A Mission From God
Chapter 5 - Fruit And Fowl

written by Gileswench




"Dreg!" Giles came to a sudden halt.

"Yes, your most wonderously bespectacledness?"

"If you don't stop banging those blasted coconut shells together, I shall shove them up your nostrils."

The demon blinked in surprise. "Do you not like it, oh magnificently clean-shaven one? Have my most unworthy efforts offended?"

"You know bloody well that they have."

"My most humble apologies, your brilliance. It seemed but fitting that a man of your stature, in both the physical and the metaphorical sense, should ride a great steed. Since such beasts are sadly lacking in this unsightly urbanly blighted neighborhood, I attempted, in a most unsatisfactory manner, to replicate at least the auditory experience. May my tongue be pulled out if I use that miserable and lowly organ to tell a lie."

He approached Giles, his tongue waggling several inches beyond his chapped and scabby lips.

"Wow," Dawn observed. "This guy knows more long, boring words than Giles."

"Now, now, pet," Spike reminded her, "Giles knows lots and lots of words I bet he never tells us about. Maybe you'd like to teach the Niblet a couple of the words you used when you had me sodding chained up in your bath?"

Buffy looked hard at the vampire.

"Tell me again why it is I don't stake you?"

"I'm buggered if I know anymore" Giles muttered under his breath.

"I heard that! Fine language to be using in front of Slayer's little sister."

The little band fell to arguing yet again as Dreg crawled on hands and knees to abase himself to Giles. And so it was that none of them noticed that the night sky had darkened further until the first chicken dive bombed them.

Through sheer luck, Dreg had been holding up one of his shells and the beak pierced that harmlessly. The enraged fowl flapped its wings, but was unable to break free.

"This is most surprising," Giles mused. "For one thing is certain; although they are birds, chickens are not creatures of the air. I wonder what's happened to this one."

Buffy looked up at the ominous cloud of hovering hens.

"I dunno, but it happened to the rest of them, too."

Dreg scuttled over to an abandoned fruit stand to get a replacement coconut. He was trying to figure out how to break it when one of the birds divebombed him and ended up with its beak, like that of its predecessor, impaled on the coconut. The little band watched in horror as the fruit was sucked dry and the shell shriveled.

"Omigod! Vampire chickens! Spike, get Dawn out of here!"

The Slayer drew her stake and Giles unsheathed his sword as the vicious chickens swooped down upon them.

Giles lopped head after head from the hellish fowl as Buffy plunged her stake unerrringly into their tiny hearts. Puffs of dust filled the air on every side, yet more chickens came.

Spike wrapped his duster over Dawn for her protection and hurried her off to hide behind a dumpster. Just as they got there, one of the chickens made a move for the teenager. Spike punched out wildly at the bird.

"Aw! Bloody hell!"

"Spike? Are you okay? I thought the chip didn't do anything if it's a demon."

"It doesn't. But I punched the sodding thing in the beak and it poked a hole in my knuckle. Buggering hell, but it hurts!"

Buffy and Giles, in the meantime, continued to take out one after another of the vampiric birds.

"This is insane! Somebody watched too way much Alfred Hitchcock in life!" The Slayer's stake dusted another beaked bloodsucker.

As suddenly as the attck began, it ended. The Slayer and Watcher remained in battle stance for a long moment before they sighed in relief and put their weapons up.

Giles pulled Buffy into his arms, but continued to scan the area for more danger.

"I think it's over."

Spike and Dawn slowly stood and left the safety of the dumpster. Buffy pulled away from Giles long enough to embrace her sister.

"You okay, Dawnie?"

"Yeah. I'm alright."

"Thank you, Spike. I - you - I guess that's why I don't stake you, huh?" The Slayer smiled wryly at the vampire.

"Look, I'm still evil. A couple cartons of fags, and we'll call it even, okay?"

"Done."

Dawn looked up.

"Hey, where'd Dreg get to?"

The group craned their necks in a half hearted effort to locate the demon. At last the bumpy minion crawled out from under an abandoned car where he'd been sheltering and scuttled over to his lord and unwilling master.

"A thousand million apologies, most lethal and righteous one! I was..."

