the Secret Society of Super-Villains

by Mediancat

 Part One

The phone rang next to Buffy’s bed. She caught it on the third ring and mumbled into the phone, “Hello?”

She wasn’t prepared for the accent at the other end of the line. “Hello there, luv,” Spike began. “Didn’t wake you, did I?”

“Actually, you did — and what the hell are YOU doing calling me?”

“Asleep at midnight? Tsk, tsk. You know, for a Slayer you’re getting downright lazy.”

“Are you calling just to rag on me? Because if you are, well, you know I have a friend who’s a hacker, and she WILL find you.”

“I doubt even the legendary skills of Willow could track me on notice this short. Anyway, Slayer, I did have a reason for calling you. I’m going to do you a favor.”

“You’re going to take a nice long walk in the sunlight?”

“Ha. Ha. No, luv, I’ve got a warning for you. Dru’s coming for a visit and I’d just as soon you and any of your chums still living not try to ram a stake through her heart.”

“And my motivation for this is?”

Spike’s voice took a hard edge. “One, if I hear that so much as a hair on her head has been harmed, I’ll revisit Sunnyhell and gut the town and everyone in it stem to stern.”

This didn’t impress Buffy. “And the carrot?”

“That’s the favor I’m going to do you, Slayer. But first your word that you won’t kill her.”

Buffy sighed. “Deal. But if she tries to kill one of my friends, all bets are off.”

She could almost hear Spike’s grimace at the other end. “Guess that’s the best I can do.”

“And the warning?”

“Right enough. An old chum of yours showed up here the other day — don’t ask me where — and invited me and Dru back to have a spot of revenge on you and your mates. I refused — I’ve never been much of a joiner, you know. But Dru went along with it, against my better wishes.”

A conspiracy? Suddenly Buffy was no longer angry at the blond vampire. “So who was this guy? Just some random loon with a mad-on for Slayers?”

“Nope. It was your old pal Ethan Rayne.”

“Ethan?” This made no sense.

“I’ve run into the bloke once or twice, I know what he looks like.” Spike sounded almost offended. “Anyway, he wasn’t alone. He had this really obnoxious vampire with a cowboy hat with him and he said he wasn’t through recruiting, either.”

“That would be Lyle Gorch,” Buffy said. “He’s dumber than a whole truckload of dirt, but he’s got a real flair for inventive sadism.”

“Really?” Spike’s attitude brightened. “Maybe I can compare notes with him — assuming he survives your loving ministrations. Anyway, that’s what I know. Keep Dru safe — and keep safe yourself, for that matter. I don’t want you dying.”

“Why, thank you, Spike —”

“At least not without me being the one that makes you dead.”

Cynically, Buffy said. “That’s so sweet.”

“A regular Mother-bloody-Teresa, that’s me. Talk later, Slayer.” And then he hung up.

Buffy blinked, once, twice, then picked up the phone and called Giles.

*                              *                              *

Two people walked through the Sunnydale junk yard. “You sure the bastard’s here?” The taller one said.

“Yes,” the shorter one replied. Then, unerringly, he led his companion directly to one corner of the yard. “Ah, here we are …” Then he bent down and picked up a circuitboard of some kind. “Yes, the very same. Most of what we need should be in that box.”

Without even asking, the taller one picked up the box. “And the rest?”

“Is easily replaceable.”

“Now that’s what I like to hear.”

As they walked out of the junkyard, the taller one commented, “So now we’re set?”

*                              *                              *

“So that’s what Spike told me, “ Buffy concluded to the group assembled in the library. Everyone who knew the Slayer’s secret was there except for Angel, who would have had difficulty making the trip. Given Spike’s warning, Buffy felt everyone should know what was going on. So sitting around the table were Xander, Willow, Oz, and an extremely annoyed Cordelia Chase. Sitting on the table was Amy Madison, still in rat form and about a half-second away from biting Cordelia, who kept trying to sweep her off the table.

Flanking Xander at the head of the table were Wesley and Giles. Giles told Buffy, “There’s something wrong here. Ethan Rayne is even less of a joiner than Spike is. For him to take on allies —”

“Beg pardon,” Wesley said, “But who is this Ethan Rayne? It’s not a name I’m familiar with.”

“Fallen behind in your studies?” Xander commented snidely.

“Servant of Janus,” Giles said. “Spreads chaos wherever he goes. Not evil per se, but definitely more attuned to that side than the side of good.” Then he paused thoughtfully. “Still not his style, though, in the least.”

“So,” Oz said. “Drusilla, Ethan Rayne, and the cowboy.”

“Oh, HE’S no problem,” Cordelia said unexpectedly. “I beat him way back around Homecoming.”

“Cordy,” Buffy said patiently, “I give you all the credit in the world for that bluff. But if he’d called it, we’d both be dead right now and you know it.” Cordelia sank back into her chair in a huff.

Then Wesley spoke again. “So. Drusilla the Mad, Lyle Gorch, and Ethan Rayne. I don’t see that much of a problem for such a talented Slayer as yourself.”

“A Chaos worshipper, an insane vampire with powerful hypnotic abilities, and a vampire who makes the Marquis de Sade look like a rank amateur. That’s a bloody walk in the park.”

“Not to mention,” Buffy added to Giles’ comments, “That Spike had the definite impression that it wasn’t going to stop at the terrible trio.”

Then the loudspeakers crackled into action.

“Good morning, students. This is Principal Snyder speaking. If anyone knows who trashed the trophy case and stole several of the trophies, you’d damned well better confess, and soon, or it will go VERY badly when we do find out. We thought we knew who did it … but it turns out she had an alibi. Now get to class.”

Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles looked at each other in horror.

Wesley, Cordelia and Oz looked confused.

And on the table, Amy the rat fainted.

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