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A Dish Served Cold.

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4.

Buffy’s Chalet.

Jumping from the shower, Buffy gave a cry of despair; grabbing a towel with trembling hands she hurriedly wrapped it around herself and stared in horror at the shower cubicle as if it had turned into some sort of futuristic torture device. With a shudder she reached into the shower and shut off the water.

After failing to contact Willow, Buffy had decided to take a shower and put on some fresh clothes, maybe have some breakfast. Perhaps everything would look better once she was showered and dressed. Her attempt at regaining her ‘calm’ had lasted until thirty seconds after she’d stepped under the hot water of the shower; she’d found herself having a really vivid, explicit sexual day dream about…GILES!

Or more precisely what Giles and herself were doing in the shower…together…naked! That was when she’d sort of screamed and leapt from the shower. Drying herself off, Buffy walked quickly into her bedroom; as she searched through her wardrobe for clean clothes her eyes inevitably drifted over to where Giles’ jacket still lay on her bed. Almost immediately her mind started to wander in directions it would normally never wander of its own accord. The towel slipped from around her body and she walked towards her bed as if in a dream.

“AAAAGH!” Buffy screamed as she hurled the jacket across the room; she looked at it as if it was a poisonous snake, “That’s just so gross,” she muttered, “and disturbing.”

Buffy had awoken from her dreamlike state to find herself lying naked on her bed caressing Giles’ tweed jacket. Shivering in disgust at the thoughts that had been going through her mind; she looked at the damp patch on the jacket’s sleeve and wondered if tweed could be dry-cleaned; she really had to contact Willow…now! Frantically she searched out her cellphone again and dialled Willow’s number. The number was engaged as was Faith’s. Giles’ number just rang and rang, Xander’s number was unobtainable and Dawn’s was busy like Willow’s.

“Okay,” she told herself, “all I have to do is get dressed…”

Her voice petered out as her eyes fell on the jacket again, she didn’t want to get dressed she wanted to stay naked and wait for…

“AAGH!” Buffy screamed again and forced herself to concentrate, “Get dressed, get dressed,”

Repeating the words like some sort of mantra, Buffy pondered her problem; if she could get to Willow everything would be alright. Grabbing the first clean clothes that came to hand she started to dress. Almost immediately Buffy found her mind going off to that torrid place inhabited by herself and her old friend. Her clothes felt so soft against her skin, but she didn’t want soft she wanted hard and rough and…

“Stop that!” Buffy gasped for breath, she paused for a moment before pulling on her jeans.

As she stood in front of her shoe collection trying to decide which pair to wear a thought not directly connected to Giles or shoes entered her mind. She knew there was something wrong; before when she’d been the victim of a love spell or whatever she’d believed that the feelings she was having were real. When Xander had cast his love spell, she’d believed she was really in love with him she’d have done anything for him (and nearly had). When she’d found Spike kneeling on one knee in front of her and proposing, she’d been totally convinced it was all ‘right’ and natural. When she’d seduced the guy at Sunnydale high, she’d felt nothing other than lust. This time she knew there was something wrong so she was able to fight it…so far. Once again, Buffy found her mind drifting away to a palm shaded beach somewhere where herself and her new husband had gone for their honeymoon; she lay on the sand gazing up into…Giles’ eyes!

“NOOOOO!” Buffy wailed jumping up from the bed and running towards the front door.

Stopping before going outside, Buffy had the presence of mind to check she had her keys and some money; she’d need to get a cab to Willow’s place. Grabbing a coat off the hook by the door she pulled it open and found herself starring into the surprised face of Maggie McBride, one of the new instructors she’d employed the previous week. Maggie was several inches taller than Buffy (most people were), she had dark blonde hair and seemed to radiate good health and fitness from every fibre of her being. The young woman in question had been physical fitness instructor in the British army and had already been super fit before she’d became a slayer. Having managed to hide her slayer-ism for some time she’d eventually resigned (or whatever you did to get out of the army). After several months of trying to live the life of a lone slayer she’d seen Buffy’s advert in the newspaper and answered it.

“Hi-de-hi, Ma’am!” Maggie gave Buffy a cheerful grin as they stood face to face in Buffy’s doorway.

“Maggie!” Buffy tried to smile as she wondered why the woman in front of her kept saying ‘Hi-de-hi’ and calling her ‘ma’am’ for Christ’s sake!

“Maggie!” Buffy tried again, “Just the woman I was looking for.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Maggie straightened almost to attention.

“Yeah,” Buffy continued uncertainly, she looked Maggie up and down; the woman was dressed in a tracksuit top, camouflaged trousers and shiny black boots. “H-have you seen Mr Giles…recently?”

“No ma’am,” Maggie gave Buffy a knowing wink, “haven’t seen Mr Giles since he took you home last night.”

