Author: Notmanos
E-Mail: notmanos at yahoo dot com
Rating: R
The characters of Angel are owned by 20th Century Fox and Mutant Enemy; the
character of Wolverine is also owned by 20th Century Fox and Marvel Comics.  No copyright
infringement intended. I'm not making any money off of this, but if you'd like to be a patron of the
arts, I won't object. ;-)  Oh, and Bob is *my* character - keep your hands off!



If it wasn't for Dru's constant neediness, Angelus swore he'd have staked Spike about five minutes after
he first met him.

He still wanted to, and right now the desire to do so was overwhelming, but luckily he was not in his line of sight. And Darla had pissed him off too by leaving him with Dru and that goddamned Spike, and a fairly pissed off mob of peasants as ugly as they were stupid. The angry mob was-of course-Spike's fault; he still insisted on doing some killings so brazenly the local populace couldn't help but notice them, and nailing the local publican to the outside wall of a pub was right up there with parading down the street, shouting, 'I am an evil demon! Please kill me!'

They got away by the skin of their teeth, and as soon as he was sure they were far from the great unwashed, he pulled Spike aside and beat the shit out of him. It felt good, but he would have felt better if he had killed him. Dru had stood back and watched, laughing at Spike getting a piece of his mind (fist), but as soon as she picked up the shift towards a more lethal mood, she had thrown herself over Spike's prone body and insisted he'd been punished enough, and he shouldn't take her Spike away. For a split second, he considered staking them both and getting it over with-he'd travel a hell of a lot lighter alone-but how could he kill his lovely, batty Dru? If she wanted the stupid git as a playmate, who was he to judge? After all, he'd made a few mistakes in his time. Very few. Maybe one.

The focus of his anger shifted to Darla, who abandoned them to the mob so she could get away. It wasn't the first time she had done such a thing - and while he hoped his days of dealing with angry mobs were over, he knew if it happened again, Darla would probably act the very same way - but it was still irritating, especially the way she acted whenever they met up again, like nothing had happened: as if betrayal was simply a part of life. And it was, but he should be the one doing it, not her.

Finally the thick, dark forest gave up what appeared to be a path cut through it, and he had to urge the roan stallion to follow it, as the horse initially shied and whinnied, getting spooked for no obvious reason; he jerked hard on the reins until the stupid beast obeyed. Could animals be afraid of the dark? If so,it gave them slightly more sense than people. Dru, who had decided to ride with him due to Spike's rather poor condition (also, she felt safer with him, for damn good reason-he knew that had to just eat at Spike, that he was Dru's sad replacement for her sire), suddenly leaned herself harder against his back, digging her fingernails through his shirt and into the skin of his stomach. "Not now Dru" he hissed. "I'm not in the mood." Maybe after he ate; right now, he was just in a mood to destroy.

"Something's wrong," she whispered tremulously in his ear. "We shouldn't go this way."

"Where else is there to go?" He snapped, gesturing to the smothering veils of tall trees around them, the interlacing branches over their heads creating a canopy that blocked out even the meager light of the crescent moon above. It was a good thing they could see in the dark, or they'd be forced to wander this green wasteland until the sun came up and killed them all.

But just as he saw the forest's end opening before them, he felt something strange; an arctic chill that seemed to start in the base of his brain and spread downward, and the horse became more restless, snorting and trying to shake off its reins, as the wind shifted and brought with it the smell of blood. It was human blood as well as animal blood, most of it quite fresh, accompanied by the unmistakable scent of death and flesh just starting to decompose, and something in Angelus's brain screamed, 'Run!' He squelched that little animal voice in his mind angrily, and dug his heels in hard, making the horse move forward. He was Angelus-he didn't run from anything (angry mobs aside).

"Daddy," Dru moaned fearfully, burying her face in the back of his neck and grabbing him so tightly around the waist he'd had been unable to breathe if he bothered to do so.

