(Music: "The Drama You've Been Craving", Sleater-Kinney)

(Sandi has been punched out of the way and is in a corner, whimpering, a sound like a broken foghorn. Stacy, cowering in an adjacent corner, is looking at Sandi in undiluted shock -- Sandi's... scared? No way! Meanwhile, Quinn is pinned to the floor by the bed, a game-faced Tiffany's (yes, Tiffany) fangs at her throat. Fun for the whole family. So much that of course the grown-ups -- Helen and Aunt Amy [not Madison] -- have to burst through the door and spoil it.)

AUNT AMY: (pulling Tiffany off of Quinn, holds her above her at arm's length) Now, Quinn, I've heard of the popular having bitchy fakes instead of real friends, but when they try to drink your blood it's going a little too far. I really think it's time you found other people to hang out with. (pause) Is there anything made of wood in here?

(Tiffany slashes a couple of times at Amy's arm with a free claw, drawing blood.)

AUNT AMY: (still holding on, talks quickly, sounds quietly desperate) Helen. I can't hold on forever. Unless I get something wooden in my hand now, if we are lucky your second born and all the rest of us will die. A pencil will do. (Helen, frantically but fruitlessly searching, passes a pencil over. A plastic one. Amy grabs it, brings Tiffany down and nails the heart, no result, naturally.) I said wood, dammi--

(Tiffany swipes at Amy's stomach with a claw. And gets it. Amy keels over, dropping the vampire and clutching at the wounds, letting out a kind of strangled scream/gasp. Quinn is still on the bed, staring in shock, just screams.)

(Amy has a passenger. Who rushes out and into the house on hearing the second scream.)


(Music: "You Stole The Sun From My Heart", Manic Street Preachers. The Mogwai remix, of course. Give me some credit. Start about three minutes in, when the vocals end.)

(Jane has, consciously or otherwise, shifted away from Daria and further away from her bedroom door, where Tom is still standing, staring at the latter in a mix of shock and... no, shock about covers it. Willow and Tara look on, part bemused, part still seriously worried.)

TOM: (not a question) You're the new Slayer.

DARIA: (safety in deadpan) Apparently. I know I couldn't use a pocket knife with that much finesse and skill before.

TOM: A pocket knife?

WILLOW: Jane's brother's band were playing at a club... the Zon?

JANE: Zen. [1] They'd just come off stage, Daria and I went backstage to meet them, and there was a vampire there with a claw at my brother's throat. And then Charlie's Wiccans here came in and started throwing holy water around...

(Tom looks on... mesmerised would be the best word to describe his facial expression.)


(Silence except for the music: Marilyn Manson's cover of "Suicide is Painless". [2])

(Amy is on the ground, still holding her stomach, as if she's worried it may fall out. Given the depth of the scratch she got, this is probably a good idea. Some time in the piece, Stacy's fainted, and Sandi doesn't look much better off. Neither does Helen, for that matter. Tiffany is on Quinn...)


(Same as before, except Tom has moved in and found a seat across from where Jane usually sits to paint. Reprise You Stole The Sun...)

TARA: (quiet) ... the vampire turned around, and it was someone... one of Willow's old friends. (look of alarm and sympathy from Tom)

WILLOW: (not okay) It's okay. It's... she doesn't even look like the Amy Madison I knew did. And she doesn't act like her either.

(Manson and silence continue -- Aunt Amy's passenger is struggling with the locked front door.)

(Manics again, continue switching sound between houses)

WILLOW: And it doesn't matter, because while she was going all gloaty, Daria came up behind her, and...

(Tiffany pulls back, fangs bared... and dives into Quinn's neck. Blood spurts wildly. The pink bedsheets quickly start to turn red...)


TOM: (mild disbelief) And the vamp ran out? With the pocket knife still buried in its neck? (nods from the group) That has to be the... (shakes head) Just tell me there was nothing on it that could trace it back to you.

DARIA: (blanching) It was engraved with Dad's name...


(Manson continues. Amy's passenger is still struggling. A loud snap is heard and the door flies open, the passenger running in and towards the staircase.)


(Manson continues. Amy can barely pick herself up from her wounds. Helen, Stacy and Sandi are still in shock. Tiffany is still feeding on Quinn, but the latter looks a lot paler and it looks like there's not much blood left... an idea borne out by Tiffany pulling back and giving a reasonable and far more terrifying impression of the Mona Lisa smirk, opening a blood vessel at her throat with a claw and bowing down towards Quinn...)

(f/x: CRACK!)

(The wooden door is flung open courtesy of Amy's passenger, and part of the side is ripped off, down to the handle. The piece of wood is then redirected towards Tiffany's heart, and there's dust as well as blood on the bedsheets. Music stops.)



