Harmony the working gal vampire is a highly valued employee of Wolfram & Hart.
A Highly Valued Employee
The sun was about to set, when Harmony's alarm went off. The 23-year-old woke up naked, with a naked dead guy in her bed. She'd always felt good when that happened. She couldn't think of a better way to start the night. Then she thanked God for what she'd had to eat.
She got up and stood in front of the mirror, brushing her fangs, combing her yellow, shoulder length hair, and fixing her make-up. The full figured Harmony, wondered why no one else could see a vampire's reflection, but she could see her own. She liked what she saw. When she extended her fangs, her face did not become disfigured, like they did on those fictitious vampires, who were featured on certain popular TV shows.
She thought, I'm a deadly beauty.
She put on her bright yellow dress, with matching vest and pumps, and picked up her matching handbag.
She reached in her handbag, and took out a copy of the "Vampire's Handbook"; which was subtitled "Being a Vampire Doesn't Have to Suck". Under the subtitle was a cartoon smiley face with fangs. Under the smiley face was the blurb "What every new vampire should know."
She walked over to the bed, put a copy of the handbook between the dead guy's limp fingers, gave him a kiss on the cheek, and went out the door.
Harmony worked nights as a receptionist, on the 38th floor of the Wolfram and Hart Building, which stood 50 stories high in the middle of Downtown. Her desk faced across the Lobby toward the Executive Offices, with a bank of three elevators to her left.
This evening, living and undead employees stepped off the elevators dressed in business attire. The men and women moved through the Lobby, heading for their offices, along the corridor to Harmony's right, at the beginning of the work night.
There were copies of the 48 page "Vampire's Handbook" stacked on the desk, for anyone to pick up. On the desk, there were also copies of this month's edition of "Undead Living Magazine".
A sign hung on the wall behind Harmony, facing the elevators, declaring:
"WOLFRAM AND HART HEADQUARTERS, IS A VIOLENCE RESTRICTED ZONE.
NO KILLING OF ANY W & H EMPLOYEES OR VISITORS IS PERMITTED ON THESE PREMISES, EXCEPT BY THOSE INDIVIDUALS, AUTHORIZED TO ENFORCE SECURITY, AT THEIR OWN DISCRETION. ANY EMPLOYEE, IN VIOLATION OF THIS PROHIBITION, WILL BE IMMEDIATELY DISMISSED.
W. & H. MANAGEMENT."
This evening, Harmony sat at the Reception Desk, speaking with Winifred Burkle; "The sweetest gal alive (for now) at Wolfram and Hart". The dark haired "Fred" stood beside the desk, wearing glasses and a white lab coat. She held a clear plastic sandwich bag.
Harmony asked her, "Have you got any plans for this weekend?"
"Well Freddie girl, I've been thinking. I'd like to help you celebrate your engagement to our boss, Mr. Wesley Wyndham-Price. Can you think of anything you'd like to do?"
"Why thank you Harmony. Now let's see. Something I'd like to do? Well, when I turned sweet sixteen, some of my friends back in Texas 'helped me celebrate', by getting me drunk, getting me naked, getting me laid by the Captain of the Football Team, and getting away with it. Now that was something that I did like to do, but I don't know if that'd be an appropriate way to celebrate my engagement."
Harmony laughed, "When I was sixteen Fred, I didn't need anyone's help to get a guy to lay me."
"Neither did I, by the time I was seventeen Harm. I got it good, and I was known for giving it good; but it's been a long time since I've been an airhead schoolgirl; and who the hell'd want to be the way she was, when she was seventeen?
"To get serious," she said, "Wesley and I have got to start making honeymoon plans now. I'm wondering where's a good romantic place to go? You've been to Mexico. What's it like?"
"Believe me Fred," Harmony told her, "it was wonderful. Just try to imagine warm tropical nights, under the moon and the stars; making love to the man you love under palm trees; then listening to mariachis playing in the distance, while gulping down the warm blood of dying hombres."
Fred sighed, "Ahhh! It sounds like a perfect place for two vampires in love; but I'm not a vampire and neither is Wesley."
Harmony smiled. "But you will be, long before your Wedding."
Fred stiffened. "Is that the kind of celebration you're planning?"
"Of course it is." Harmony asked, "You don't expect to spend the rest of your life alive, do you? Listen Fred. You're a very cute gal, with a very appetizing neck, and a lot of guys around here who would love to sink their fangs into it."
"Thank you Harm. That's all very flattering, but the only guy I want sticking anything into me is Wesley."
A tall dark haired man, wearing a dark three-piece suit and glasses, stepped off an elevator into the Lobby, carrying a briefcase.
Harmony grinned. "And here he comes; your fiance, Mr. Wesley Wyndham-Price himself."
The man with the briefcase made his way through the crowd, to the reception desk.
Fred grinned, and spoke with a gushing tone. "Hi Wesley."
He spoke with an upper class British accent. "Good evening Winifred.
"Harmony." He asked, "Are you doing anything that will take you away from your desk, within this half hour?"
The Receptionist smiled. "No. I'm just trying to kill your fiancee, and she's talking dirty."
As always, Wesley didn't respond to Harmony's playful tease.
He told her, "I'm expecting a very important package to arrive from Sunnydale, within this half hour."
Harmony repeated, "Sunnydale?"
"Yes." He nodded. "Your hometown and the site of your High School Alma Mater."
She added, "Where I got killed and vamped, on the night of my High School Prom. That was right after Buffy Summers, the Vampire Slayer, received that lame 'Class Protector' Award."
She laughed, "I wish I hadn't been too dead, to see the look on her face."
He told her, "I want you to send the person who delivers the package, into my office as soon as he arrives. After I've completed my business with him, I'll have you come into my office. Then I'll want you to..."
"Take him someplace and kill him?"
That was the usual reason why Wesley wanted Harmony to enter his Office, when he dealt with some "person".
This time he said, "That remains to be seen."
He turned to his fiancee. "See you later Fred."
Wesley then headed to his office across the Lobby from the Reception Desk, went inside and shut the door behind himself.
"So Harmony." Fred told her, "There's something that I'd like you to be one of the first people to know about. It's a major breakthrough for vampires everywhere."
Harmony asked, "Major breakthrough?"
"Up in the Lab, we've developed a formula that will accelerate the vampiric transformation process."
"Accelerate the transformation?"
"When a vampire uses the formula, before he or she bites someone, the person who he or she bites, will revive as a vampire in about four hours."
"You mean he won't have to be buried, and dig his way up out of his grave, like I did?"
"Exactly. What do you think about that?"
"I wish the guy who vamped me had taken the formula."
The researcher told her, "Now we have to run some tests. How'd you like to volunteer?"
Harmony grinned, "Sure."
"Good. Just wait a minute."
Harmony playfully opened her mouth, and extended her fangs, looking hungrily at Fred's neck.
Fred ignored the fangs. She opened her clear plastic bag, and removed a small, plastic drug vial.
Then she told Harmony, "Here are some lozenges."
She put the vial on the desk.
The vampire said, "Lozenges?"
"That's right. Just suck on one of these, about a half hour before you go hunting."
Harmony retracted her fangs.
She said, "That's not what I'd been hoping to suck on."
"Sorry to disappoint you Harm, but I can't possibly monitor the test, if I'm dead, can I?"
