This story takes place before the events of my "Four Friends" stories ... as will be made clear later.
In this episode, Robin meets his greatest nightmare -- and it's not Faith with PMS.
Chapter 3: SHOTGUN SHELLS
Spike recovered first. “Well, well. The slayer spawn. I heard you got shish kabobed to death.”
“I heard you turned into the human torch, which would make you dead. More dead than usual.”
“I got better.”
“Yeah?” Robin moved forward at a crouch, ready to attack. “And were you resurrected without that pesky soul?”
“I’d just as soon leave you guessing.” Spike also scooted forward, clenching his fists. “I knew somebody was close by. You were making enough noise to raise - well, me. And that smell was drifting ahead of you, like the breath of a three day drunk.”
“What would you know about breath? You came for the eggs, didn’t you? You know about the power they hold. Are you back in the power business, Spike?” Robin moved another foot, until they were almost nose to nose. He felt behind him, momentarily panicking because he couldn’t reach his stun gun, until he felt Kara pull it from his belt and slap it into his hand.
“Hoping for a chance to go again? You might not have as much luck this time.” Spike sneered, which, Robin had to admit, the vampire was very good at. “I suppose you’re on one of your goody-goody missions to save the world.”
Robin shook his head. “Not the world. Just Cleveland.”
Spike snorted. “Aiming low, aren’t we?”
“Also, I want mom’s coat back.” Robin reached out to tug on the leather collar, which he knew would piss Spike off. The one who kept a cool head would have an advantage.
“You don’t really think this is the original, do you? Your mum didn’t take care of it at all -” Spike pulled back, then paused when he heard a crack.
Then a creak. Then the duct shuddered. “Uh oh,” Robin murmured.
Spike’s eyes widened. “Oh, bollocks.”
Straining ductwork parted. The vampire and watcher fell , first through thin metal, then through the ceiling.
There was no time to cushion the landing, and Robin only realized after hitting the floor that he’d bounced off a hospital bed. He came to rest on his belly, within a foot of Spike, while debris rained down around them. “Ouch.”
Without moving from the floor, Spike, who had landed on his back, turned his head toward his adversary. “In that, we agree.”
“I don’t have time for games, Spike.” Robin stayed on the floor, mentally checking himself for injury. “My mother and I were told you were dead, so I’m very upset right now.”
“Your mother ? But I killed your mother decades ago.”
“Which brings me back to why I don’t like you. I need to know, are you a good guy, or a bad guy?”
Spike stared at him for a long moment, then spoke reluctantly. “I’m working with Angel now.”
“That doesn’t answer the question.” Robin swept a hand behind him, searching for the stun gun. “Word is Angel’s thrown in with Wolfram and Hart.”
“Yeah, well, it’s complicated. But I offered to come for the eggs as soon as I could get away from that bloody awful place, and I’m going to get them. If I have to fight you in the process, that’s just sauce for the goose.”
They glared at each other for a moment, until a crunching noise stole their attention. Robin looked around to see a pair of black boots three feet away, and followed them up to a black uniform worn by a lanky, impossibly tall man with an unruly shock of brown hair - and a wicked looking science fictiony gun that he kept leveled at Spike.
“Hello, Hostile 17. I could tell by the heat signatures that we were dealing with a vamp, but this is quite a surprise. I heard you were dead. More dead.”
“Gave up smoking. I’m in the pink, now.”
The soldier gestured with his weapon. “And back in the demon egg business? Both of you get up ... slowly.”
To Robin’s surprise, Spike grinned. Keeping his hands visible, the vampire rose to his feet and backed away from the soldier. Robin also started up, but took a quick glimpse around to assess the situation as he rose. No other exits. He saw a typical hospital room, with two beds and a hole in the ceiling - in the shadow of the air duct, he glimpsed movement. Then, on hands and knees, he froze.
A bundle of rainbow hued eggs, each the size of a golf ball, hung from the bottom of the bed he’d fallen on.
“Up, Stinky,” the soldier repeated. Robin got to his feet, glanced up, and shook his head slightly.
“If it isn’t the soldier boy,” Spike said, his voice full of mocking. “I guess this is a regular reunion of people who’ve dated Buffy, isn’t it? Too bad Angel’s not here, we could have a barbershop quartet.”
For the first time, the soldier’s attention focused on Robin. “You dated Buffy? So, in what way are you screwed up? Other than your aversion to taking showers?”
Robin suspected this man already knew a great deal more than the typical soldier, so he decided to lay it all on the table. “Robin Wood. I represent the Watcher’s Council.”
“You -” The soldier’s gaze darted up and around. “Bring a slayer with you?”
“We sometimes get called into action without them.” Which was true enough, although not in this case. “If you’ve dated Buffy, I can only guess you’re Riley Finn.”
Riley hesitated, then turned back to Spike. “Okay. All things considered, at this moment I consider you the main threat. Any reason I shouldn’t lay you out?”
Spike tilted his head, considering. “Well, I did you the favor of killing that beasty that was running around this place, scaring the knickers off everyone.”
“You did that?” But Riley shrugged, looking unimpressed. “You’ve been known to do good things for bad reasons before.”
Spike rolled his eyes. “Look, those eggs are incredibly powerful. You soldiers boys just can’t handle it - didn’t you learn anything from the Initiative?”
“He’s right, but they’d be safe in our hands,” Robin insisted. “We have to use one, then they’ll all be destroyed.” As soon as the words were out, he knew he’d make a mistake.
“Use one?” the soldier and the vampire said at the same time.
“A formula. A healing formula, specialized for one person. Then the eggs get incinerated.”
“There’s nothing in those eggs that wouldn’t be poison to a human,” Riley told him.
But Spike, with a dawning look of understanding, nodded. “To a normal human, yes. But not to a slayer.”
“A slayer.” Riley hesitated, but kept the weapon at ready. “I’m going to need more than that, if I’m going to convince my superiors to give up something this dangerous. That creature sneaked into America on a plane not more than a week ago, and we can’t take any chances of its offspring getting a foothold here.”
In the silence that followed, Robin heard a hint of movement from somewhere above. Riley didn’t seem to notice, but Spike’s gaze darted up for just an instant, before he focused his attention back on the soldier. “Oh, bugger this. I’m evil. I’m here to take those eggs and turn them into weapons, and I’m going to kill you two so I can get away clean.” He lunged for Robin.
Kara dropped from the ceiling, feet first, aiming for Spike just as the vampire dodged backward. A bolt of energy hit her in the legs and she tumbled to the floor, then lay still.
Next: "Joker Got Away"