September 18, 1998
Angel dusted flecks of dirt off his black duster, all the while surveying the area with a distasteful glance. He really did not want to be here. There were many places he’d rather be than in Sunnydale. The Spanish Inquisition, the Final Solution, and Topeka were all looking much better. But being here wasn’t about what he wanted. It was about what he needed.
This was for her survival, and by association, his own. As his eyes surveyed the area, his demon senses tuned in.
A few scattered vampires were nearby. There were a few humans around as well. But the one that he was searching for wasn’t near. Taking out the palm pilot he saw why. It was still nearly two hours before it became the 19th. He had time to wait before Beasley arrived.
Angel began to move out of the area. He didn’t want to deal with anyone that happened to see the vortex. The last thing he needed right now were questions. As he passed a sign marking the entrance to the park, Angel’s thoughts turned to a course of action.
It had been suggested that he go to the Scoobies and use their help in finding Beasley. Angel decided to avoid that if possible. His presence being revealed could complicate this matter further, a concept that only Cordelia really understood. It was September 1998. He was supposed to be in Hell.
Even if he were to survive an initial encounter with the gang, who was to say if they would even believe the story of a time traveling assassin looking to kill a girl whose boyfriend wasn’t even especially fond of. He would have to deal with so much hostility; it would likely be easier to go at this alone.
And he really didn’t want to deal with Buffy.
Not that he was still in love with her or anything. He wasn’t. Well, he loved her, but he didn’t LOVE her. Dealing with an over-emotional Slayer wasn’t something on his Top Ten List of Fun.
Angel decided to pick up an old habit to perform this mission. He’d stay in the shadows. He’d wait, he’d watch, and he’d kill that bitch the second she went after Cordelia.
Brian and Susie hadn’t stopped running since they saw the vortex open in Hartford Park. Rounding a corner blindly, the pair was knocked flat on their backs. And so were Xander Harris and Cordelia Chase.
“Hey!” Cordelia shouted. “Watch it! This is a brand new skirt you’re threatening to ruin!”
“S-sorry,” Brian stammered.
The four gathered their bearings and got up, both men helping their girlfriends up. Buffy, Willow, and Oz caught up to their friends after lagging behind a bit. “Heck of a crash,” Buffy commented. “What has you two running?”
“There’s some weird shit going on in the park. Electricity, cold winds, weird shit. Felt like an episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’ man.”
Without any further words the couple split right between Cordelia and Xander and took off down the street. The Scoobies stared after them, wondering what that was all about. Cordelia, of course, was the first to speak.
“Brian Ross needs to stop smoking pot. He’s a big enough retard without it.”
“Oh, Brian doesn’t smoke pot,” Xander said. “That’s just a rumor that I started.” The gang looked at him with amusement. “What? He said that I used to eat paste in grade school. I had to get back at him.”
“Xander,” Willow started, “you did eat paste in grade school.”
“Shut up, Will.”
“How long are we supposed to be patrolling?” Cordelia interrupted.
“Giles wants us out until 12:30. The Elm Street Clinic is getting a shipment of blood around then, and he wants us to make sure all goes well.”
The gang began to move, deciding to make a sweep of the park. The Scoobies walked in silence, except for the occasional comment from Cordelia, who was still mad her skirt got mussed.
Eternal Rest Cemetery
Energy crackled, as the fabric of time was broken open. Allison Beasley dropped from the vortex and landed gracefully on her feet. Her second chance had begun.
Surveying the area, she took note of where she was. “A god damn cemetery. The universe can’t drop me in an alley or a field. It drops me in a damn cemetery.”
Allison hated cemeteries. She got lost in one when she was seven. The family had all gone to pay tribute to grandpa on Memorial Day and she’d wandered off. Damn big brother, he was supposed to watch out for her. Not that it mattered now, that prick had been dead for a while. Or actually, he’d be dead in twenty years.
Allison took off her backpack to get the palm pilot. Her blood ran cold. Digging furiously through the pack, she cursed loudly. “It isn’t fucking here!” Her mind went back to the alley in Los Angeles. She had tried to stuff it blindly back into her backpack.
“I won’t be able to get home,” Allison whispered. The thought didn’t terrify her as much as it should have.
Allison did the only thing she could do: focus on something else. She grabbed the mini laptop from her pack and quickly booted up. “Access database,” she instructed the computer. A search engine popped up. “Sunnydale, California. September 19, 1998.”
The processor whirred silently as it tried to bring up the information. The computer brought up several pages of data. “Cross reference with: Cordelia Chase, Buffy Summers, gang violence.”