"I can be the one who monitors it." Harmony told her, "If you get vamped during this test, it'll be an authorized killing, so no one will lose his job. It'll be much more considerate of you, than just waiting to get grabbed and dragged into a closet by some vamp, who'll give it to you wham, bam, thank you ma'am; and then get fired for it."
Fred told her, "I don't want anyone fired; and back where I come from, we women prefer wham and bam."
"You do? I can't believe Wesley..."
"Believe it girl, and he's always a gentleman, who says 'Thank you ma'am.'"
The five-minute warning bell rang, and the Lobby quickly cleared of all employees, except Fred and Harmony.
The double doors of an elevator opened. A dark haired living guy in his early twenties stepped out into the lobby carrying a brown, sealed, cardboard box that was a foot wide and a foot high. He wore a zipped open light brown jacket over a white shirt and dark blue jeans. He had a deep suntan, and looked around nervously. He saw the sign, declaring Wolfram and Hart Headquarters to be a Violence Restricted Zone, but he still looked uneasy.
He stepped up to the reception desk and exclaimed,
The receptionist said, "Xander? Xander Harris?"
Harmony grinned hungrily at Xander who became even more nervous.
"Fred." She said pleasantly, "This is Alexander Harris. I went to Sunnydale High with him. I'm glad you brought me these lozenges."
Fred said, "Good evening Mr. Harris. So you're the one from Sunnydale."
Xander shook visibly.
He repeated, "'The one'?"
Xander reached in his jacket pocket, took out a cross, and held it trembling, up close to Harmony's face.
Harmony extended her fangs and sat there calmly.
Fred shouted, "What are you doing? Those things are forbidden here!"
Xander looked frantically back and forth, between Harmony and Fred. He saw Harmony sitting there calmly. Not affected by the presence of the cross.
She said, "It's okay Fred. He can't hurt me with that."
Xander asked, "What's going on? You're not cringing?"
Harmony reached out, and grabbed the cross out of Xander's hand.
He asked, "How can you be holding that?"
Harmony announced, "I'm a born again Christian Mr. Harris."
"But you're a vampire." He told her, "You're showing me your fangs."
Harmony handed the cross to Fred, who put it in a pocket of her lab coat.
"Some of God's people got fangs."
Harmony retracted her fangs.
She asked, "Are you ready to be a civilized adult, and behave like a gentleman now Xander?"
"I will if you will."
Fred asked, "Are things okay now?"
"Sure Fred." Harmony told her, "He's not leaving this building alive."
"Good." The researcher told her, "Well I've got to get on up to the Lab. See you later Harm."
"So I'll talk to you during lunch Fred."
"Right. See you then."
Fred headed away from the desk and boarded an elevator.
Harmony was now alone with Xander.
He repeated, "'Harm'? That nickname really fits."
"And you're about to see just how much."
"The last time I saw you," he said, "you were lying dead in the parking lot, right after our Senior Prom let out."
"Yeah. That got me out of having to take any finals."
"And now you're a vampire employee, of the vampire owned and operated Wolfram and Hart Corporation."
"Where my services are well appreciated, and well compensated. Something you'll never be able to say."
He said, "I beg to disagree with you, my bloodthirsty beauty."
Xander placed the box on the desk in front of Harmony.
He said, "In this box, I have the fulfillment of every vampire's deepest wish."
Xander picked up a human bone letter opener, from a human skull pencil holder on Harmony's desk. He cut the tape around the edges, and opened the box.
"Just take a look inside and see, oh skeptical deadly one."
Harmony stood and looked inside the box.
"A woman's head?" She observed, "Blonde."
The receptionist reached into the box, and took out the head of a young woman in her early twenties.
Harmony howled in delight.
"You've killed Buffy Summers! The Vampire Slayer is dead! This is wonderful! Ding-dong! The bitch is dead!"
Harmony put down the head, rushed around the desk, threw her arms around Xander, kissed him and hugged him tight, pushing her large firm breasts against him. Xander grabbed Harmony's lower ribs, trying to push her away, but the vampire was much too strong for him.
"You're a hero Xander!"
He was horrified. "A hero? Me?"
"And a hero deserves the reward, of immortality!"
Harmony extended her fangs.
"Wait!" Xander told her, "This would be an unauthorized killing, in a Violence Restricted Zone! You'd get fired!"
She said, "I've been given the authority. It's entirely up to my discretion, which I exercise regularly."
"But can't you come up with a different reward, other than immortality?"
"Sure, but you're also a villain Xander. I'm killing you for the betrayal and murder of Buffy Summers. You deserve to die for that."
Harmony put her mouth against his neck, and was about to chomp.
"Wait!" Xander shouted, "I'm not the one who killed her! Do you really think I'd have the ability? Think about it."
Harmony hesitated to bite, but she kept her fangs, and her licking tongue against his neck.
"Think about it." He asked, "You're an ordinary vampire, who's about to kill me, with no trouble at all; so how could I of all people, kill a Vampire Slayer?"
She removed her mouth from his neck, stepped back, but still gripped Xander's shoulders tight. Her fangs remained extended.
She said, "Okay. You get to live, but only long enough to tell me. Since you didn't kill her, who did?"
Xander didn't speak.
She said, "Okay. Time to die. I'll find out soon enough."
She was about to bite again.
He asked, "Do you remember Anya? More properly known as Anyanka, the Wish Granting Vengeance Demon?"
"Oh yes." Harmony sneered, "I know all about you and your ex-fiancee. You left her standing at the altar? In her wedding dress? If I wasn't a vampire, and you'd done that to me, I'd have ripped your throat open with my bare teeth and sucked you dry anyway.
"Why'd she kill Buffy and not you?"
"Anya's a Wish Granting Vengeance Demon. She'd have only been able to do that if someone had wished for that. Somehow, nobody ever did."
She smiled happily. "That's okay. I'll take care of it now."
Harmony again clamped her arms around Xander, and put her open mouth against his neck. Then she hesitated, and stepped back from him again.
She asked, "So tell me. What happened with Buffy?"
He took a deep breath.
"It happened last night." Xander explained, "At Sunnydale U. There were these Frat Guys who, just for fun, did something very sleazy, to humiliate a defenseless Co-ed.
"They held what they called a 'Pig Party'. She'd been invited to attend a party at their Frat House. You know; Sigma Gamma Sleazebags. She'd been invited by one of the members, who she thought was very nice; but when they got there all the guys in the room started making oinking noises, including the guy who'd invited her.
"She started crying, and they oinked even louder. She ran for the door, and the oinking turned into roaring.
"When she got to the door she turned around. Then she told them, 'I wish that all of you would know how it feels, to have your hearts ripped out.'
"So Anya granted her wish."
Harmony said, "Good for her."
"And Buffy said that she knew what she had to do.
"And I knew what I had to do."
Xander had driven to the Frat House, where he'd found Anya standing in the parlor, outside the room where about two dozen Frat Guys lay dead in their own blood, with their hearts lying on the floor.
The 1146-year-old Vengeance Demon looked like a brunette co-ed in her early twenties.
She said, "Do you have any idea what they did to her Xander?"
He told her, "This isn't an intervention Anya. My motor's running. Get in the car now. Buffy's coming to kill you."
His ex-fiancee spoke calmly. "You mean she's coming to try."
He threw up his hands. "Has everyone had their Crazy Flakes today?"
"I'm a demon." Anya explained, "She's a demon slayer. It was bound to come to this someday; and tonight, the Slayer dies."