"What is it, Dru? I have to know what it is," he told her, as the horse came to the end of the path and stopped, refusing to go any further into the clearing where a small village resided. Or where the remains of a village had been, at any rate. Most of the houses and small buildings were still standing intact, but the wide dirt lane that passed for a road was ankle deep in corpses, turning the ground black with blood. Parts of dismembered people and animals had been mixed together, so severed cow heads laid beside decapitated human bodies, and disemboweled horses partially covered similarly eviscerated children, their combined entrails filling a ditch beside the road like a grisly feeding trough. Spinal columns and shattered bones gleamed in the moonlight, reminding Angelus of an elephant's graveyard he'd seen in Africa, and he felt Dru shudder, although not from the cold.

"The evil's still here," she groaned, her voice rising in panic. "It wants us, Daddy, it wants us!”

"It can't have us, can it?" He replied coolly, not letting on how genuinely unnerved the scene had left him. He had seen a lot of carnage in his life-he had caused most of it-but if a single entity had caused all this damage in a short amount of time, he'd rather not meet it. But as he attempted to turn the horse around, it reared violently, and while he held on tight, Dru slipped off, and since her fingernails were still buried in his stomach she dragged him off with her. As they hit the rocky ground, the horse instantly bolted into the forest, galloping full out as if for its life, and from the loud whinny followed by a heavy thud and colorful cursing he heard just within the trees, Spike's mount had dumped him as well.

Angelus jumped to his feet, snarling at Dru-maybe he should have staked her-but then he felt that cold again, an unearthly chill that seemed to promise something more evil than he could imagine-something more evil than him. He turned around and scanned the scene carefully, looking for something, anything besides the dead: he was sure he could feel eyes upon him, and balled his fists at his side, ready to do the damage that had been calling to him, in spite of the nascent fear that steadfastly refused to be silent.

Spike wandered out of the trees, brushing brambles off his dark waistcoat and out of his wavy blond hair that had come loose from its ponytail. Most of the bruises on his face had already healed, but Angelus was sure some of the less apparent injuries had a ways to go. He did a slight double take as he saw the village road full of corpses, and gasped, "Christ-what did this?"

"I don't know, but I'd like it on our side," he admitted, still searching for the source of those eyes boring a hole through him. He saw nothing but the dead, but even the corpses that still had their eyes weren't looking in his direction.

"Where's Dru?" Spike asked, concerned, and Angelus glanced behind him, wondering if he'd damaged Spike's vision. But Dru was nowhere to be found.




Spike knew he was technically sober, after all that had happened so far tonight, but right now he felt more alive than he had in a long time, probably since the bloody Initiative put the chip in his head. He had no idea where he was actually going, except away from L.A., on a deeply beautiful bike, with Dru hanging on to him, her arms tight around his waist and head buried against his shoulder, the cold night air funneling hard into his face, drying out his eyes. Oh, this was so fucking cool! There was even a radio in this thing, and as he sped along the neon lit streets of the city, he happily shouted along with Static X, forgetting about the bastard Ex for a happy moment. "Corrosive, tainted by my sin," he sang/shouted over the roar of the engine. "I'm spilling blood, and I can't hardly contain it-"

"Spike!" Dru shouted in his ear, nearly throwing him off the throbbing beat.

"What?" He shouted back, before singing the chorus, "Yeah, you push it!" He felt bloody brilliant-it was amazing what a little violence could do for a guy.

"He's behind us!" She cried, burying her face in the back of his neck and moaning softly.

"What?!" The vamp who'd had the bike before had broken the mirror off, so Spike had to look over his shoulder, and for a second he had no idea what Dru was on about. Not that he'd doubt her; she seemed to be tuned into the Ex's wavelength or whatever (and he seemed to know that)-but then he saw an old '69 Pontiac that had seen better days (judging from its primer gray color and rust spots on the hood) weaving through traffic at dangerously high speeds, causing several near accidents and much cursing, heading straight for them. Gaining speed.

