Originally broadcasted 5/9/06
Cleveland Street – Early Morning
“Slow night,” Vi commented groggily to the woman standing to her left.
“Yeah,” Kennedy replied, “no vamps, no demons, no nothing. This may go down as the most boring patrol in the history of Slayerkind.”
Vi shrugged. “A quiet night or two doesn’t bug me.”
“Quiet night?” Kennedy shot a wicked grin at the redheaded slayer. “You haven’t had many of those. Need I remind you that the walls in the Council building are very thin?”
“Hey, I’m glad he makes you happy.” Kennedy raised her hands defensively. “Real happy, from what I hear.”
“Okay, I’m ending this conversation now…”
“Well, that’s a change. You were unusually vocal –” Kennedy’s statement was cut off by a backhanded smack from Vi. “Ow…okay, I deserved that…Have you considered a gag? ‘Cause some girls…” A second strike silenced her, “Ow! Sorry. Couldn’t resist.”
The duo walked in silence for a moment.
“Woman of Steel, Man of Kleenex…” Kennedy prodded. “How do you manage to not squeeze him like a tube of toothpaste? I mean, if it’s that…”
“Hey, I gotta get my thrills somewhere,” Kennedy smiled.
“Kennedy, you’re gay.”
“Not from him, from you. When you’re embarrassed, you make this pouty face that’s just so cute.” Kennedy waggled her eyebrows at her companion.
“Ken, you’re gay.”
Kennedy snapped her fingers. “So that’s why I was chasing girls all this time…”
“And I’m not,” Vi pointed out.
“I know.” Kennedy smiled. “Thin walls, remember?”
Vi opened her mouth to speak, then reconsidered and closed it. “There’s no way I’m going to get out of this without making my embarrassed pouty face, is there?”
“Hey, I figure I’m doing you a favor. I’ll bet you money that Xander finds it cute, too.” Kennedy paused, appearing to be deep in thought. “But,” she added, “if you ever decide to cross over to the Sapphic side of the road, and Kadin’s out of town…”
“Aaaand before this conversation gets any more disturbing, what say we check out this dark and creepy alleyway?” Vi nodded in the direction of a narrow space in between two large brick buildings.
The pair slid, silently and alertly, into the alleyway.
“Hang on a second, let my eyes adjust here,” Vi whispered, grabbing Kennedy’s shoulder. “I’d really like to not be completely blind when a vamp decides to jump us.”
“Just like the last six empty alleyways?” Kennedy replied.
“Just ’cause they were empty doesn’t mean that this one will be. Roll the dice enough times and sooner or later you’ll roll a perfect twelve.” Vi squinted as she tried to force her vision to penetrate the blackness of the alley.
“In hindsight, maybe we should start issuing our patrols flashlights. What do you think?”
“Yeah,” Vi took a tentative step forward, “you’d think, with all of us going out in the dark every night, that we would’ve thought of that a little sooner, huh?”
“Well, we’ll just have to remember that next –” The two slayers froze as they heard something moving near one of the walls. “You hear that?” Kennedy’s voice dropped in volume, while her arm snaked to the small of her back, where she had a stake secreted.
Vi mimicked her motion as the pair walked towards the sound, still unable to see clearly through the darkness.
“You see anything?” Vi asked.
As the pair approached a metal garbage can standing off to one side, a small creature exploded from inside of it, sending the metal lid clattering loudly to the hard asphalt. Startled, the two slayers shrieked and jumped backwards as the small four-legged creature darted past them, running full-speed toward the street.
“Great. We just about slayed a stray cat.” Vi slid the stake in her hand back into the waistband of her pants. She then tugged the hem of her jacket down, concealing the stake perfectly in the small of her back.
“Ah, we couldn’t’ve caught him anyway, even with slayer speed.” Kennedy shrugged.
“Yeah, he was a fast little critter,” Vi replied.
“Well, I don’t know about you, but I think we’re probably done for the night here.” Kennedy turned back towards the street. “Damn, I was kinda hoping for a workout.”
“Well, if we start back now, we should get home right about when Andrew’s making breakfast.” Vi smiled. “He’s making blueberry pancakes today.”
“Race you home?” Kennedy broke into a dead run.
“Hey, that’s not –” Vi’s protest was cut off as a brilliant light filled the alleyway in front of them. The two slayers drew to a halt, shielding their eyes.
“Jesus Christ!” Vi exclaimed.
“I don’t think that’s Him,” Kennedy replied, strain thick in her voice.
A huge demon towered over the slayers, his thick, scarred, muscular arms arching down from his inhumanly broad shoulders. From each side of its head, which could only be described as massive, a pair of thick horns curled around where its ears would have been, were it human.
“Vi, my eyes, I can’t –” The rest of Kennedy’s warning was cut off when the demon’s massive forearm slammed into her chest, flinging her effortlessly into the brick wall beside her. She dropped to the ground, struggling to force herself to breathe again.