He told her, "I can't count the number of demons, who I've heard say that, just before they were the ones who died."
Behind him, he heard Buffy speak. "Get out of the way Xander!"
Xander turned to face Buffy, who carried a sword.
He stood in front of Anya, shielding her from the Slayer.
"No!" He said, "You're trying to kill the woman I love! You'll have to go through me first!"
Anya shouted behind him. "Get out of the way Xander!"
He looked and saw Anya's demon face, all pale, and full of thick, pulsing veins.
She shoved Xander aside; then lunged at Buffy.
Xander stayed down, which was always the smartest thing to do, when Buffy began flailing with anything that could be used as a weapon.
He watched as Anya and Buffy engaged in a swashbuckling fight, going back and forth all over the room.
Anya shouted, "This is just like you, isn't it Buffy? Are there any friends of yours, who you haven't tried to kill?"
The brawl continued, with the sword passing back and forth between the two supernatural warriors; until Buffy finally had Anya pinned up against the wall, with the point of the sword between her breasts.
Xander shouted "No!"
Buffy thrust the sword, all the way through Anya, fastening her to the wall.
The woman Xander loved cried out and died.
Anya hung dead against the wall, showing her human face. She had a tear on her cheek.
Xander couldn't remember if he'd said anything to Buffy at that moment. He remembered that they couldn't look at each other.
Then Anya gagged. She reached up, and pulled the sword out of herself.
She asked, "What did you think Buffy? That a sword through the chest would be enough to kill a Vengeance Demon? I thought you knew better."
Anya lunged forward with the sword. She made a single slash, and chopped Buffy's head off.
The Vampire Slayer's headless body collapsed, spurting blood from her neck stump, while her head rolled to the side of the room.
Xander stood up. He looked at the headless body, and its separated head. Anya stood victoriously above the remains of the woman, who had been the center of her ex-fiancee's life, for the past seven years.
"Everything's over." He told Harmony, "In an instant. In the twinkling of an eye. It's all gone."
Anya had slapped the side of the bloody sword blade across her shoulder, and strutted toward the door.
She shouted, "Bring her head Xander!"
As she stepped through the doorway, out into the night, he heard Anyanka the Vengeance Demon shout; "Sunnydale is mine!"
Now in the Lobby of the Executive Offices of Wolfram and Hart, Harmony told Xander,
"That's horrible! It's an inexcusable waste! Do you know how many vampires could have been fed with the blood of two dozen Frat guys? And the Slayer?
"So Xander," she said, "you're not a villain or a hero. You don't deserve to die for that."
"Thank you Harmony."
"But I'm still killing you for leaving Anya at the altar."
She again threw her arms around Xander in an unbreakable grip.
"And I'm not gonna waste one drop of your blood."
She again put her open mouth and fangs against his neck.
He shouted, "I have an appointment! With Mr. Wesley Wyndham-Price himself!"
Harmony sighed in frustration, and let him go once more.
"Oh yes." She spoke with annoyance. "He's expecting you. It might actually cause some minor inconvenience, if I killed you before your meeting.
"Mr. Wyndham-Price's Office is right over there."
Xander stepped over to the reception desk, and put Buffy's head back in the box.
Harmony said, "I'm sure he'll be just as glad as the rest of us, that the Slayer problem has finally been taken care of."
He told her, "The Vampires' problem with Buffy has been solved, but not the problem of the Slayers. That's what this appointment's all about.
"Thank you Harmony. I'd be lying if I said it was good to see you again."
Xander picked up the box, tucking it under his right arm, and headed toward Wesley's office.
Harmony stepped back behind her desk and returned to her seat, as Xander stepped inside the Office and shut the door behind himself.
Harmony then picked up the small plastic medicine vial, and flipped open the lid. She took out a green lozenge, and put it on her tongue. It had a minty taste.
In his windbreaker jacket and levis, Xander felt very under-dressed, while seated beside the large, mahogany desk, in the expensively furnished Office of Wesley Wyndham-Price; surrounded by expensive works of art, that hung on the dark paneled walls. The picture window behind Wesley faced out across the lights of the nocturnal City.
Xander thought, I look like some lowlife. I knew I should have put on a suit and tie. Is that what the well-dressed bearer, of a decapitated Slayer's head should wear?
Buffy's head was set on Wesley's desk. The Wolfram and Hart executive sat in his plush seat, staring at the head, with his hand up to his mouth, looking deeply troubled. Then he lowered his hand.
He told Xander, "While I'm satisfied that such a powerful opponent as she, has finally been eliminated, I take no pleasure in her death. I was appointed by the Council, to be Buffy's second Watcher. She never really needed any Watcher. However, Wolfram and Hart pays a much better salary than the Watchers Council could possibly afford."
Xander said, "Then, as a former Watcher, I'm sure you know that Buffy wasn't the last of the Slayers."
"Indeed. There are many potential slayers out there, one of whom will receive her empowerment, within the next two weeks. I have no idea who they are, or who she will be."
"I do." Xander told him, "Right after Buffy's dismemberment, when everyone was in a panic, Anya had me slip out of Sunnydale unnoticed, but not empty handed."
He reached in his shirt pocket, and took out a sheet of folded paper. He opened it and handed the sheet to Wesley.
"Here are the names and addresses of every potential slayer known."
Wesley perused the page, then he read the names aloud.
Lucy Camden...............Glen Oak, California.
Lorelai Gilmore..Stars Hollow, Connecticut.
Rory Gilmore.......Stars Hollow, Connecticut.
Paige Halliwell.....San Francisco, California.
Pheobe Halliwell.San Francisco, California.
Piper Halliwell......San Francisco, California.
Valery Malone...........Beverly Hills, California.
Veronica Mars.................Neptune, California.
Donna Martin............Beverly Hills, California.
Sabrina Spellman..Boston, Massachusetts.
Kelley Taylor..............Beverly Hills, California."
Then Wesley asked, "Eleven potential slayers? Eight local, California girls."
"Those are all the names on the list in Buffy's computer."
"This is an invaluable service to us Xander."
"Anya told me to tell you, that you still have two entire weeks, to send vampires to kill them all."
"No. Not all. Anya will receive the entire 1 million-dollar reward that Wolfram and Hart placed on the Slayer's head. Tell her that we will keep an eye on them all until the next Slayer is empowered, then only she will die. We want no more violence than is necessary."
Wesley spoke into the intercom on his desk.
"Harmony. Will you come in here for a moment please."
Then he said, "You are also deserving of compensation Xander."
Harmony entered the office.
"Xander has been an invaluable help to this Organization Harmony. He has brought us the names of every potential Slayer, while there's still time to make sure, that the actual Slayer will be eliminated as a threat, before she becomes empowered."
Harmony came over to the desk, took the list from Wesley and looked over the names and addresses on the page.
"The Halliwell sisters?" She asked, "The 'Charmed Ones'?"
"That's right." Wesley nodded. "The three witches who have the Power of Three, and vanquish demons by dressing sexy and chanting."
Harmony said, "We've never had to deal with them before."
She asked, "Who are these three in New England? Are they witches too?"
Xander told them. "I asked Sunnydale's own most powerful witch, my life long friend Willow Rosenberg, about them. She said that Sabrina Spellman is a witch, but she's a lightweight."
"What about these women named Gilmore?"