"Oh, give me a fucking break!" He shouted to no one in particular, and released the throttle, taking the Harley up to the fastest speed possible. The street and the cars around him became multicolored blurs as he leaned into a wind sheer almost powerful enough to send him flying, moving with the bike as he wove between cars and cut corners with millimeters to spare, hoping an old model like that-a two ton car with a steel body (they made cars back then-none of this poncy aluminum or fiberglass)-wouldn't have a prayer of keeping up, especially in traffic like this. But when he risked a glance back, he realized where he had made his mistake, and where the Ex had made a smart choice: that pure steel car was the perfect 'Road Warrior' vehicle. When he couldn't avoid other cars, he simply rammed into them, and they were easily tossed aside like so much aluminum foil, barely slowing him down one iota as he put pedal to the metal hard enough to make the engine scream like a bans! hee. And despite its weight, someone had put a hell of an engine in that car-it was doing over one hundred miles an hour, and hadn't crapped out yet.

Spike barely swerved in time to avoid a Road Ranger taking an illegal turn in front of them, sending the bike slamming up onto the sidewalk as startled pedestrians scattered for cover, and his chip picked now to send little lightning bolts of pain throughout his synapses. "I'm not trying to bloody hurt them on purpose, you stupid piece of shit!" He shouted at it pointlessly, barely avoiding a blue blur of a mailbox as he jumped the bike back out on the street, making a Mercedes swerve into a BMW. It sent another unfair shock of pain through his mind, bad enough that he had to close his eyes for a second-not a great thing to do at one hundred and twenty miles an hour, even for a vampire. But he managed not to hit something, and as he turned on to what turned out to be a dead end street now, thanks to road construction, he suddenly realized what had passed them as a large, dark blur. He made a turn so sudden the tires squealed, burning tracks on the street and nearly tippin! g the bike over, making Drusilla dig her fingernails deep into his abdomen, a familiar pain shocking enough to make him gasp in remembered pleasure.

"Spike-what are you doing?!" She screamed, her voice shredded by the wind as he drove down the street, headed straight for the Ex's deathmobile.

Its front grill was well dented and looked like a mouth full of broken teeth, the smashed headlights resembling gouged out eyes, and he could see the shape of the Ex behind the wheel, his leering visage a strange mimic of the battered face of the vehicle as it screamed towards them; the tires squealing as he pushed the Pontiac as fast as it could go, straight towards them. Moments before impact, Spike slewed the bike into the dark blur of the alleyway, which he knew to be too narrow for the wide bodied car to follow, and he eased back on the engine, which was starting to make a strange noise due to the sustained high speed. But as he paused to look back...oh bloody hell.

The Ex was coming anyways, the car's body being crushed violently against the brick walls, sending out a steady cascade of yellow sparks as the metal screamed and reluctantly gave way. And he was still leering behind the windshield, the sparks reflected in the black mirrors of his sunglasses.

He quickly sped down the alley, pushing the bike to its limits once more, but soon found out there was nowhere to go: the alley opened up into some kind of factory lot, cordoned off with a chain link fence, and there was no apparent exit. Unless he went through the fence ...

As he circled the lot, he saw a tear in the fence, and a large white ovoid container at the back of the building-a propane tank. As the loathsome Xander might say, he was having a plan. He built up speed as he circled, aware there was very little time before the Ex ran them down. "When I say so, baby, we have to jump!" He shouted to Dru.

"Spike, I don't like this plan!" She shouted back nervously, either having guessed at it, or just detesting jumping off the bike at one hundred miles an hour.

"Do you have a better one?!" He shouted back, and revved the engine just as the Pontiac burst from the alley like a bullet from a gun.

He sped the bike forward, ducking through the rip in the fence even as it tore at his clothes and gouged his skin as they drove through, and as soon as he was sure that he had aimed right, he shouted, "Now!" He and Dru dove aside, hitting the pavement of the factory lot with bone breaking, skin ripping force as the motorcycle continued forward on its own velocity, crashing into and through the propane tank, with the Ex's car right on its ass.