The demon stopped mid-toady when he realised nobody was listening. This would never have happened with the deliciously-scented Gloificus!

Giles continued to look puzzled.

"What I don't understand is who would do something so utterly insane as to turn an army of vampire chickens."

As if on cue, there came a nasal giggle from the shadows. A giggle most of them knew all too well.

"Dru? Is that you, Princess?"

Buffy scrambled for her stake and Giles unsheathed his sword as the dark vampiress approached from the shadows, stroking the hair of her blindfolded china doll.

"Miss Edith told me the feathered ones would make the bad Slayer go away, but she was wrong. How shall I punish her, Spike?"

"Dru, she's a dolly. She doesn't feel it when you poke out her eyes, pet."

Drusilla whimpered and raised her hand to almost pet Spike's bleach blonde head.

"You're helping her! Your brain is all addled with her! With electicity and lies!"

"You know about the chip, pet. But her and me, it's not gonna happen. Not if I can be with my Dark Princess."

"But she won't let you go, Spike. She's keeping you here with searching and protecting. She won't let you go until you give it to her. Why won't you do it, my love?"

Giles rolled his eyes. "This is worse than Passions."

Spike pulled Drusilla's hips against his own and looked into her eyes.

"What do you mean, Dru? I don't have what she's looking for."

The vampiress' lips hovered milimeters from Spike's as she whispered: "Behind the hiding place. You stood almost on top of it."

Spike considered for a moment, then ran behind the dumpster. There on the ground mere inches from where he'd hidden during the chicken attack, he found a bent and twisted cup of dull metal. the instant he touched it, he pulled back to nurse his burned fingers.

"Bloody, buggering hell! Slayer! Get over here!"

The others except for Drusilla raced to the spot. Buffy picked up the ugly metal cup.

"This is the Grail? This is what all the fuss is about?"

"Cool. Can I see it?"

"No, Dawn, you'll just drop it and then we'll have to start all over again."

Buffy handed the cup to Giles.

"You take it from here, and let's all go home."

Spike gave them all a hard look.

"I've decided; I'm not going back with you lot."

Dawn blinked in hurt confusion.

"But why Spike? Where are you going?"

"I gotta stay with Dru, ducks. She's psychotic, murderous, evil. In short, she's the sort of bird I really go for. Look, no hard feelings, Niblet, but I want to be with her. Maybe I can even get this bloody chip out of my head and be a real big bad again. That's what I need to be happy. Can you understand that?"

The girl nodded through her tears. Spike lifed her chin in his hand.

"You know, pet, if you were just a bit older, and I didn't have the chip, and your sister there wouldn't stake me before I could say bugger all, I'd turn you and take you along in an instant."

"Really? You're not just saying?"

"Really. Vampire's honor." He pressed a cold kiss to her forehead, then looked hard at Buffy and Giles. "You take good care of Little Bit here. I'll be back to check on that, and so help me I'll kill you both if anything happens to her - chip or no chip."

"Not if I stake you first. But we'll take good care of Dawn. It's kinda our job, y'know."

The vampire nodded and turned the crying girl over to her older sister. He took one last look, then turned to face Drusilla.

"Bugger all!"

For there stood Drusilla fondling Dreg as he toadied his heart out at her. The mad vampiress cooed and purred in delight at the flow of poetic grovelling that poured from the cracked and unhealthy lips of the minion. The two walked off, arm in arm, leaving the others without a single thought.

Giles placed a comforting hand on Spike's shoulder.

"Come on then, Spike. I'll stand you to a beaker of O negative and a box of Wheetabix."

"Yeah, all right then."

The four turned back to the Hyperion Hotel.

* * * * *

EPILOGUE:

Five couples and two singles sprawled around the lobby of the Hyperion Hotel.

"So the Grail was physical and not metaphorical after all." Tara sounded slightly sheepish. Her intuition was rarely so far off.

"The part I can't believe is that Drusilla led us to it," Buffy mused from her perch on Giles' lap. "That and her vampire chickens."

Xander shuddered. "That sounds like something I'm glad I didn't see. But hey, I'll trade you one image of vampire chickens for one highly embarrassing episode of being saved by my least favorite bloodsucker of all time."

"Xander. You might recall not only that Angel saved your... virtue, for lack of a better term, but he is also your host," Giles reminded the young man.