"We had to check them out by computer. They're a mother and daughter. The daughter Rory is attending Yale. Her mother Lorelai runs an Inn. They don't seem to have any experience dealing with vampires, or anything supernatural.
"This Veronica Mars is a teenage, amateur detective. Kind of a local Nancy Drew; and that Lucy Camden is a Preacher's kid. That's all we know."
Harmony said, "I know a Valery Malone, who owns a nightclub in Beverly Hills. The 'Peachpit After/Dark'. You can forget about her. She's a number one scam artist, and worse than a lot of demons I know. There's no way that girl's a righteous Slayer."
"Perhaps." Wesley said, "Maybe I was premature about waiting to see which one is empowered. If these eight women, who we've never heard of, are all on the same list as the Charmed Ones, then we shouldn't take the chance of allowing any of them to live."
"What do you know!" Harmony said, "You really have done good Xander. This list is more valuable than any trophy head."
Wesley told her, "And I agree that he is deserving of generous compensation."
Harmony grinned, "So do I."
Xander said, "As long as immortality is not part of the reward."
Harmony stood beside Xander and put her hand on his shoulder. She felt him stiffen.
She asked, "Are you done here Wes?"
"I believe so; so take this trophy head to Preservation, and ask them to prepare it for prominent display in the Trophy Room."
"Right away Boss."
"And please take Xander on a tour of our facilities."
At Wolfram and Hart Headquarters, Harmony thought, there really wasn't that much to "tour". Mostly there were just ordinary offices.
"But," she told Xander, "There are a few facilities here, that you just have to see."
They first stopped off in the Preservation Room; a dark, cramped backroom, containing strong smelling, steaming vats. There were crowded shelves, where shrunken heads, human skulls, complete heads, and other parts of human and non-human anatomies had been placed.
Harmony left Buffy's head with the guy at the counter. He took the head and gave Harmony a receipt, which she placed in her handbag. Then she and Xander continued the tour.
They went past the cafeteria, which wasn't yet open for lunch.
"They serve cooked meals for the live employees and warm blood for us vamps."
Harmony then escorted him along the corridors, with her hand firmly gripping his arm, too strongly for him to pull away. She escorted him to the Publications Department, where "The Vampire's Handbook" was published. W&H's chief publication, "Undead Living" Magazine, was also produced here.
"I've read the Vampire's Handbook." Xander told her, "Everyone in Buffy's Gang has read it. We've memorized every word. Buffy also had a monthly subscription to "Undead Living".
Harmony asked, "Have you seen this?"
She'd picked up a copy of this year's Deadly Gals Calendar, and opened it to the picture of Miss April.
Xander said, "You? Harmony, you're naked?"
"This is a reprint of an old photo," she explained, "that was taken before I received Salvation; so if you're interested..."
"Thank you Harmony. I would be flattered, if you weren't being described as 'deadly'."
"What I started to say, is if you're interested in me that way, I don't feel that way about you, so that's not gonna happen; but I still want your final moments to be as pleasant for you as possible."
"So do I Harmony, but not 'til I'm at least 85."
They then toured the facilities of the W&H Undead Network; Channel 666 on Satellite and Cable TV.
"Buffy subscribed to this too." Xander said. "She never missed the Demonic News. She always wanted to be on top of whatever was going on, in the Supernatural Realm.
"I myself like the Hellish Sports; especially those Demon Swordswoman, who fight to the death, wearing only their shoes. Anya doesn't like me watching that. Neither did Buffy, or Dawn, or Willow, or Tara; so I didn't get to see it all that often."
They then went to the Lab, where Fred greeted them.
She told Xander, "We've just developed a formula that will hopefully speed up the vamping process, so anyone killed by a vampire, will revive undead in only a few hours, instead of after his or her burial.
"Right now we're analyzing the Gems of Amara. We're trying to discover what qualities they have, that keep the vampires who wear them from burning up in daylight. If we can isolate those qualities, we can distribute them to all the undead. Then they can function both day and night just like the living."
He and Harmony left the Lab, and continued the Tour.
Xander said, "I suppose some people, would call what they're doing, 'progress'."
Harmony said, "I've agreed to assist in the testing."
"Before you begin testing on me Harmony, there are some things you should consider first.
"I know the Slayer's gone, and she can't protect me; but I still have Anyanka the Vengeance Demon on my side; and don't forget the very powerful witch Willow Rosenberg. She and I are life long friends.
"You may have heard about the way she flayed Warren Mears alive. I was there. She just waved her arms, and all his skin was peeled off in a second. Then he was just muscles over a skeleton, like you see in biology textbooks. She also has the ability to levitate, and shoot lightning out from her fingertips."
He added, "So you should ask yourself, if the few moments of pleasure you'll have killing me, for a mid-evening snack, is worth getting your heart ripped out and your skin flayed off."
"Xander." She told him, "Whatever you say, Anya will thank me for fulfilling her wish."
Harmony continued escorting Xander along the corridors. The next stop was the Trophy Room.
They stood before a line of young women's heads, which were displayed on a long shelf.
She told him, "These are the heads of every Vampire Slayer, who's been killed in the last 118 years."
She pointed. "These are the heads of Kendra and Faith. I'm sure you remember them both."
Xander said, "I remember Kendra, and I remember Faith even more. She was the first girl I ever had sex with."
"You mean my good friend Cordelia wasn't your first?"
"No. We didn't date long enough to get that far."
"Yeah." Harmony smirked, "She broke up with you, 'cause she caught you screwing Willow. That was before she became the powerful witch, who you think is gonna show up here and try to flay me."
"Willow and I weren't screwing. We were kissing. It was after that when I did it with Faith; in a sleazy motel room where she was staying. That's why Willow and I broke up."
Harmony told him, "That doesn't matter now. What matters is that Buffy's head will be displayed right beside hers."
Xander said, "I'm sure that Anya will feel honored knowing that she had a hand in adding to your collection."
"And so should you Xander."
Harmony clutched his upper arm with a powerful grip that he couldn't pull away from. She stood in front of him, and clutched his other arm just as tightly.
Xander asked, "What's next on the Tour?"
She smiled. "Tour's over. It's time to die."
Harmony threw her arms around his back, holding him in an unbreakably tight grip, pressing her breasts and her entire body up against him.
"Harmony." He said, "Remember. If you kill me, Willow Rosenberg will be coming here to flay you alive, or undead, and don't forget Anyanka."
"If Willow comes looking for trouble at Wolfram and Hart, she's the one who'll get flayed; and she will remain flayed, after she becomes undead; and Anyanka sent you here to get killed."
She put her hand against the back of his neck, pulled down his head, and put her open mouth against his neck one more time. Then she chomped her fangs deep, into his warm flesh. She hummed in relief, to finally taste his warm nourishing blood gush into her mouth, and began gulping it down.
Harmony remembered trying to kill Willow once back in Sunnydale, when Buffy wasn't around. That was a few months after the Graduation Ceremony, which Harmony had been too dead to attend.
Willow and her boyfriend Oz had both stuck crosses in her face.
That was really mean, Harmony thought. I was trying to be nice to my old classmate, and make her a vampire. Becoming a vampire is the best thing that can happen to anybody. Xander'll find that out soon enough.
Harmony continued purring as she gulped down Xander's blood, which surged into her mouth, while he collapsed to the floor. She sank to her knees with him.
She continued holding him tight, until he died in less than a minute, and rolled onto the floor of the Trophy Room.