(Music: "Jesus Built My Hotrod", Ministry, continues through scene)

(A man in a cheap suit, who bears a passing resemblance to Roger Moore, is running very fast towards the camera. Out of one hand drops a pistol -- empty. Out of the other drops a large black briefcase, which flies along the ground beside him for a few metres with a loud scrapping noise, but remains shut. Behind him comes a small pack of three-foot-tall blue-skinned creatures, built like small dinosaurs, with mottled green scalps, black lower bodies, huge jaws, long, scorpion-like tails and short but nasty curved silver-white claws on the end of each arm. [3])


(Music continues. The door bursts open, and "Roger" half-runs, half-stumbles in.)

SPIKE: (O/S) What the HELL?

(Meet William the Bloody, Daria fans. British vampire introduced as S2's Big Bad, called Spike because he used to enjoy torturing his victims with railway spikes. "Used to" because the ever-lame pseudo-X-Files villains known as the Initiative stuck a V-chip in his head early on in Buffy S4, rendering him unable to harm anything human or even point a water pistol at one without getting the headache from Hades, or possibly the aftermath of one of CB's "crash-outs", if she'd ever tell us what they were... but I digress even more than usual. Anyway, this forced him to temporarily seek help from Buffy and Co. and later to have him wind up here. Probably one of the if not the most popular character the show's ever had, and rightfully so. Oh, appearance? Black duster a la Canadibrit's Tour of Duty, red shirt a la Jane, cheekbones a la the more attractive members of the English men's soccer team, peroxide dye-job a la Billy Idol.)

(Roger looks up, and sees a few hundred pounds of pissed-off British bloodsucker glaring at him. That "gulp" sound you hear could well be our man Moore swallowing his own tongue.)

SPIKE: Now. Let's assess the situation, shall we? I'm sitting here, relaxed, enjoying the "Classic Passions" reruns -- which I've just missed the end of thanks to you -- trying to figure out when I should go out and get some (goes game, shouts/growls) FOOD, (back to normal) when you come bursting in uninvited, disturbing the furniture, not shutting the door properly and generally being a bloody pain in the arse!

(Roger gibbers)

SPIKE: Give me one reason why I shouldn't kill you, now, slowly and violently, and bathe in or perhaps just drink your blood. (no response) I'm waiting...

ROGER: (still gibbering, almost comprehensible) M-m-m-mo... bl-bl-blue m-m-m-monsters... af-f-ter me... (squeaks)

SPIKE: Monsters, eh? Well isn't that interesting. Now, I wonder... which monsters are scarier? The ones out there... or ME? (leaps, game, in Roger's face, he cowers back against the door) Oh, you're pathetic. Get the fuck out of here. (he's still cowering) What part of "get out" do you not understand? (walks forward, Roger cowers further back, Spike throws the door open and lobs Roger out with it...)


(... straight into the open jaws of one of the creatures. Who throws him onto the ground -- Roger screams, a rather pathetic sound -- and begins scrabbling at the left part of his chest with those claws. The other creatures quickly join in, equal numbers on either side of the chest. The screams get louder, less pathetic. Bits of blood, gore and bone are seen being flung over the shoulders of the thing -- an inhuman howl comes from the human -- and two of the creatures on either side start hold aloft some bean-shaped objects like trophies, their companions leaping up and down as if in celebration. They scamper off, leaving Roger conspicuously not groaning, and we see what the trophies are -- Roger's kidneys.)


(Spike, recovering from the headache, sees all this go on, part impressed and part wistful. Then he sees Roger's not breathing and takes on what can only be called a manic grin. Looking round in case the creatures return, he steps quietly out to the body and checks it for a pulse or any other signs of life. Finding none, he picks the corpse up, sinks his fangs into the back of the neck, and feeds messily and eagerly. [4] Dropping the body, he looks around again for any possible witnesses, and instead sets eyes on the briefcase. Throwing the body over his shoulder, he goes over to check it out...)


(Spike shoves the body into a spare coffin, closing the lid. Then he opens out the briefcase. It contains a stack of manila folders... the topmost of which is labelled "Chip Removal". Spike's eyes bulge like he can't believe his luck (and I'm sure the same can be said for some of the audience, but if you can't keep your disbelief suspended I'm not sure what you're doing reading this fic. Not enjoying it much, that's for certain...) and pulls it out, flipping it open. A few pages in, it has a list of "Laboratories capable of Dæmonis chip installation and removal: Cinquno, NM [shut down]... Sunnydale, CA [destroyed]... Billings, MN [under repairs]... Baltimore, MD... the last of which is circled in red pen. Spike grins...)



(Daria is slightly slumped on the bed. Jane and Tom aren't looking much happier.)

TARA: Well, m-maybe they won't have noticed. Or maybe it was too... small to get engraved? (Jane snorts. Daria just sighs.) But... but you're Slayer girl! You got her once, you can get her again!

WILLOW: (following on) It's only one vampire! Go back home and stock up and you and us'll wait for her and kick her ass!

DARIA: One vampire? At the Zen, yeah. We don't know how many she has with her.

WILLOW: (slight desperation) So? Buffy could take on ten, twelve at a time! In a prom dress and heels!

DARIA: Oh, gee. Funny thing -- I'm not this Buffy of which you speak. This is my first time out. I've never fought one face to face. I don't want or intend to fight one face to face.

