The Nail

by Mediancat


Section 1: The Nail

Cordelia Chase sped towards the school. All around her, the town was going to hell. Her boyfriend had been killed. The dead were rising.

There was only one place that would be safe. Only one person who could help her. Buffy Summers. She’d been the focus of all the mondo weirdness that had hit Sunnydale. She’d been the one who’d saved her from Marcie Ross and from Jesse that night in the Bronze back in January. She pressed down harder on the gas pedal.

And then, only 500 feet from the high school, it happened.

Her car hit a nail.

She spun off the road and her head slammed into the steering wheel.

*                              *                              *

Willow Rosenberg and Jenny Calendar were getting ready to head to the Bronze to keep an eye out for vampires. Willow asked nervously, “What if they get to the Bronze before we do?” She looked backwards.

Ms. Calendar, car keys in hand, glanced upward and got a sick look on her face. “Don’t need to worry about that,” she exclaimed as she stopped.

“Why not?” Willow asked.

Ms. Calendar answered, “’Cause they’re not going to the Bronze.” In the field, a small herd of vampires moved towards the school. There were even more in the parking lot — and also some behind them that prevented them from re-entering the school. Puzzled, Ms. Calendar asked, “Why are they coming here?”

“Not caring,” Willow said as the vampires advanced. Completely cut off, they jumped onto the top of the nearby van, hoping to see their way clear to an escape route.

Unfortunately, there was none. The vampires dragged first Willow and then Jenny Calendar down off the roof of the van.

Then they fed.

*                              *                              *

Cordelia regained consciousness. She couldn’t been out for more than a minute. She shook her head. What was it … a nail! Of all the times to get a flat! Daddy would kill her now if she damaged the rims!

To hell with Daddy. She took a deep breath and drove back onto the road. As she pulled into the parking lot she gasped in terror. There were demons everywhere! And by one of the cars …

No! It wasn’t! Not poor fashion-challenged Willow and Ms. Calendar! She hadn’t even been able to teach Willow the finer points of makeup yet! Grimly, she gunned the car and moved forwards, plowing her way through the creatures biting their bodies.

Oh, God! She shuddered. Willow, poor Willow … the creatures were advancing again. Ms. Calendar — miraculously still alive — got up and staggered into the front of the car, collapsing on Cordelia’s lap. She slammed the door shut.

They were everywhere now. There was only one place to go.

INTO the school. The demons were already entering, but there were a lot fewer there. She gunned the car forward and crashed through the school’s side doors, then down the hall as far towards the library as she could get. Along the way she ran over and knocked aside a lot more of them and screeched to a stop only seconds ahead of the horde. She climbed out the passenger door, dragging Ms. Calendar after her.

Giles said, “What’s wrong?” but in response Cordelia only reached for the library doors, latched them, and tried to hold them closed. After a second Giles joined her, pulling with all his strength.

“This isn’t going to work,” Giles said as a vampire punched a hole through the window. “I know! Into the weapons locker!” He brought a cross down on the vampire’s arm and said, “Hold on a few more seconds!” He dragged Ms. Calendar’s body across and opened a secret compartment.

Cordelia bit the next arm that reached through the window. Giles squeezed in and shouted, “Now!” Cordelia raced across the room. The creatures pounded through the doors seconds later, and frantically she stuffed herself in on top of Ms. Calendar. Giles swung the heavy door shut right before the first one could reach them. They began pounding on the outside.

“Th-they can’t get in, can they?” she asked nervously.

Giles’ reply did NOT reassure her. “Not right away. This locker was built solid, proof against anything up to a stick of dynamite. Those — gang members —”

“Knock it off,” Cordelia shrieked. “I know they’re not natural!”

“All right, vampires,” Giles continued, “they’ll be able to get in eventually. But we won’t need to worry about that.” Cordelia’s fearful face must have asked the question, because Giles added, “by the time they get in here, the good guys will have won or lost. Let us pray it’s the good guys …”

*                              *                              *

The skylight glass smashed open and the Master came sailing down to smash into the table in the center of the library, splintering it. Buffy jumped down after him, and, ignoring the tentacled demon and the other vampires, grabbed a piece of the splintered table and slammed it home before he could rise.

Slowly he turned to ash until only his skeleton remained. The demon sank back into the floor and the remaining vampires fled upon their Master’s demise. Buffy let the Master’s bones fall and looked around. Angel charged in the front doors, followed seconds later by a puzzled Xander.

Suddenly Buffy realized what was missing, or rather, who was missing. She called out, “G-Giles? Willow?”

The weapons locker opened — by itself? and Giles slowly crawled out, followed by Cordelia. They carried a shallowly breathing Ms. Calendar. She had clearly been attacked by vampires. Giles saw the Master’s skeleton and said, “The other vampires?”

“They took off. And the giant octopus vanished.” Giles looked puzzled. “Where’s Willow?”

“I — I don’t know,” Giles admitted. “She was with Ms. Calendar last I saw her …”

Cordelia started crying. “She was outside. B-being attacked by these vampires. I got there too late to save her.”

Buffy got a sick feeling in her stomach. “Willow’s dead?” Cordelia could only nod.

Xander screamed, “No! No!” and stormed over to Giles’ weapons locker, where he grabbed an antique mace. Screaming incoherently, he pounded on the Master’s skeleton. “This is YOUR fault!” he screamed. “Yours!” Giles moved to restrain him and Buffy stood in his way.

“No. He needs to do this.”She started crying herself and Giles held her. “Willow, Willow …”

“That nail!” Cordelia screamed. “That Goddamn nail …”

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