Then the vampire prayed, "Thank you Lord, for providing me with this nourishing meal. In Jesus Name. Amen."
Harmony rose up, and stood above his body.
She said, "Thank you Xander. It's been fun."
A few minutes after midnight, Harmony arrived in the cafeteria for lunch.
The tables and chairs were half filled with both living and undead employees. The live ones ate meat and vegetables, and drank coffee, sodas or fruit drinks, while the vampires drank blood from large mugs.
Harmony sat at a table across from Fred, who ate a tuna salad sandwich and drank a fresh, yellow, pulpy fruit juice. Harmony didn't touch the mug of blood in front of her.
She said, "I've already had enough to eat tonight. I'm full.
"By the way, I think you ought to know, that I tried out one of your quick vamping lozenges, when I gorged on that guy Xander."
"That's good. Any results yet?"
"No. I killed him about two hours ago. Is it too early to tell?"
"Yes. Much too early."
Fred told her, "Wesley's got a job for me to do this weekend; so we won't be picking up any guys and getting laid, like a couple of airhead schoolgirls."
Harmony joked, "Speak for yourself girl."
"No problem. We can always postpone that 'til the following weekend."
Then Fred told her, "Wesley wants me to go to Sunnydale, and find out what's going on there, now that the Slayer's dead."
"Good. We'll definitely have to know that."
"Since you come from there, you're familiar with the place, so he wants you to come along with me. It'll be a three day weekend, from Saturday night to Monday night."
She smiled. "He wants me to come along?"
"I know what you're thinking Harm. Your fangs and my neck, far away from the Violence Restricted Zone."
"Do we have a great boss or what?"
"I agree, and he wants you to act as his fiancee's bodyguard."
"Yes. That's because he knows that he can rely on you."
"Right. He can rely on me to guard your body; whether it's alive, dead, or undead."
Fred said, "I don't think you understand the definition of the term 'Bodyguard'."
Harmony said, "That's how this vampire defines the term."
Fred said, "And so does this about to become vampire."
"'About to become'?"
"Yes." She told her, "I decided that you're right. I shouldn't be so inconsiderate, that I'll risk getting one of my co-workers fired. Since getting vamped is inevitable, I've decided to just get it over with."
"Oh! That's really great!"
Fred told her, "I've decided to arrange for a discrete encounter, someplace away from work, with a certain vampire guy in my department, who the girls call "Mr. Good-Bite."
Harmony laughed. "I know who you mean. Believe me, if I wasn't already a vampire...Wait a minute. Discrete encounter? Does that include...?"
"I'm going to be a vampire Harmony, and vampires are very bad girls."
"By the way." Harmony added, "I think we ought to take Xander back to Sunnydale with us."
Fred asked, "Take him with us?"
"Well Sunnydale is his home. We can't leave him here, can we? He doesn't have any place to stay, and I don't know if he's got enough money to pay for a motel room."
"But he'll be in the same car with us. He'll be a brand new vampire. A hungry carnivorous predator, with a primal need to hunt, kill and eat."
"You just said you were ready for it."
"Oh I am," Fred told her, "but with Mr. Good-bite. Not just anybody. I want to save my neck for him; but if Xander's in the car, I won't be alive by the time we get to Sunnydale. I'll probably be dead before we leave this City."
"That's right." Harmony told her, "So don't you be the one who's doing the driving."
On Saturday night, about an hour after sunset, Fred got into the back seat of Xander's car, while he sat behind the wheel. Harmony was seated beside him.
Before they'd left, Fred got in the car, dressed casually. She wore dark blue shorts and a zipped open light jacket over a dark blue halter-top. She'd also had a necklace made of garlic hung around her neck, making both Harmony and Xander gag.
He said, "You're not wearing that in here lady."
Harmony asked scornfully, "What are you wussing out? I thought you and Mr. Good-Bite would have taken care of it by now."
"I didn't know," Fred told her, "that he was away on vacation, giving it to sexy senoritas in Mexico this week; so Xander, it looks like you'll be the one who gets lucky, instead of him; unless Harmony still wants the job."
Harmony asked, "Then what's with the garlic?"
"Don't get the wrong idea. I'm still ready to get vamped, but I'd like to stay alive 'til after I've made my preliminary observations."
Xander said, "If you want me to take you on a two hour drive to Sunnydale, you're not wearing that thing in my car!"
Fred had sighed. She'd removed the necklace, tossed it out the window, and got ready to die at any moment.
Around 9 PM, on Saturday night, The team from Wolfram and Hart approached Sunnydale. Now the "Welcome to Sunnydale" sign was illuminated in Xander's headlights.
Harmony said, "Welcome to our hometown Fred. A great place to live, and hopefully, a much better place to be undead, than it was when the Slayer was alive."
They continued driving, going past the Doublemeat Palace on the road just outside of town. The parking lot was almost entirely deserted, except for a handful of cars parked up close to the building.
Harmony said, "This place is usually packed on Saturday night."
At the entrance to the parking lot someone had put up a handwritten sign saying, "HUMAN BLOOD FOR VAMPIRES."
Xander said, "It could be that most of the local citizens are no longer eating solid food."
Now they drove into town along Main Street, passing the Sun Cinema, and the nightclub called The Bronze. A young woman was lying dead just outside the entrance, with vampire bite marks in her neck. Vampires stood around her, chatting amiably.
"Ah-ha!" Harmony laughed, "So Amy the witch has finally got nailed!"
Fred asked, "They're leaving the dead untouched?"
Xander said, "I called Anya today, to let her know we were coming. She said that the Vampires aren't allowing anyone who they've vamped to be buried; so they won't have to dig themselves up out of their graves any longer."
"Good." Harmony said, "Without the Slayer, we vampires can now start living the way we should."
They drove past a boarded up shop, with heavy fire damage.
"That's the Magic Box." Xander told them, "That was Anya's place of work, until Willow went off the deep end; when her girlfriend Tara was shot by Warren Mears.
"She totally lost it. She flayed Warren alive. Then she left an illicit, black magic dealer named Rack dead and hanging upside down from his ceiling.
"That night, Willow used the most powerful wiccan spells she could find in the Magic Box, and the Shop caught fire, as part of the collateral damage."
They drove beyond downtown, past the High School's Football field. A Sunnydale cheerleader lay dead beside the bleachers, with vampire bite marks in her neck. Her pom-poms lay beside her.
Out on the field, a cheerleader from the opposing team hung dead from the Sunnydale goal post, with a rope around her neck.
Then they drove around the corner, passing the front of Sunnydale High School.
Harmony said, "That's the parking lot where I got vamped, on the night of my Senior Prom. It was right after they made all the presentations.
"Our classmates honored Buffy. They credited her for being the one most responsible, for us having the lowest mortality rate in Sunnydale History. They gave her a really lame, 'Class Protector" Award. It was a gold plated, toy umbrella.
"Right after that, my date said he wanted to make out, so we went out to the parking lot. That's when I found out that he was a vampire, and two minutes later I was dead.
"I bet that kept Buffy from dancing and singing in the rain, with that stupid umbrella."
Now Xander drove into a residential area, and parked in front of a two-story house, with a front porch, and the name "Summers" painted on the mailbox.
He said, "Here we are ladies. The Slayer's house."
He, Harmony and Fred got out of the car, and went up the front walk, toward the porch.