Vi rubbed at her eyes, as if she could force the spots dancing in front of them to clear before the demon struck again. To her credit, she had time to recover sufficiently to bring her forearms up to block his strike – and against an opponent with less physical strength than this beast, it may actually have worked.
The sheer force of the blow was enough to knock Vi off her feet. She dropped to the ground next to Kennedy.
“I think he might be pissed.” Kennedy picked herself up off the ground as the demon advanced on them.
“What’s the plan?”
“Hit him, hit him hard and keep hitting him until he stops moving?”
“Works for me,” Vi stepped to her right. “You take the left, I’ll take the right?”
“Yeah, and try not to get hit again, he’s got a hell of a left hook.”
Vi stepped toward the demon, balancing lightly on the balls of her feet. She twisted to her right as the creature threw a punch. She ducked in close, inside his reach, and punched him in the abdomen.
Immediately, the redhead recoiled in pain. She gritted her teeth and stumbled backward, gripping her right wrist.
“God, it’s like punching granite,” Vi hissed, as she tried to clench her injured hand into a fist again.
Kennedy advanced on the demon, ducking as his massive forearm again attempted to slam her into the wall. She tucked her leg in behind his and, with a snap of her hip, attempted to throw him off-balance. It was a perfectly executed hip throw, but he simply had too large a mass to be thrown.
With the apparent effort one would reserve for swatting a fly, the demon backhanded her in the center of her chest. She flew down the alleyway, skidding along the asphalt and drawing to a stop about twenty feet away.
Vi found the demon’s attention was again on her and dropped back. She still held her injured hand.
“What the hell is this thing?” she demanded of nobody in particular. The demon advanced on them with no haste.
“Any bright ideas?” Kennedy called from the ground.
Vi shook her head. “We can’t hit it, it’s too big to get on the ground and we can’t get close enough to break its neck.”
“What’s the best way out of this alley?” Kennedy asked. She hit her radio and said, “Slayer One reporting. We’ve got some kind of rock monster at…Where are we?” Kennedy asked Vi.
“Thirteenth and St. Clair, I think.”
“Thirteenth and St. Clair. Requesting back-up. Copy,” Kennedy said into the radio. To Vi, she added, “We need to find a way out, fast.”
“Through him looks like the only option,” Vi replied as she helped her companion off of the ground.
“Not unless you can punch your way through a brick wall,” Vi said.
“So what do we do?”
As if answering Kennedy’s question, a second flash of light filled the alleyway.
“Oh God.” Fear cut into Vi’s voice, as they again shielded their eyes. “Here comes another one.”
“Now,” Kennedy fought to keep her voice steady as she tried to shake the spots away from her field of vision, “would be a good time to run.”
“Run where?” The slightest traces of panic were starting to dance around the edge of Vi’s voice.
She backed away, still blinded from the second arrival. She watched as two globulous dark splotches, one much smaller than the other, converged on each other, with both areas emitting an odd crackling hum sound.
“Can you see anything?” she asked as she stepped backwards.
“No.” Kennedy, too, sounded as if she was beginning to panic.
“Something’s not right.” Vi could hear the two creatures in front of her circling each other. Her body tensed reflexively as she heard the demon attack. When no blow landed, she looked around, still blinded, and confused.
“We’re not the target,” Kennedy’s mind made the elusive connection first.
“Can you see who it is?”
“No,” Kennedy replied, “but they’re buying us some time; so we buy them a beer later.”
In her blurred field of view, she watched as the smaller…creature danced around the demon. Striking expertly from close-quarters, it held the demon at bay.
“It’s a slayer,” Kennedy realized, enormous relief spreading across her face.
“Faith? Is that you?” Vi called out.
The figure did not respond. Instead, she took a step toward the demon, but halted as he held up his immense, four-fingered hand, displaying long claws on each finger. Very deliberately, the slayer standing before him allowed her hands to drop to her side, lowering her defenses. The beast thrust his claws into the center of the slayer’s abdomen, inflicting a wound which would be unavoidably fatal.
Unavoidably fatal, but not immediately so.
“Faith!” Kennedy screamed, after blood shot across her face and clothes.
As blood poured from the gaping wound, the demon lifted the slayer off the ground. She coughed, sputtering blood from her lips, as she fought to retain consciousness.
With the final vestige of her fading strength, the slayer reached for the horns on the side of the Demon’s head, and with a single, brutal motion, twisted until the hellish creature’s neck broke with a sickening crunch.
Both figures dropped, lifeless, to the ground.
Kennedy and Vi ran forward, rolling the slayer on to her back. Both slayers immediately jumped back from the body, expressions of shock and disbelief on their faces.
The woman who stared lifelessly at the slowly-brightening pre-dawn sky was Vi herself.
End of Teaser