There was a split second when Spike feared he'd given them semi-permanent scars -and wasted a good bike-for nothing, but he was forced to cover his eyes and curl into a protective ball as a huge explosion roared through the night, shaking the ground beneath him and rattling his tortured bones, a huge fireball belching upward and lighting up the night sky as molten metal shrapnel began raining down upon them.

Despite his temporarily deafened state, and all the aches and pains, Spike couldn't help but laugh. Finally, after all this time, he had beaten that motherfucker. He had killed the Executioner.


Angel had no idea how long he'd been unconscious, but he came to when the van came to a stop. He felt as well as heard the doors slamming, and heard voices as he opened his eyes. "Shit, man-I don't think we were shot at," a male voice said below him.

There was a strange smell in the air, like sweaty socks, and as Angel propped himself up on his elbows and looked down over the side, he found himself staring into the eyes of a pretty young Hispanic girl, barely dressed in a miniskirt and a midriff baring halter top, her blue and pink streaked black hair styled in strange spiky protrusions around her head that made her resemble a sea anemone. At first, her brown eyes widened in shock upon seeing him, then she burst out laughing hysterically. "Madre dios, Toby-somebody threw a guy at you!" She gasped, laughing so hard she doubled over, panting for breath.

A guy who must have been Toby-a teenager with curly brown hair, an acne problem, and glassy, bloodshot blue eyes -came around beside her and stared up at Angel in disbelief ."Oh wow, how weird is that?" He commented numbly, as the girl kept laughing. Great-club kids, who were far from sober. At least that meant there was a good chance they'd forget all about this tomorrow.

The pain was excruciating, but Angel managed to push himself up and jump off the van's roof, nearly stumbling, but he managed to keep his balance as the passenger who spoke first-a Japanese teenager wearing a bright orange 'Department of Corrections' t-shirt and a heavily gelled retro mohawk-joined the stoned duo, and Angel offered lamely, "Thanks for the lift. Sorry about the window."

Toby shrugged. "No big-it's my step-brother's wheels."

The mohawked guy offered him the bottle of malt liquor he was taking random swigs from as he joined them. "Want some? You look like shit, man."

"That's rude Max," the girl said, finally able to stop laughing. But then she looked up at Angel, and made a face. "Oh man-you do. You're bleeding! Shit, should we call 911?"

"No, I'll be okay," he lied, and then added, "It's fake blood; I'm an actor."

They all nodded as if that made perfect sense, and Angel took the bottle from Max, helping himself to a hearty swig of the cheap, hard beer. It burned going down and tasted like industrial strength piss, but it got the taste of blood out of his mouth, and he held out hope that it would be numbing. He gave the bottle back, and stumbled off with a final thanks, wondering what the hell he was going to do next.

He got to the end of the street before the sheer agony of movement made him sit down on the curb and rest his throbbing head in his hands. Going to Cordelia and Wesley was impossible-the Executioner would kill them before they could blink, and he wasn't going to risk them in what was sure to be a pointless quest to defeat him. But he had defeated him before, just not alone. It had been a group effort. Maybe ...

No-Wes and Cordy couldn't do it. Not even Gunn could be anything more than cannon fodder. He tried to remember all the demons that owed him favors, and then imagined what would happen when he told them he wanted their help in fighting the Executioner: all he could see in his mind's eye were doors hitting butts on their way out as they ran for the hills. And he wouldn't blame them in least. Spike had fought the Executioner and won, but even his first impulse was to run, probably because he remembered how close they'd come to losing. 'Do you have a rocket launcher?' Spike's voice echoed in his mind, and he realized it was a damn good question. Sadly, he didn't have one. But looking around at where he was, he realized he was in reach of getting one-or something even better.