The screen door opened. A trim figured woman in her early twenties came out onto the porch. She stood silhouetted in the light coming through the open door. She wore only a skirt and shoes, had her hands on her hips, and an inverted cross, made from human bones, dangling between her naked breasts, on a chain of human knucklebones around her neck.
Xander said, "Anya."
The three from Wolfram and Hart stepped into the patch of light, in front of the porch steps.
Fred told them, "She's wearing shrunken heads on her belt."
Anya said, "They're Pheobe, Paige and Piper Halliwell. The 'Charmed Ones', who had the Power of Three. Now the Power of Three belongs to me."
Then the Vengeance Demon said, "Good evening Harmony. I'm glad to see that you fulfilled my own wish, about killing Xander."
Harmony smiled, "Oh he was a lot of fun to play with; and thank you for killing the Slayer, and restoring Sunnydale to us vampires."
"You're welcome Harmony. You vampires owe me big time."
Harmony told her, "Wolfram and Hart has already sent you the one million dollar reward for the Slayer's head, by electronic transfer into your account."
"I know. Thank them for me. It's a good beginning."
Then Anya spoke to her ex-fiancee;. "Why Xander, what big teeth you have."
"All the better to rip your neck open, and drink your blood 'til you die, my dear."
She laughed. "Not as long as I can do this."
Anya grabbed the inverted cross, and turned it right side up.
Xander shielded his eyes.
Harmony stepped up to Anya with her fangs extended. She reached out with both hands, and closed them around the cross.
Then she told Anya, "'The Lord is my strength, my shield, and my fortress. Of whom shall I be afraid?'
"A few weeks ago on the Undead Network, I watched a Mayan Religious Celebration, in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Mass immolations took place. The women with naked boobs were the ones who got their heads chopped off."
Harmony opened her hands, and took a few steps back. Anya let go of the cross, which fell back to its inverted position. Xander stopped shielding his eyes.
Now Anya said, "I see you've brought a guest, who's alive."
Harmony said, "That's right. This is Winifred Berkle. She's my very good friend, and co-worker. She's also my boss's fiancee."
Fred smiled. "Hi. I'm Harmony's dinner. She'll be making me into a vampire tonight, as her engagement present to me."
"Isn't that thoughtful." Anya told her, "Then you'll be the second course.
"All of you please come inside."
Anya opened the screen door and went inside the house. Xander went up onto the porch, opened the screen door, and held it for Harmony and Fred who entered the house.
He heard a teenage girl yelp.
"Anya! What'd you do? You've invited a vampire inside?"
"Everything's changed in Sunnydale little girl! Buffy's dead! It's time for you to grow up and die too!"
Xander went inside, into the living room.
Anya's stood behind a 16-year-old girl, tightly gripping her upper arms with both hands. The girl wore a Sunnydale High School cheerleader's uniform. The two stood in the middle of the room. Harmony and Fred stood a few feet away from them.
Anya said, "You people at Wolfram and Hart are too stingy; but the local vampires aren't. They're offering big bucks, for the death of every potential Slayer."
"Dawn." Harmony told Fred, "It's Buffy's kid sister Dawn. If anyone's a potential slayer, it's got to be this girl.
"Hi Dawny. Remember me? Harmony."
Dawn rolled her eyes in disdain.
Harmony said, "You've got Slayer's blood. I bet your gonna taste absolutely delicious."
Now Dawn said, "Xander? You're a vampire now?"
"Yes Dawnster." He spoke sadly, "Your old friend Xander, is now the Big Bad Wolf, who is about to eat Little Red Riding Hood; or I should say, the fully grown young woman, in the cheerleader uniform; and I'm going to enjoy the meal."
Harmony and Xander came over to Dawn. Anya stood to the side, while Harmony gripped Dawn's arm tight with both hands, and Xander gripped her other arm.
Dawn said, "I'm not afraid of either of you. When you kill me, I'll be laughing at both of you."
Harmony spoke, "You're a brave girl Dawn. There's no better way to die. You're also very beautiful. Every woman should die brave and beautiful, like you."
Dawn asked, "Could you do me a favor? When you kill me, let me stay dead. I don't want to be a vampire like either of you."
"But Dawn," Harmony told her, "becoming a vampire, is the best thing that can happen to anybody. You're a beautiful woman now, and you will be a beautiful woman forever. You'll also be strong and healthy forever."
Dawn said, "Xander! Make sure I stay dead!"
Xander let go of Dawn's arm.
He said, "I'm not gonna kill her."
Anya screeched, "Xander!"
"I know you have all the power here Anyanka. There's not a thing I can do to protect her; but I'm not going to kill her."
He walked away from the Vengeance Demon, the Vampire and the frightened girl. He went past Fred and out the front door, slamming the screen door behind himself.
Anya had grabbed Dawn's arm again.
"Listen Dawn." Harmony told her, "I'm gonna leave you the brand new, fully illustrated edition of the Vampire's Handbook. It's got a lot more information than the old one."
Dawn cried out, "I don't want to be a vampire!"
Anya said, "Harmony. Did you know that Dawn is a very bad girl?"
"She uses dirty words. She lies. She cheats at School. She shoplifts."
"No!" Dawn said, "I don't anymore! I paid you back every cent, for everything I took from the Magic Box."
"She's a ho."
"I am not! I've screwed, but..."
"And she cursed at her mother."
Harmony said, "You're right. She is a very bad girl. I did those very same things."
"Then you know what happens, to you very bad Sunnydale girls."
Harmony nodded, "We all get killed and eaten by vampires."
Fred stepped out of the house, onto the porch, where Xander stood looking out into the dark.
Fred told Xander, "That was mean. I know Harmony likes to play rough, but she's never mean. Wasn't it enough for Anya that she got Dawn killed? She didn't have to humiliate the girl, by saying those things about her."
He said, "Anya's a Vengeance Demon. She enjoys tormenting people."
Fred said, "Dawn really meant a lot to you, didn't she?"
"Dawn meant a lot; so did Buffy. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the center of my life, for the past seven years, and Dawn's always been a part of it; so has Willow, and so has Anya. I'm now a hungry vampire, but I just couldn't cause any further harm, to anybody who's meant as much to me, as they have."
He turned to face Fred with his fangs extended.
He said, "You've never been part of my life. I'm hungry, and I took one of your lozenges before we left".
Fred stiffened and took a deep breath. Then the researcher removed her jacket, revealing the tight, dark blue halter-top she'd put on, exposing her bare shoulders, midriff, back and slender neck.
She called out, "Harmony check the time! The experiment's about to start!"
Harmony called back, from inside the house. "It's 10 PM! Does your Boss know where his fiancee is?"
Fred draped her jacket across the porch railing. Xander reached for her. She gasped. Then he hesitated.
"I've only been drinking bottled pigs' blood." He told her, "You'll be my very first kill. I'm afraid I'm gonna be really clumsy, and I don't want to hurt you, more than I have to."
"Oh of course you do Xander. I'm a researcher at Wolfram and Hart," she spoke with a sultry voice, "and I know what every vampire really wants; so go ahead. Have your way. Hurt me any way you want. I'm ready whenever you are."
Xander put his arms around Fred, and pulled her up against himself. Now she felt his cold mouth and sharp fangs against her neck. She took a deep, final breath.
"Hey Xander!" Anya shouted angrily from inside, "Stop playing with your food and get your ass in here! Now!"