The computer processed the commands nearly instantaneously. One hit came up. “Bring up file,” Allison ordered. It was a newspaper article from the Sunnydale Gazette. A truck containing a shipment of blood was attacked at a clinic around 12:30. Glancing at the clock on the monitor, she noticed she had a little over twenty minutes to get there.
Allison folded the laptop up and placed it back in her pack. She then withdrew her weapon of choice. It was the size of a large pistol, and made completely from a metal alloy. But when she pushed a button, the barrel extended, and a stock shot out from the other side. Fully deployed, the weapon was about the size of a sniper rifle.
“Time to go hunting,” Allison muttered. She slung the backpack over her shoulder and contracted her weapon for concealment. If she hurried, she might make it to that clinic.
Elm Street Clinic
Carl and Lenny locked the doors to the blood van as soon as they saw the men with the strange faces appear. Five of them surrounded the van, trying to coerce the humans inside to open up.
“C’mon,” the leader said. “Open up. We just want what you’re carrying.”
“Fuck you!” Lenny shouted through the glass.
“Lenny, start the damn car!” Carl begged.
“I can’t! The ignition won’t fire!” Lenny shouted back.
Lenny went unconscious as a rock shattered the window and slammed against his head. One of the vampires reached in and unlocked the driver’s door. “Dinner,” the vampire growled.
“Hey! Haven’t you heard canned food isn’t as good as fresh?”
The vampires turned to see where the voice had come from. About twenty feet away stood a petite blonde girl, flanked by four others.
“Haven’t you heard about minding your own fucking business?” the leader retorted.
Buffy made a face in mock disgust. “Language,” she chided. “Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?”
“I ate my mother,” the vampire answered. “I also ate my dad, my two brothers, my baby sister, and the neighbor’s poodle.”
“Oh,” Willow moaned. “You ate a doggy?” She turned to Oz. “How could anyone eat a doggy?”
Oz didn’t get a chance to answer, because the fight was underway. It was four-on-one fighting all around. Four of the vamps circled Buffy, while the rest of the gang surrounded the remaining vampire.
Buffy was more than holding her own against the vampires. After a few moves, one of the undead was a pile of dust. The rest of the Scoobies, however, weren’t doing so hot. Cordelia, Willow, and Xander all brandished baseball bats. They tried to weaken the vamp so Oz could bury the stake in. But the son of a bitch wouldn’t go down.
A fierce punch sent Cordelia flying against a dumpster. A kick to the gut had Xander on the ground gasping for air. Feeling cocky, the vampire got sloppy. He took his time on a roundhouse kick aimed at Willow’s head. Fortunately, the redhead was quick enough to duck. Off balance, the vampire wasn’t able to dodge the stake coming down in a quick arc towards his heart.
On the rooftop opposite the health clinic, Allison peered through the scope of her pulse rifle. A slow grin crossed the assassin’s face. “Target acquired at fifty yards,” she spoke to herself.
Still stunned, Cordelia was just now climbing to her feet after the brutal punch she received. Twenty yards to her right, Angel lurked in the shadows, watching over her. The instinct to rip the throats from the vampires was incredibly strong. He so wanted to unleash the bloodlust, but Fred’s warning stuck in his ears.
From the corner of his eye, he saw the rooftop across the street. His demon vision allowed him to see the silhouette of a figure. Angel’s eyes narrowed as he realized who it was. His eyes then widened in fear as he saw what she held. He bolted towards his future lover without a second thought.
Buffy was jamming her stake in the third vampire when she heard the loud ‘THWOMP’ sound. Her sight never leaving the final vampire, her ears recognized the fact the sound came from across the street.
Willow, Oz, and Xander saw a white flash zip by. They also saw a figure tackle Cordelia, the flash impacting where the brunette had been only nanoseconds before. A small explosion ripped through the dumpster as the waste inside caught fire.
Allison cursed as she realized what happened. She had missed the little bitch, and the reason was clear why. The vampire was here. He wasn’t supposed to be here, not during this period of time. That meant he had the device.
Allison compressed the pulse rifle and grabbed her bag. It was time to go. She’d have another chance later, but now, she had to avoid being found.
As soon as Buffy jammed the stake in the alpha vampire’s heart, the Scoobies rushed to where Cordelia lay fallen.
“Sweetie?” Xander asked, pulling Cordelia upright. “Are you okay?”
A thin trail of blood dropped from a scratch at her hairline. The fear, confusion, and shock registered clearly in her eyes. “Where is he?” she asked, gripping the arms Oz and Xander offered in support. “He was here, he saved me,” Cordelia said.
“Who?” Buffy asked, trying to get the girl’s attention. “Who was that man?”
Cordelia fixed a steadfast gaze at Buffy. “Angel. Angel saved me.”