"Sorry, Soulboy."

"Don't mention it."

"But we could have just done a locator spell, and we wouldn't have had to go through all this hassle. 'Cause I gotta say, that whole Muppet thing is probably gonna give me nightmares for a while. Who woulda guessed that Kermit the Frog is not only real, but gay, too?"

At that moment, Welsey entered the room with a fully loaded tea tray.

"What's wrong with being gay?" he demanded.

"Nothing, Wes. Willow was just surprised, that's all." Angel gave his partner a quick kiss on the cheek to placate him.

"I'm just glad to have seen the back of Dreg. Perhaps now my life can return to normal." Giles smiled softly at Buffy.

"Normal, Sweetie? We live on the Hellmouth where you run a magic shop staffed by an ex-demon and train your Slayer girlfriend who's almost thirty years younger than you are. Not to mention, we keep ending up working with a vampire who can't bite, two of our best friends are witches, and nobody has ever clued in to the fact that we blew up the high school the day I graduated because the Mayor had turned into a giant snake and eaten the Principal. Dreg was annoying, but he was sorta the staus quo of our lives."

"I can't believe Dru picked that... scabby, toadying little runt over me." Spike shook his head in perplexity.

"I don't know that it's so surprising," Cordelia observed. "After all, she picked a Chaos Demon and a Fungus Demon over you before - not to mention Angel when he was all grrr. Face it, you just aren't her type. She likes 'em really, really yuck."

"Hey!"

"Sorry, Angel, but your evil twin Skippy is pretty much of the yuck. Speaking of which, how are you two getting around that whole 'one moment of happiness' clause? 'Cause I so don't want to find myself working with the enemy one of these mornings."

"Relax, Cordy; I'm not gonna turn soulless."

"Just for the record, though, how are you planning to make sure of that?" Buffy was deeply curious.

Angel and Wesley both blushed deeply and discovered an overwhelming interest in the floor.

Gunn stared at the two and shook his head in disbelief.

"Do not try to tell me you two are just saying no. Man, that's a whole new level of pathetic."

"Don't worry, Angel. Tara and I will see if we can find a spell to make the soul more... permanent, or something.

Tara nodded vigorously.

"You'll do that so Angel can get together with Wesley, but you wouldn't do it for me? Thanks a lot, Will!"

"Buffy!"

"Don't worry, Giles; I don't want to be with him anymore. I was just wondering what gives is all." She turned to her ex-boyfriend. "I hope you and Wes will be very happy together... as soon as it's safe. And now, I don't know about the rest of you, but fighting an army of vampire chickens all night has me pretty much wanting to go to bed. You coming with, Sweetie?"

Buffy stood and headed for the stairs.

"If you'll all excuse us...?"

Giles followed the tiny blonde.

Once they reached their room, Giles shut the door and smiled at Buffy.

"You have no intention of sleeping, have you?"

"Nope. But I do want to go to bed. Coming with?"

"Always, my love. Always."

* * * * *

Several hours later, Dawn crept down the stairs to the lobby. She was surprised to find Spike there.

"What are you doing here?"

"Might ask you the same question, Niblet. Can't you sleep?"

Dawn rolled her eyes. "You try that next door to my sister and Giles. For my birthday, I'm going to ask them to soundproof their room. Anyway, I wanted a drink of water."

"And I needed a drink of blood."

The pair got their respective drinks and sat down together.

"Spike? How is God going to take the Grail?"

The vampire shrugged.

"Dunno. God doesn't usually let me in on His plans. Funny how He doesn't confide in evil, soulless, creatures of the night."

"Are you mad that Drusilla left with Dreg?"

Spike considered for a moment.

"Could've been worse, I suppose. She might have taken a liking to Giles or something. Slayer'd hurt me a long time before she'd dust me over that."

"I guess you're right." The girl drank her water slowly. "Spike? Did you really mean that? About turning me and taking me with you?"

"Might have done. If I wouldn't have got myself dusted good and proper doing it."

Dawn nodded.

"I don't think I want to be turned. But maybe, in a few years... do you think...?"

The vampire smiled.

"Give it a few years, Little Bit. Give it a few years."

END