“You haven’t?” Buffy noticed that Maggie was staring at something, she followed the woman’s eyes to where they where looking at the jacket Buffy was holding tightly in her hands. “AGH!” Buffy screamed and almost dropped Giles’ jacket, “Oh god!” she gasped, “How the hell did that get there? Maggie! You’ve got to help me, I can’t explain what’s going on, because I don’t know myself, but I’ve got to get to Miss Rosenberg’s apartment as quickly as possible.”

“Don’t worry ma’am!” Maggie turned and started to walk briskly along the path outside Buffy’s chalet, “I’ll get you there just follow me!”

Buffy ran after the woman as she headed for the car park.

0=0=0=0

Willow and Kennedy’s Apartment.

Finding herself tied securely to a chair, Amy started to mutter the words of the spell, that would untie her bond. The fools hadn’t even used magical restraints, but at least they’d stopped threatening her with porcelain figurines. If she was honest with herself, Amy had to admit that her revenge wasn’t actually going exactly to plan. Like she’d not planned on being captured and tied up so soon. Being, at heart, a realist, Amy knew that the chances of being tied up where quite high at some point along her path to vengeance. But this had all happened too quickly; true she’d not had much of a choice as to who’s body she’d appear in. She’d been hoping for Kennedy or even Faith; Kennedy she’d actually met and Faith was more than a little ‘dark’ so transferring her consciousness into either of them would be easier. For a moment Amy wondered what dark secrets this Violet girl kept hidden.

Maybe the time had come for a new plan; on the plus side she had this new younger body. On the minus side she was tied to a chair in the witch-bitch’s living room. If it ever got out who she was her life wouldn’t be worth a dime. Twisting her wrists, Amy found her bonds had loosened enough for her to slip her hands free. Yes, she thought it was time to work out a new plan. All she needed to do now was to escape…some sort of distraction would be handy.

0=0=0=0

Violet.

“I’m Rochelle by the way.”

“Violet, Vi,” Vi smiled; she was sitting on the edge of a bed in another hotel room with Rochelle and three guys, everybody but her seemed to be busy loading up magazines for the pistols they all carried.

“Here,” Rochelle held and automatic pistol out to Violet, “can you use one of these?”

“I expect so,” Vi took the weapon in her hand and let her slayer memories tell her all about the pistol, she sighed, “Yep, I can use it.”

“Good,” Rochelle frowned a little as she watched Violet handle the weapon but after a moment or two she just shrugged and turned to the men in the room. “Hey guys, this here is Vi, another recruit to our happy band.”

There was a ragged chorus of ‘Hi’s’ directed at Vi.

“Ignorant bastards,” grinned Rochelle, “don’t know how to make a girl welcome. The big old guy,” Rochelle pointed over to a big, balding, middle-aged, black guy, “that’s Coach…and him,” Rochelle pointed out a young white guy in his early twenties, “that’s Ellis.”

Leaning over to whisper in Violet’s ear, Rochelle said, “Between you and me, I think he sees this entire fuck up as some sorta personal challenge. And finally,” Rochelle pointed to another white guy, “that’s Nick,” she smiled conspiratorially at Vi, “he’s some bad-ass gambler…but other than that he’s okay. So, what’s your story, Vi?”

Noting that Rochelle hadn’t actually said much about herself, Vi sighed.

“Not much really,” Violet quickly thought up a believable story, “I totally don’t remember much. I remember waking up in a hotel room wearing someone else’s clothes,” she’d decided she’d not mention the part about wearing someone else’s body. “Then I got up and went into the hall and was attacked by those zombie things…”

“Zombies,” Rochelle smiled and forced a chuckle, “that’s good. You’ve no idea how you got here or what’s going on?”

“No,” Violet shook her head, “and what’s with the zombies?”

“Not zombies, girl,” Coach called from across the room, “they’re the ‘infected’.”

“Infected?” Violet looked from one face to another, she’d suddenly become the centre of attention.

“Yeah,” Rochelle looked deeply into Violet’s eyes, “you really don’t know what’s going on do you?”

Violet shook her head.

“Look,” Rochelle took one of Violet’s hands in her own, “a couple of weeks ago this virus broke out some place. It’s like rabies only worse, it can’t be treated and it doesn’t kill you. It turns you into,” Rochelle paused trying to find the right words, “into…well, into a killer zombie.”

“Hey,” Nick stood up and walked into the centre of the room, “those choppers aren’t going to wait forever.”

“Choppers?” Violet stood up with her new found friends.

“Yeah,” Ellis spoke for the first time, “army are supposed to send choppers to pick up survivors, which is why we’re here.”

“But we missed our flight,” Coach laughed bitterly, “so we’re headin’ on down to Liberty Mall, there’s supposed to be another pick up from there, but we’ve got to hurry.”

“Here,” Rochelle passed Violet a handful of spare magazines for her pistol.

“Um,” Violet looked around helplessly, “nowhere to put them. Sorry I’m not really dressed for zombie slaying.”

This got a laugh from everyone.

“Here,” Nick took a man’s jacket from off the back of the door and handed it to Violet.

