A Mission From God
Chapter 2 - Visions And Vampires

written by Gileswench

"So Cordy's old homies are coming here to look for the Holy Grail? Man, that's beyond stupid."

Wesley didn't even look up from the tome he was researching in.

"What's so stupid about it? The Grail must be somewhere, it might as well be in Los Angeles."

"Naw man, not that part. The part where they all come and drag us into their little Deity-induced mission. You said there's a bunch of 'em. Why do they need more bodies?"

"Because God wants us on the team. Wesley, hand me my battleaxe."

The Englishman barely raised his eyes above the page as he pulled down the blade and handed it smoothly to the vampire.

"God? Now is this God the same thing as the Powers That Be? 'Cause if so, why didn't they just send a vision-gram like they usually do?"

The vampire and the former Watcher shared an indulgent smile.

"Actually, Cordelia had a vision about an hour after Giles called. She's in the back with an icepack and an industrial sized bottle of Tylenol."

Angel kept packing weapons. Gunn shook his head.

"Girl shoulda got call waiting."

* * * * *

"So when we find this Grail thingie, do I have to kill anything to get it?"

"That would depend on where it's being hidden and how it's being guarded."

"Okay, so how will God get it from us? I mean, will He just walk up and say 'thanks, Buff, I'll take it from here'? Or will it go POOF in a flash of lightning, or what?"

"I'm not entirely certain, Buffy."

The Slayer slumped in her seat and looked out the window at the picturesque freeway slipping by.

"Great. I hook up with Brain guy and he doesn't know squat."

"I know a great deal more than, er... squat, Buffy. The details of this mission, however, have not been made clear to us. I don't know how you expect me to know the answers God has chosen not to reveal to us. He..."

"Works in mysterious ways, I know, I know. Is that gonna be your stock answer for this whole trip?"

"Sorry; it's the only one I've got at present."

Buffy slumped back in her seat, arms folded across her chest. Just then, Anya poked her head into the cab of the camper they had rented for the trip.

"Xander sent me to ask, are we there yet?"

Since Giles was driving, Buffy was the one to glare at the former demon.

"Does it look like we're there?"

"Xander wanted me to ask" the girl grumbled as she returned to her seat.

* * * * *

Despite the fact that the trip took a mere two hours, most of the Scoobies were no longer speaking to one another by the time they arrived in front of the Hyperion Hotel.

Anya was angry with Xander for making her ask questions of Buffy and Giles every five minutes and getting her yelled at. Buffy and Giles were both ready to throttle Xander for the same reason, but both also wanted to slap Anya for being so gullible as to fall for the trick seventeen times. Buffy wanted to pummel Giles for not having the answers to her questions while Giles was itching to scream at his girlfriend for asking him every question in the book that would make him look unprepared and stupid in front of the gang. Willow and Tara were no longer speaking because Tara had told Willow that it would be cheating to simply use a locator spell to find the Grail since God wanted them to Quest for it. Dawn was mad at Buffy for getting all kissy-face with Giles like a total loser, and nobody was speaking to Spike on principal.

Eight tired, disgruntled people piled out of the camper and gazed on the hotel for the first time. Buffy spoke for all of them.

"So this is where Angel lives now. Gee, I didn't think it would be this big. Or this... House of Usher meets House of Pancakes."

Xander looked around himself.

"Hey, aren't we missing someone?"

"Don't be ridiculous, Xander."

Giles failed utterly to look innocent.

Dawn assumed the look of steely determination all Summers women wore when they knew they were being lied to.

"What happened to Dreg?"

As Giles attempted to stutter his way through an explanation in the face of matching glares from his girlfriend and her little sister, the hellspawn demon himself came racing up the street, his hands fluttering wildly.

"Oh your most lissome suppleness! At last I have found you!"

Buffy continued to stare down a blushing Giles as she spoke to Dreg.

"Where ya' been? I thought we were a minion shy around here."

The scabby demon collapsed at his master's feet. Between the words of his explanation, he attempted to slip off the brown oxfords so he could kiss Giles' toes.

"Most radiant and effervescent one, I behaved in a most unworthy manner. When my glorious and tweedy master pulled off the road that we might all... eh... avail ourselves of the sanitarieness of the lavatorial facilities provided by the corporate goodness of Shell Oil, I, unfortunately, managed to cause a most grievous jamming of the doorframe. I have only now managed to catch up to your wonderfulness."

Buffy's eyes grew even colder. Giles was so not getting lucky that night.

"You locked him in the men's room at the Shell station?! Somebody might have needed it."

Giles shrugged sullenly as he kicked the minion away from his feet.

"It seemed a good idea at the time."

* * * * *

"So it's agreed, then? We split into teams to find the Grail."

Giles watched eleven heads nod in assent. He also noticed one that did not.

"Spike? We are agreed, yes?"

"On one condition: I'm not going anywhere with Peaches there."

He used his cigarette to gesture at Angel.

"Like I'd want to go with you, either."

* * * * *

After much consultation, the teams were divided thusly:

Team 1: Buffy, Giles, Dawn, and Spike with Dreg as Squire,

Team 2: Xander, Anya, Angel and Wesley,

Team 3: Willow, Tara, Cordelia, and Gunn.

It was further agreed that the one team sans vampires would leave in the morning, the others following when night fell. Angel led them all to their individual bedrooms for the night. Later, when he passed Buffy's door, he heard the unmistakable sounds of a Watcher being forgiven for locking his minion in the men's room of a gas station.

Read the next chapter: Frogs And Fisticuffs