A Mission From God
Chapter 4 - Beacons And Brothels

written by Gileswench




"So. Which way, Deadboy?"

"Xander, will you please tell your girlfriend to quit calling me that."

"What? Is she hurting your little vampire feelings? Remind me to feel sorry for you some time that isn't now." The young man passed said girlfriend a surreptitious Twinkie when the vampire wasn't looking. "Would you rather we call you an 'undead American'? Is that the PC term now?"

"I'm not American; I'm Irish."

Wesley rolled his eyes yet again. He'd known it was a bad idea to have Xander and Angel on the same team.

"Will the lot of you shut up and start looking! We've only a few hours before sunrise."

"We could split up. That way we could cover more ground."

The three men looked at the former demon.

"Are you quite insane?" Wesley demanded. "If we split up, we're four easy targets; if we stay together we're... arguing like insane persons. You know, I think Anya may be onto something."

Xander grabbed his girlfriend's hand.

"Okay, we'll go this way and you go that way, and Anya and I will get to Scotland before you."

Wesley detached the pair from one another.

"If we let you two go off together, you'll find a dark corner and have sex. Xander, you go with Angel, and I'll continue on with Anya."

"No way!"

For once, the young man and the vampire agreed.

"I'm not going anywhere with Deadboy here!"

"I can't work with this" the vampire whined.

"Tough." Wesley had had enough. "You're simply going to have to learn to live with one another."

"He's not alive."

"I didn't ask to be a vampire, you know."

Wesley placed a firm hand to the small of Anya's back and led her away firmly.

"But I want to be with Xander."

"Too bloody bad."

The former Watcher urged her on. Soon the two had left the bickering pair behind.

Left to their own devices, Xander and Angel glared sullenly at one another.

"I don't want to be with you any more than you want to be with me," Angel started. "But since we're stuck together, let's just try not to kill each other, okay?"

"Hey, my homicidal plans are on hold as long as you stay miserable, buddy. And don't look at my neck that way."

"What way?"

"Like you're wanting to give me a permanent hickey."

"There's no way I'd bite you. I bet you taste funny, anyway."

The two chose a direction and sniped their way into the night.

* * * * *

After two hours of wandering in circles, Xander had had enough.

"You have no idea where you're going, do you, Deadboy?"

"I do too, and quit calling me that."

"What you gonna do about it, huh?"

"Stop being a jerk, Xander. And I know exactly where we are. We're... next to my favorite butcher's. See?"

"Yeah, and we've been by here three times so far. Look, if you want a snack, just go in and get one. Anything so you stop seeing little bullseyes on my carotid."

"Jugular. You're pointing to your jugular. And relax; I wouldn't eat you if you were the last loser on earth."

The vampire skulked into the butcher shop. Xander shuddered slightly as he watched Angel go. Then he realized how hungry he was. Up to that point, he'd been concentrating on Angel's potential appetite, ignoring his own. Now that the pressure was off, he felt a definite need for junk food. Unfortunately, he'd given Anya the last Twinkie and he'd long run out of Ho Ho's.

Glancing around himself, he noticed a beacon in the distance. Could it be the sign of 7/11? Or possibly Circle K?

Xander knew he should wait for Angel, but his stomach grew more insistent.

He headed off in search of empty calories.

* * * * *

The beacon glowed brighter in the distance. Xander felt he'd been following it for hours, though it had really only been about fifteen minutes. Hey, minutes get long when you're hungry. And horny. And your girlfriend's just been taken elsewhere by another guy.

Just a few steps more and Xander would know what haven of junkfood he was approaching. The image of the beacon was becoming clearer. It was... it was...

A grail.

Xander laughed. He'd found it. The Zeppo had discovered something the Slayer and the ensouled vampire and two Watchers, two witches, and an ex-demon couldn't.

The Grail.

He sped up his pace.

In minutes he was pounding on the door of a large, stone building.

"Hey! Let me in!"

He pounded some more.

"Aw come on, guys! Lemme in!"

He stumbled forward as the door swung open suddenly. When he'd regained his balance, Xander found himself face to face with a pair of breasts such as he'd never dreamed of. Large, ripe and firm, not to mention barely encased in some flimsy, filmy material that just barely managed to remain within the limits of PG-13.

Xander raised his head.

The view in that direction was good, too. Limpid blue eyes gazed at him from beneath a fringe of golden curls. A slightly shopworn smile curved her lips.

"Hey there, big boy. What's your name?"

"Guh..."

"What was that? Guy?"

Xander shook his head furiously.

"No, no, my name's Xander. But the light... you have the Grail, right?"

The woman swung around and called up the stairs.

"Gail! You got a request!"

"No, wait! I just..."

But the woman was gone. Another was coming down the stairs. Xander swallowed hard.

Gail was tall. Too tall to be a normal woman. Her body was both curvaceous and muscular... and encased in skimpy black latex and thigh-high boots. Her fingernails gleamed blood red in the dim light. So did her hair.

Xander almost swallowed his tongue this time.

"You asked for me? Sure you're... up to it?" she growled at him.

Xander gave a nervous giggle. "Up... yes, I'm up to it, but no! I have a girlfriendihaveagirlfriendihaveagirlfriend." He screwed his eyes shut and continued his mantra a few more times. Then he took a deep breath and opened his eyes. "Look, just give me the Grail and I'm on my way."

Gail shrugged. "That'll cost you extra."

"How much? I got a buck fifty."

"Look, honey, you're cute, but I got a living to make. My rate is seventy-five an hour. You want some sort of fantasy on top of my usual routine, we're talking a hundred, hundred fifty depending."

Xander waved his hands frantically.

"No, no, I don't want to - and I never thought I would actually say this to a flesh and blood woman - I don't want to have sex with you. I just want the Holy Grail. Give me that and I'm on my way."

Several other prostitutes gathered as Xander's voice grew louder.

"Look, I don't know what you're talking about, kid. And a buck fifty won't cut it." She stood immediately before Xander, thrusting her latex-encased breasts in his direction and running one teasing hand along his outer thigh. "So what are we gonna do about that?"

"I have Mastercard? Do you take Mastercard?" Xander babbled.

The hookers cheered en masse and converged on the young man. Suddenly a large hand yanked on Xander's collar and pulled him from the teeming mass of womanhood.

"Oh, hi, Angel." Xander sounded less than enthusiastic at his rescue.

"I'm getting you out of here. Back off, girls!"

The vampire let his demon face slide to the fore. The ladies of the night shrieked in unison (and harmony) as their potential customer was dragged out the door by the vampire.

"Oh... crap!" Gail stomped her foot in frustration.

* * * * *

Angel pushed the reluctant Xander before him.

"Look, I had the Grail. It was there."

"It was a bordello, Xander. All you would have gotten there is VD."

"You're just jealous 'cause they wanted my body. And I saw the Grail. It was there."

"That was just a sign. It's been there for years."

"I want to go back there."

"Trust me, you don't want those girls. Some of them have diseases there's no name for yet."

"I bet you're gay."

"Shut up."

* * * * *

It was nearly sunrise when Angel and Xander reached the agreed upon meeting place for the day. Anya threw herself at her boyfriend and kissed him enthusiastically.

"Xander! I missed you so much. Did you find anything? We didn't."

"Not a thing, An. Let's go to bed."

"An excellent suggestion," Wesley agreed. "Coming, darling?"

Angel slipped an arm around the Englishman's waist.

"Not yet, but I'm sure you can do something about that."

Xander stared after the two.

"Guh."

Read the next chapter: Fruit And Fowl