Xander let go of Fred. He retracted his fangs and went back in the house. She breathed a sigh of relief.
About an hour later, Fred and Harmony were seated together on the porch, on a thickly cushioned porch swing, holding porcelain mugs. Fred wore her jacket again. It remained unzipped.
Harmony asked, "So how do you like the taste of human blood?"
Fred's words were slurred. "I've drunk warmed up human blood before, out of curiosity. It didn't do me any harm. This time it's different. This blood is fresh. It's made me crapulous."
"The bathroom's upstairs."
"'Crapulous' means I'm drunk! On human blood!"
"It's not the blood." Harmony told her, "It's diluted with alcohol, for human consumption."
"Don't you think that's excessively diluted?"
"Not for you, when you're about to get vamped. I'm like your friends at your sweet sixteen party. I'm getting you drunk, so you'll have the courage to go through with it all."
"Thank you Harm." She chuckled, "I think Xander could use a swig too."
The screen door opened. Anya and Xander stepped out onto the porch. The Vengeance Demon swaggered over in front of Harmony and Fred, with her thumbs tucked under her belt. She sat upon the porch railing, and leered at them. The Halliwell sisters' shrunken heads remained tied on her belt, with the inverted human bone cross dangling between her naked breasts.
Xander said, "Anya's been trying to take over Sunnydale. She's been giving orders. She ordered that all of Willow's black magic books be burned, along with Willow herself."
Harmony asked, "Willow's been burned to death at the stake?"
"No." He said, "The fire engulfed her, but she used her witch's powers to walk through the flames unburned. Nobody's seen her since then. They're sure she's left Sunnydale."
"So Harmony," Anya jeered, "You watched the televised Mayan immolations, from the safety of your living room. Well I was actually there, and I wasn't safe at all. As a matter of fact, I was sacrificed myself."
Harmony said, "Yeah-right."
Fred said, "That is a possibility. She is a demon, like you are, and like I'm about to become. As long as a vampire's body remains intact, he or she remains undead. It might be the same with Anya."
Anya told them, "I didn't remain intact.
"You see, I attended a Sacrificial Fiesta, at the Archeological Site of Uxmal. That night there were mass immolations taking place. I lent my services to the festivities, and ripped the beating hearts out of a few studly hombres, with my bare hands."
Harmony said, "If I hadn't just eaten, you'd be making me very hungry Anya."
The Vengeance Demon turned the inverted cross right side up, in Harmony's face. The born again vampire did not cringe, but Xander retreated to the far end of the porch.
"That night," Anya went on, "dozens of girls with naked boobs were getting their beating hearts ripped out, or their heads chopped off by Mayan Priests. People were making bets on whose blood would gush the furthest."
Harmony licked her lips and looked at Fred's neck. Fred looked toward Xander who was also watching her hungrily. She gulped down the remainder of fresh blood, diluted with alcohol in her cup.
Anya continued. "I was going topless in the tropic heat, so the Mayans thought I was volunteering for their Decapitation Sacrifice. I told them I was already scheduled for a sacrificial drowning, at Chichen Itza."
Fred said, "That was a smart move."
"It didn't work. The next thing I knew, I was kneeling down with my head bowed, while a Mayan Priest slashed a machete through my neck, and chopped my head off. My blood gushed a good competitive distance, and my head rolled the furthest. I wish I'd put money on that.
"Then all of our decapitated heads were displayed upon lines of stakes, for the remainder of the Fiesta. Then when the festivities ended, and it was time to leave, my headless body stood up, and walked over to the stakes. I picked up my head and put it back on my body. "
"Just what I thought." Fred said, "Everything you just told us is nothing more than a gory story."
Anya told Fred, "I thought you were supposed to be Xander's dinner."
Then the Vengeance Demon called out, "Okay Xander! Come and get it!"
Fred called out, "No! Stay there!"
Fred removed her jacket, again exposing her bare shoulders, back, midriff and neck.
Now Anya asked, "What the hell are you doing?"
"I'm bringing him what every vampire guy really wants for dinner; a sexy bad girl to eat."
She stood up, and swayed a little.
"Oh Harmony!" Her voice remained slurred, "Are you sure it's only 151 proof?"
She moved unsteadily across the porch to Xander. She came up to him and stumbled against him, while he held her up.
She told him. "I hope you enjoy your meal sir." She began to sway again. "It will be my pleasure to serve you."
Xander put his arm around the wobbly researcher's waist, and another hand on her shoulder, to keep her steady. Then she put her arms around his neck and he held her tighter, with both his hands against her naked back. Then he started licking her neck, while she giggled nervously.
Over at the porch swing, Anya told Harmony, "I'm not making it up. The Mayan Priesthood has fantastic powers that are beyond comprehension. If you don't believe me, you can go to the Yucatan and try it for yourself. See if the Mayan Gods will do the same for you."
"Anya." Harmony laughed, "Do you really think that anyone here believes that story?"
Anya told her, "I do, and I was there. It happened to me."
The vampire said, "I do not worship the gods of the Maya. I am a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, and only Him shall I serve."
At the other end of the porch, Fred's giggling changed into a single sharp scream, as Xander plunged his fangs deep into the soft, warm flesh of her neck. Her voice echoed up and down the quiet, residential street. He continued holding her tight. She began squealing and squirming.
Harmony checked her wristwatch. "The experimental testing, of the vampiric transformation acceleration formula, has begun at 11:14 PM. If things go as expected, she'll be walking around and hungry, with a brand new pair of fangs, by 3:30 AM."
She smirked at Anya, "And you'll be the only one here, who's still alive."
"If she tries anything," Anya told her, "I'll rip her apart! I'd be using the power I was granted by the Mayan Gods. It was with their power, that I managed to kill the Charmed Ones; so I won't have any trouble, doing the same to that drunken bimbo friend of yours."
Xander stood at the far end of the porch, holding the trembling, whimpering Fred tight in his arms, with his fangs deep in her neck, while he gulped down the weakening woman's blood.
He heard her whisper with a harsh gasp; "When I...come back undead...lay me."
Over on the porch swing, Harmony told Anya, "Now your killing of the Charmed Ones is something I'd like to hear about."
Anya said, "It wasn't as difficult as you think. As a matter of fact, anyone could have done it. Not just a supernatural being; but any ordinary mortal could have put an end to them.
"You see, every demon who's tried to kill them before, has made a basic tactical error. They've attacked them when they were at their strongest. They've attacked them when the three of them were together, inside their mansion, which they called "The Manor" and fully equipped, with all their magical powers.
"I just did the simplest thing. I waited 'til they were all out of the house, away from each other, and their magical powers were turned off. Then they were just as easy to kill, as Dawn was, and as your friend is right now. That's when I killed them."
Xander was still holding Fred tight, while sucking the blood out of her. She had stopped twitching, and made no more sounds. Her arms, that had been around his neck, now fell limp at her side. He held her totally limp body tighter, while continuing to feed.
Harmony checked her watch again, "Subject dead at 11:16. Go on."
Anya continued her story. "I just came up beside each of them, as they were on their way to work, market or whatever, and I ripped their heads off. I was rushing all over the City, at Mayan God speed. I had all three heads in less than five minutes. I moved so fast that nobody saw me. People walking by, just saw three women's heads vanish in an instant, and their bodies collapsed, spurting blood out of their neck stumps, and splattering on everybody.