Slipping on the jacket, it was way too big but it had pockets, Violet put the magazines into the pockets and checked that the pistol was ready to fire.

“Good to go!” she said with a grin.

“Okay,” Rochelle walked over to the door, “we head for the fire escape then on down to the lobby. If we’re lucky we might find a car or something. Nick, you’re with me. Coach, Ellis you bring up the rear, Vi, you stay in the middle.”

“Sure,” Vi smiled, these guys were in for a big surprise if they ran into trouble.

Opening the door carefully, Rochelle stepped out into the corridor followed swiftly by Nick. Violet paused in the doorway for a moment, her slayer senses weren’t telling her of any particular threat, just a general non-specific menace coming from all around. Feeling Coach and Ellis behind her she stepped out into the corridor and followed Rochelle and Nick towards the end of the passageway to where the fire escape should be. Coming to the fire door, Rochelle turned the handle and pushed with her shoulder. The door was jammed.

“Here let me,” Nick added his weight to Rochelle’s but still the door wouldn’t move, “must be blocked.”

“Okay people,” Rochelle pushed past the others in the party, “back the other way.”

Eyeing the door, Violet guessed she’d be able to break it down in less than a minute but now everyone was heading in the opposite direction. Shrugging she tagged along, her time would come.

Everything was going fine until they reached the elevator lobby in the middle of the floor. They’d paused to get their bearings when the zombies started to just materialize from every door and corridor all at once. The slayer in Violet rose up and filled her with all the self-confidence she’d lacked pre-slayer. Lifting her pistol, she started to fire long before the others had even realised they were under attack. Firing steadily at the advancing horrors, Violet fired one round into the forehead of each zombie as it came into her field of view. Aware of her hands changing magazines she never took her eyes off the advancing horde. The sound of her companion’s guns going off and their warning shouts only penetrated her mind like some half remembered dream; she was the slayer, she could do this all day if she had to, nothing could touch her.

“HEY, VI!” Rochelle’s voice penetrated Violet’s ears and consciousness, “TIME TO GO!”

Go? Thought Vi, time to go? Why? Just when she was having so much fun!

0=0=0=0

Willow and Kennedy’s Apartment.

The sound of the front door buzzer going off jogged Willow out of her thoughts; she’d been trying to work out what was going on, which was difficult because their prisoner wasn’t talking. If things went on as they were she’d have to use more ‘forceful’ methods. After all who knew what terrors poor Vi was suffering in someone else’s body.

“Dawnie,” Willow called, “can you get the door please?”

“Sure,” Dawn got up and headed for the door, “no problem.”

Moments later the sound of the front door being kicked open was swiftly followed by a scream of ‘BUFFY!’ from Dawn. An instant later Buffy arrived in the living room she was breathing heavily and clutching Giles’ tweed jacket.

“Help me!” Buffy looked imploringly at Willow before turning her gaze on Giles, “I love you Giles!” she cried casting the jacket to one side.

Easily pushing Xander out of the way, Buffy advanced on Giles as he backed towards the wall.

“Take me!” Buffy tore open the front of her blouse exposing her breasts, she wasn’t wearing a bra, “Take me now!”

“NOOOO!” cried Giles as he bumped up against the wall, there was nowhere left to run.

“Grab her!” ordered Willow.

The room descended into chaos as Faith and Kennedy leapt onto Buffy’s back. Amid cries of, ‘I want him!’ and ‘Mind the china, its antique!’ the three slayers rolled about on the floor smashing furniture and sending knick-knacks flying through the air to smash against the walls. Eventually the combined strength of Faith and Kennedy subdued Buffy long enough for Willow to zap her with a spell that put her to sleep.

“That should hold her for a while,” Willow looked around at her smashed up living room and sighed sadly.

“Are you sure?” nervously Giles advanced on the sleeping Buffy.

“Yeah,” once again Willow sighed, would she never be able to have nice stuff for fear that it’d get smashed up?

“Hey,” Dawn held up a couple of china figurines and smiled, “I managed to these.”

“Thanks,” Willow smiled back and took a deep breath, “look, we better find out what’s happening to Buffy and…” Willow looked around the room, “Where’s our prisoner?”

“Crap!” Faith headed towards the door, pausing she turned back and looked at Willow, “You deal with Buffy, I’ll chase the bitch,” she looked at Kennedy, “can ya deal with Buffy if she wakes up?”

Nodding her head, Kennedy smiled at the idea that she might get a chance at punching Buffy on the nose.

“Good,” Faith started out for the door again calling over her shoulder, “Harris, you comin’?”

“Nah,” Xander climbed from the floor where he’d found himself after his contact with Buffy, “it’s just the way I’m breathing.”

He headed off after Faith.

“Right,” Willow figuratively rolled up her sleeves, “lets get to work,” she looked up at Dawn, “Dawnie, research…Kennedy?”

“Yeah I know,” Kennedy headed towards the kitchen, “tea and cookies.”

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