JANE: (harsh tone, similar to "The Lab Brat") Whatever the kids at school say, Daria and I have never been into suicide.

WILLOW: (desperation) So what are you going to do? Hide in a closet... sucking your thumb until the world ends? Which it probably would have done four, five times over if Buffy hadn't been there to stop it! [5]

DARIA: (cold, deadly) I'm. Not. Buffy. I don't even know who Buffy is. I don't know how to stop an apocalypse, and if everyone really is as stupid as they seem to be acting right now, I want to know how to start one.

TOM: And if that vampire had her claws at your mother's throat, would you still be saying that?

(Daria gives Tom a glare that says "I'm going to come up with a sharp, world-beating comeback any second now, and you will be properly shamed and silenced." The glare stays for several seconds.)

(The phone rings.)

JANE: Would someone please unplug that fucking thing?

(Instead, Tara dives to pick it up.)

TARA: (nervous, well, more than usual) Hello... Lane residence.

(Diagonal phone split-screen, it's Helen on the other end.)

HELEN: (forced saccharine can't hide worry) Hello. Er, who is this?

TARA: Oh, uh... T-Tara Maclay. One of, uh, Jane's friends.

HELEN: Oh, that's great! (pause) Can I speak to... is Daria there?

TARA: For Daria... Uh, who is this? (everyone in Jane's room looks up, suspicious)

HELEN: Oh, I'm sorry, it's her mother. Helen Morgendorffer.

TARA: It's your mom, Daria. (mass relief as she hands over the phone)

DARIA: (exhausted) Hey, Mom.

HELEN: Hello, Daria. Look, I know you were going to spend the night over at Jane's, but something's come up at home, Amy's here, Quinn's hurt and I was hoping you could come back home tonight?

DARIA: Aunt Amy? (raises eyebrows, pause) How's Quinn?

HELEN: I'm not sure... at the hospital, they sai--

DARIA: (not more...) The hospital?

HELEN: Oh, I can't do this over the phone, Daria. Can you please get home?

DARIA: (sigh) I'll see what I can do... (covers mouthpiece) Uhm, guys...


(Tom is at the wheel, with Daria shotgun and Willow, Tara and Jane in the back seat. Assorted homemade anti-vamp equipment (hastily-nailed-together crosses, roughly-carved stakes) and various small occult-looking objects make the car seem even more crowded. They pull up in front of the Morgendorffers', and Tom produces a mobile phone from one pocket in the infamous cargo pants and a small crossbow from the one opposite.)

TOM: Okay, Daria, we'll wait a little down the road. It's only a few hours until sunrise. First sign of vampires or other... undesirables coming toward your place and we either call or come running. And shooting.

(Daria nods, not looking like she wants to or even can talk, and gets out.)


(Darkness, we can just see a hand fumbling for the light switch. It finds it and the room is dimly lit from a single bulb. A subdued Jake goes down a couple of stairs, but stops when he notices Helen and Aunt Amy aren't moving.)

HELEN: (sharp but weary) Relax, Jake, Quinn'll be just fine at the hospital. (turns to Amy) What are you looking for, anyway?

AUNT AMY: (stops, looks round basement) A flashlight. That one over there'll do. (points to a torch on the far side of the room, pause) Jake, you're closest... (he goes down)

HELEN: What do you need a flashlight for, anyway?

(Amy leads Helen out the basement door, and shuts it behind her.)

AUNT AMY: I just figured it would be useful.

(Helen looks puzzled at this, and even more puzzled at the door. And most puzzled of all when a hand clasps around her mouth from behind.)

VOICE: (in Helen's ear) Make one noise or sudden move and you and your husband get to watch each other die.

HELEN: B-bu... wh-wh...

(The hand tightens.)

AUNT AMY: (moving to lock the basement door) Do what the girl says, Helen. (looks toward the assailant) Took you long enough, Tav. (Camera follows -- yes, Aunt Amy's passenger is Tav, aka Amy Madison.)

TAV/AMY: Not like you can talk, Aleph. [6]

ALEPH/AUNT AMY: True. (doorbell rings in the background) That'd be Daria. She's late. (walks off, presumably to the door, stops and looks back) Oh, and sis? (Helen stares at her sister, still totally shocked) Be careful now. You don't want to do anything stupid.

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[1] Yeah, it's probably the other way round, but who cares? And Zen sounds better, anyway. [back]

[2] I prefer the Manics version, actually, but never mind... [back]

[3] The only thing stopping me from presenting you with a picture of one (or more) of these things is a complete and total lack of artistic ability, regardless of medium. Any takers from the many fanartists I know are out there? [back]

[4] Scene loosely based on Soulstarsinger's "The Spy Who Fed Me". And for the record, my favourite Bond actor is that nice Dalton guy. Do you have a problem with that? [back]

[5] One: The Harvest. Two: Prophecy Girl. Three: Becoming. Four: The Zeppo. Five: Doomed. Let me know if I missed any. [back]

[6] Oh, please. Don't tell me you didn't see this one coming. [back]