with the knowledge of their lair, Angel had promised to burn them out. Whether they believed him or if Dru convinced Spike it was time to go or if Spike had simply gotten bored, they moved on. He watched both that house and Mary Jo for a few months more before moving on himself. Maybe he'd go out to the coast. They said Los Angeles was nice. Maybe a change of pace, a little living in the world might help him forget his curse. If not, maybe he could go hunt down Spike and Dru and do the world a favor this time.