As soon as he felt he had the strength, he stood and stagger painfully across the street, wrapping his good arm tightly around his shattered ribcage, and entered what appeared to be a condemned building. But the boarded over door became a usable one as he passed through the barrier of the glamour that hid this place from human eyes, and entered the seedy demon bar known as the Way Station. The smoke was so thick in the dimly lit, wood paneled bar, Angel was instantly glad he didn't he didn't have to breathe. Several demon patrons grumbled at his appearance and several got up and instantly left through the available doors-to say he wasn't popular in the demon community was a bit of an understatement-but he ignored them all, going straight to the leather padded bar, where he was met by the bartender, the ubiquitous Lia. She appeared to be a stunning redheaded young human woman, but her bright blue eyes (along with her scent) betrayed her as a Belial demon, a race of liars s! o utterly charming and persuasive they were the most successful and powerful demon species in Hollywood. And Washington D.C., if rumors were to be believed (but you couldn't believe a Belial, could you?). She gave him an exceptionally hard look, and said coldly, "You again. Don't you ever give up?"

"You don't have to go for your holy water gun, I'm not staying," he assured her. He dug out his wallet, pulled out all the cash he had, and slapped it on the bar. "I need to do some business with Maximum Bob." Maximum Bob was a well known member of L.A.'s demon black market-he could get you anything you could pay for, but his specialty was weapons; heavy weapons.

Lia eyed the money warily, then scrutinized his face. "This is some lame ass entrapment thing, isn't it? I thought you were smarter than that, Angel."

"Not right now. I need the weaponry. Now."

She scowled, and slowly shook her head. "Get lost, Angel, before you get hurt."

He pulled up his shirt, gritting his teeth as his jagged, broken ribs grated together and stabbed through the tender flesh of his lungs once more as he showed her the still open penetration wound through his heart. The shock registered on her face even before he told her, "The Executioner is in town, and I have to kill him before L.A. becomes a ghost town-literally."

Her face paled, making her eyes all the more vivid, a supersaturated blue that was as eerie as it was pretty. "He's real? I thought he was just a fairy tale."

"Does this look fictional to you?" He asked.

After a moment, Lia brought a telephone up from underneath the bar, and punched a button that appeared to be connected to a strictly internal phone line. "Bob?" She said into the receiver, gawking at the wound on his chest. "Get your ass down here, pronto. I say we have ourselves an emergency."



Angelus wondered where the peasant had stolen it. Okay, maybe it was a family heirloom, but if he belonged to a family with such a heritage, what the hell was he doing here, in this pig sty of a town? Angelus examined the gleaming blade of the sword, which had been obviously well taken care of, even though he'd found its dust covered scabbard at the bottom of a chest in what passed for a 'good' home in this pathetic excuse of a village. It had a gold embossed haft, and looked very sharp and well honed, with a good weight and balance to it; an excellent weapon to use against whatever cowardly bastard was watching him.

It still hadn't shown his face, and he had been looking for it, but it seemed content to wait and watch, no matter how he tried to lure it out. There was a possibility it had no interest in them, and if so they'd be on their way-but he had a feeling the thing was just playing with them, waiting to see what they'd do before moving in for the kill. And nothing toyed with Angelus-not even a thing capable of doing this kind of damage.

He left the house, and figured his looting was done for now: if the thing was hiding inside somewhere, it was in one of the more sorry homes, and who would loot those unless you had some unnatural craving for shit? The thing could come out and fight, or let them go on their way; right now, he didn't care which, as long as it stopped being a lurking coward. He carefully stepped over the bodies in the streets where possible-not out of respect for these dumb animals: it's just he didn't want to get his boots dirty-and thought he heard Spike cursing somewhere inside the forest. He'd been frantic after Dru's disappearance, and afraid the thing had grabbed her ,but Angelus knew his Dru didn't go anywhere without a fight-she was probably just hiding somewhere. He left Spike to that pointless manhunt while he did a little reconnaissance, although that had proved little more than pointless. Still, he had a new toy. He tossed the sword from hand to hand, getting a feel for the weap! on as well as quietly daring the thing to show its face (if it had one),and rather hoping it would; he bet this thing sliced through bone like butter. He couldn't wait to try it.

