A dank mist had settled over the graveyard, and the wind rustled quietly through the trees. The hinges on the gate whined loudly as Buffy pulled it open, disturbing the eerie silence.

"So, yeah," Buffy said, shifting awkwardly, "maybe, we should, you know split up into two groups, get this done with faster. Spike, Angel, and I could-"

Cordelia had to roll her eyes. Trust Buffy to completely disregard anything they said and immediately arrange the groups into what she wanted. Apparently Angel was thinking along the same lines, for he stepped forward to interrupt her. His voice was soft and pleasant, but carried a bit of a warning undertone.

"As we told you, me and Cor are a pair; so are Wes and Gunn. It would be wise to keep us together so we can fight efficiently. That being said, maybe Spike-" he paused, a look of disgust momentarily flitting across his face, "Spike can come with me and Cordelia, and you can go with Wes and Gunn."

Cordy felt a small thrill at the look of disappointment on Buffy's face, which she felt sort of guilty about, but not enough to attempt to suppress it. Plus, she knew most of Angel's motive was to keep an eye on Spike, and to see how he behaved when not around Buffy, but she was glad for the added benefit of the slayer and vampire not being in the same group.

The sigh that came behind her was quite, and she was pretty sure she was the only one who detected the soft sound. She turned around to offer a sympathetic smile to Wes, who did not look pleased at the prospect of spending his patrol with Buffy. He gave her a half-hearted grin in return, and with that, the groups took off.


Wes, Gunn, and Buffy strode purposefully towards the east end of the cemetery. Wes gripped his sword with quiet confidence, trying anxiously to avoid making eye-contact with the slayer. He would have preferred to have spent the entire patrol in silence, but Gunn evidently found it awkward, and attempted to make stilted conversation with their companion.

"You've been doing this for what, five years?"

"More like six. What about you?"

"Man, I've been fighting demons since before I could remember. Vamps used to love picking off my gang. Now they know to stick clear of the 'hood."

"You're just a normal human then?"

"Yep. To tell the truth, didn't ever hear of any slayers till I joined forces with Angel and Co. Too bad they didn't make more of you. We could use a platoon or so too help keep order down in LA."

Buffy didn't seem to have a response to that, and for a while, silence reigned once more. Then she asked, somewhat hesitantly, "Angel said you and Wes are friends. How did that happen, I mean you don't really seem all that similar, well…" she trailed off, blushing.

Gunn smiled, a real smile for the first time the whole patrol. "Yeah, me and English ain't all that similar. But I know I can trust him to take a bullet for me."

"Yes, I did prove that the hard way, didn't I?" added Wes in an amused tone.

Buffy furrowed her brow at them, confusion prominent on her face, and Gunn rushed to explain.

"Once when we were fighting zombie cops, one of them tried to shoot me, and Wes took the shot."

"Zombie cops?"

"Long story."

Wes felt Buffy's gaze on him, and knew to keep his straightforward stare would be rude. He glanced down at the slayer, and found to his surprise, contemplation, and maybe even a little bit of respect for him in her face. She opened her mouth, ostensibly to comment on something, when stillness of the night was shattered by a sharp scream, and the sound of people fighting.

The three of them immediately ran towards the sounds, after a minute coming upon Angel, Cordelia, and Spike, who were fighting against seven opponents, all of whom appeared to be vamps. Spike had jumped on one and was bludgeoning him on the head, when another appeared to pull him off. He roughly fell to the ground, spewing curses, and launching himself once again at his attackers. Buffy rushed in to help him. Meanwhile, Cordelia and Angel, though fighting valiantly, were clearly outnumbered by the five vamps they were facing. Wes and Gunn grinned at each other and jumped into the fray.


Cordy felt a rush of relief when the familiar forms of Wes and Gunn joined her and Angel. She left three vamps to the fresher pair, and turned with Angel to finish off the other two. Though the fighting was exerting, she found that she enjoyed it. Fighting in tandem was much more fun than fighting alone, and she Angel seemed to naturally anticipate the other's moves and flawlessly incorporate them into their own attack.

The fight raged on for several minutes, and then Wes finally beheaded the last of the vamps with casual efficiency, and night was peaceful and silent once again. Cordelia turned to see Spike and Buffy staring at them with open surprise. Spike broke the awkward silence, as was his wont.

"So, you finally got yourself a fighting partner, haven't ya Peaches?" He smirked, and Angel looked as if he wanted to lunge at him, but Cordelia gripped his hand restrainingly. She had found during the start of her patrol that she quite enjoyed Spike's brash sense of humor. Though the resemblance was fleeting, she found that he reminded her slightly of Doyle. She smiled fondly, remembering the quaint Irish halfbreed, but her reverie was broken by the sound of Buffy's voice.

"You guys… fought well," the slayer conceded. For a moment, her features seemed to war with themselves, but then she admitted "I don't really know that strike and pivot turn you used Wes. Maybe… you could teach me?"

Cordy didn't say anything, but she felt a grin split her face. *Little Miss Perfect doesn't know a fighting move that Wes does!* She almost missed Wes' nod of agreement in her happiness. She knew it was petty, but when it came to Buffy, Cordelia felt okay being a bit petty. And to top it off, Spike, who had saddled up behind her added, "You know, I'd kill myself before I'd admit it to him, but as a team, you and the wanker fight pretty well yourself." Then, looking slightly embarrassed to be caught complimenting someone, he scurried back to Buffy's side.