Angelus followed the cursing into the trees, and didn't have far to go before he found Spike at the base of a tall pine tree, looking upwards and holding his left arm close to his body. "Come on Dru! Damn it, would you get down?!"

He glanced up, and saw Dru sitting on a thick branch about twelve feet above them, her long blue velvet skirts gathered up beneath her as she sat with her back to trunk, her eyes staring into nothingness with wide, bright fear. "Eyes like blood," she murmured, seemingly unaware of Spike. "Eyes like blood." She seemed to be rocking ever so slightly, her lower lip quivering as if she might cry.

Angelus laughed, and met Spike's angry glare with a smirk. "Having a problem, Spike boy?"

"No, everything's just bloody great, you stupid git!" He spat back angrily. "What do you think?!"

He felt a brief surge of anger at Spike's words, but this situation was just too funny. "If you want her down, why don't you just climb up and get her? Or did that never occur to you?"

"I'll have you know I tried that," he snarled, and showed him his left arm, pulling down the sleeve of his jacket to show him what had happened: he had four extremely large gashes running from his forearm to the back of his hand, deep enough to show a white glimpse of bone at his wrist. "She tried to rip my bloody arm off! Why don't you try, smart ass?"

Angelus glanced up at Dru, and said in his most placating voice," Drusilla-it's time to come down now."

But she didn't seem to hear him; she kept staring ahead at something almost too horrible for her to bear. "My head is full of bees," she moaned, putting her hands on her ears. "The keeper wants to play, but I don't like his game."

"What?" It sounded like she was seeing-or being 'told'-something, but, as usual, the limits of her mind hampered her ability to communicate. Angelus felt an alien sense of fear once more, as he realized the dregs of Dru's remaining sanity might be draining away before their very eyes. "The keeper? Who's the keeper, Dru?"

Still she didn't acknowledge them; she simply moaned fearfully and began swaying back and forth, as if she might fall off the branch any second.

"Love, please come down," Spike said in a gentle, plaintive voice. "You know I'll never let anything hurt you, baby."

Angelus held up the sword, which glinted pure silver in the moonlight. "Look what I've got, honey. Isn't it pretty?" She liked shiny things; it just might be enough to bring her back. The horses might still be around somewhere, and if they could track them down they could get out of here.

Suddenly, her eyes grew impossibly wide, whatever blood was left in her face draining away quickly, and she screeched in a high, hysterical voice, "He sees us! The keepers eyes see us!"

Angelus heard a rustling in the brush, and felt a cold chill that had nothing to do with the wind. Both he and Spike turned as one, to see a man standing on the path fifteen feet away from them. He was tall and broad shouldered, blonder than Spike, and wore a nobleman's suit of dark fabric-but his eyes were pure scarlet, like pools of blood somehow suspended motionlessly inside his eye sockets. And when he grinned at them, it was inhumanly cold; a predator's smile. "Well, look what we have here-fresh meat. Oh, okay, not fresh; you guys have been dead a while, haven't you? No matter, I'm not too picky...especially since I've killed everyone else." He rubbed his blood stained hands together, eyeless eyes somehow scudding between him, Spike, and Dru, and asked gleefully, "Who's first?"



"Dru, are you okay?" Spike called out, shoving himself up to his knees and wincing at the pain. Something in his arm was busted - he could feel the bones scraping against each other, - adding to the little shocks of pain his cracked ribs were sending through his nervous system, but none of that was quite as bad as the burning he felt where his skin had been stripped raw by his initial brush with the pavement; road rash of an extreme variety. At least it would grow back.

His hearing wasn't completely back to normal yet, although the crackling of the fire was loud and he hoped he didn't hear a response because of it, but when he turned to look for her, he saw only the burning remains of the car and the tank, the remaining metal slowly melting together into an amorphous heap of slag. "Dru?"

He saw a silhouette rise on the other side of the lot, beyond the slagging metal, and his sigh of relief quickly turned into a gasp of disbelief as the shadow was too big to be Dru-and her eyes didn't reflect flames so completely. "No," he insisted, getting to his feet and facing the Executioner as he slowly stalked across the lot towards him. "No fucking way! You're toast, goddamn it!"

As the horrible reality of it sunk in, Spike's heart sunk with it. "That was the best plan I've ever had," he whispered to himself in disbelief.

"I'm sure it was, Spikey," the Ex agreed, stepping on the burning debris as if they were nothing but solid ground. "And it would have worked if I was a brain dead moron who didn't see where you were going. You weren't the only ones who could make last second escapes, you know. It just doesn't hurt me."

He started backing up slowly, and a familiar groan caught his attention. Dru was sprawled by the broken remains of the fence, just regaining consciousness, a long, bloody gash on the side of her face. She looked up, her eyes glassy at first, but they came into sharp focus when she saw the Ex was still alive and kicking.

Spike nearly stumbled as he walked backwards, and he saw why: there was a huge piece of either the car or the bike that nearly tripped him up. It looked like part of a rod, and one end was still smoldering; he was lucky it hadn't set his coat on fire. Wait a minute...

Spike crumpled to the ground, pretending to grab his right ankle, and the Ex bought it, chiding, "What's wrong? Broke a heel?"

He knew he'd regret it, and as soon as he grabbed the rod he did-he couldn't help but scream in pain as the first few layers of skin on his hand burned away, yet he still managed to focus through the pain long enough to lunge forward and jam the smoldering rod through the Ex's bloody mirrored sunglasses, shattering a lens and shoving the rod into his eye. The Ex actually cried out as he staggered back, reaching for the rod, but in spite of the pain, Spike felt emboldened that he'd hurt the bastard, and spun into a kick that hit him in the face, driving the smoldering rod deeper into his eye, dropping the Ex to his knees.

"Here's an idea-my name is Spike. Did it ever occur to you I'm good at killing people with small, pointy things, Excrement?" He spat down at him, readying himself for another kick.

But the Ex caught his leg and yanked forward, throwing him onto his back and pulling him towards him, until the Ex was looking down at him, snarling. With his sunglasses gone, he saw his eyes-not real eyes, just eye shaped holes as red as blood, crimson and gelatinous and as eerie as all hell. Except he was just gazing at him with one; the other was full of smoldering auto part. "Your name is William, blondie. And you're going to pay for this."

A shadow crossed them, and as they both looked up, Dru brought down the metal fencepost on top of Ex's head, and it made a dull ringing sound like a muffled gong. As the Ex made a grab for her, Spike pulled his leg back and rammed it in his face, driving the rod all the way through his eye and out the back of his skull. "And stay dead this time!" Spike snapped in angry triumph.

He fell back onto his ass, his good (right) eye glazing slightly, and Spike jumped to his feet, making sure to clip the bastard under his chin as he did so, and Dru smashed him full on in the face with the fencepost, driving him onto his back. She kept pummeling him with it, her lips twisted in an angry snarl, and he realized she was saying something under her breath: "Eyes of blood, eyes of blood." Not that again.

He grabbed her arm, wincing since he'd used his burned hand, and said, "Baby, come on-you know we can't bludgeon this bastard to death. We need something sharp. Come on, let's go!" But suddenly Dru was thrown, as the Ex caught the post and tossed it (and Dru) across the lot, and Dru just barely managed to roll aside and avoid the growing circle of flames.

Spike kicked him in the face as he tried to sit up, but the Ex swept his other leg out from under him, sending him sprawling on his back again as the Ex stood and yanked the smoldering rod out of the back of his skull with a wet, sucking sound, his strange and bloody eye healing itself as soon as the implement was gone. "Nice try, Spike, real nice. You grew a pair of balls all of a sudden? Oh wait, I know-it's because you're chick's here, right?" He then plunged the rod down, and Spike saw the move coming, but he couldn't kick it so he rolled aside, or at least he tried, but the Ex drove it deep into the back of his neck - and somehow, it was hotter than ever.