"Then, with me still moving at Mayan God speed, I hurried over to 'The Manor', and I grabbed the Book of Shadows, before any other demons knew that the Charmed Ones were dead, and no other demons could get their hands on it."
Harmony said, "Then congratulations Anyanka. When they hold next year's Demonic Achievements Banquet, I'm sure you'll be awarded first prize."
At the far end of the porch, Xander loosened his grip around Fred. The cutest gal (no longer) alive, at Wolfram and Hart, slid down along the length of his body, then sprawled on her bare back across the dark wooden slats of the porch. Her bare shoulders, bare legs and bare arms, lay stretched out lifeless at his feet.
Then he stepped away from the dead researcher, went over to the screen door, stepped inside the house, and the screen door slammed shut behind him.
Then Anya told Harmony, "First I was beheaded, and I am still alive and intact. I now have the Powers of the Mayan Gods at my disposal. That's how I was able to kill Buffy and the Charmed Ones. I am now wearing the shrunken heads of the Charmed Ones on my belt, and I have their Power of Three and the Book of Shadows, at my disposal. Who knows how powerful I can become?
"From now on, I will be more than a Vengeance Demon. Everyone in this Town, both living and undead, will Worship me in the Mayan Way, as Goddess of Sunnydale."
"Don't include me as one of your devotees." Harmony told her.
"When you get back to Wolfram and Hart, you can tell your Superiors, that I want the head of every potential slayer, delivered to me here in Sunnydale, as Wolfram and Hart's free will offering to me."
"What do you mean 'free'?" Harmony told her, "We're paying 10,000 dollars a head to their assassins, who work as outside contractors. If you want their heads, you'll have to reimburse us first. You can afford it now."
Anyanka the Vengeance Demon said, "If they refuse to worship me, I'll be coming to Wolfram and Hart myself, to collect the heads of some of their own people. That'll include yours Harmony."
The blonde vampire sighed with exasperation.
"Anya." She said, "I think It'll be much easier, and a lot less expensive, if I bring them your head!"
Then Harmony jumped up out of the porch swing and pounced on Anya, gripping her bare shoulders tight, pulling her off the railing onto the porch. Then she plunged her fangs into the warm, soft flesh of the woman's neck, and began to suck her blood out fast.
Anya squealed, squirmed and tried to fight back, but Harmony had her overpowered.
Anya talks a good game, Harmony thought, but I'm killing her with no trouble at all. She's dying as easily as anyone else. This wannabe goddess'll be dead in less than two minutes. Then I'll have her head put on display in the Trophy Room.
After more than two minutes, there was no more blood coming out of Anya's neck. The woman had stopped struggling, but she wasn't getting any weaker. Harmony pulled her fangs out, and took a step back.
Anya stood in front of her, with two puncture holes in her neck, and a smirk on her face, looking just as strong and healthy as she had, before Harmony started.
Harmony asked, "What the hell's going on? You should be dead by now. You ought to be lying dead at my feet; but you're nowhere close to dying."
"Sorry to disappoint you gal, but in Sunnydale, I've got the power now!"
Then she shoved Harmony back down onto the porch swing, and went to the door. She entered the house, letting the screen door slam shut behind her.
Then Harmony heard Anya call out, "Xander! Where the hell are you? I'm horny!"
On Tuesday evening, Wesley-Wyndham Price was in his Office, seated at his desk, looking at his computer's monitor. The monitor displayed the photo of potential slayer Valerie Malone, lying dead; fatally drained of blood, with a pair of deep puncture wounds in her neck. The dark haired Miss Malone was naked.
He tapped a key, and the picture changed to one framing the dead and naked Kelley Taylor, who also had a pair of vampire bite marks in her neck. He tapped the key again, and the picture again changed, displaying another dead, naked blonde. Her name was Donna Martin. He continued tapping the key, and saw that Lucy Camden did not have blonde hair, but Veronica Mars and Sabrina Spellman did. All three of them were also naked and dead; drained of blood like the others.
Then there was a single picture, framing both 38 year old Lorelai Gilmore, and her 16 year old daughter Rory, lying naked and dead together.
Now this one, he thought, is a work of art. It should be featured on the cover of the next issue of "Undead Living" Magazine.
Each picture came with a caption, giving the dead potential slayer's name, along with the Electronic Bank Transfer account, into which Wolfram and Hart would deposit the 10,000 reward to her killer.
The door opened, and Fred entered, holding a copy of the Vampire's Handbook. She looked very uneasy.
"So Fred." He smiled pleasantly. "I'm pleased to say that every potential slayer, on the list that Xander gave us, is now dead; and photos of all their naked corpses will be displayed in the 'Necrophilia' section, of next issue of "Undead Living". Then we'll feature them again as calendar girls."
"That's great Wes." She spoke without enthusiasm.
The she said, "Wes. We have to talk."
She came over to a plush, dark blue chair, about halfway between the desk and the door, and sat down, fidgeting.
She told him, "It involves the research we did in Sunnydale, over the weekend. We've got a real problem."
"I hope," he said, "it won't be too costly for Wolfram and Hart."
She spoke halting. "Not the Company. Us.
"You see, over the weekend, when we went to Sunnydale, well... You see..."
Fred hesitated. Then she displayed a pair of fangs, sticking downward, between her upper and lower lips.
Wesley spoke calmly. "Oh. You're a vampire now."
She nodded. "Um-hm."
Then she added, "The lozenges performed as expected."
"I'm now just like everyone else in my department. Now I can be completely relaxed with everyone in my department. Which means we'll have a comfortable work environment."
"That's always a very big plus, though I'm not sure it was worth the cost."
She said, "Well you know I'm constantly working with all kinds of predatory, carnivorous beings. Considering the work I do, it's remarkable that I remained alive, as long as I did."
He still spoke in a very calm voice. "You would still be alive, if you hadn't spent the weekend in Sunnydale."
"I was there at your request, and you knew the risk."
Wesley spoke into his intercom.
"Harmony. Will you come in here for a minute please."
Fred asked, "Do you think my new fangs, make me look cute?"
"They make me wonder what I should do with you, on our wedding night."
Fred joked. "You don't know? Why Wes. That's so sad. You mean you didn't have any friends, to get you drunk, naked and laid by a cheerleader, at your sweet sixteen party?"
The door opened. Harmony entered the office, and shut the door. She came over to the desk.
Wesley said, "I understand that before your excursion to Sunnydale, you were instructed to act as Miss Berkle's bodyguard. However, she now has a very cute pair of fangs."
Harmony snapped. "Hey! You can't fire me for that Wes. You wanted me to be her bodyguard. She didn't. Getting vamped was her decision!"
Fred added, "Getting vamped is part of being a Wolfram and Hart employee Wes. It's made my job easier. Don't be a snob."
He said, "I have no intention of firing either of you.
"Harmony, I understand that you killed Dawn Summers, the sister of Buffy Summers?"
"Yes. She died beautiful and brave."
"Was Dawn Summers vamped?"
Fred was peeved. "Harmony's a vampire Wes, so of course she was vamped! I got vamped, she got vamped, everybody living got vamped! Except Anya, but she's too powerful to vamp."
Wesley asked, "The Vampire Slayer's sister is now a vampire?"
Harmony said, "I'm sure that comes as no surprise to anybody. Especially not her."
He said, "She had the Slayer's blood in her veins. That means she is much more likely, to become the next Slayer, than anybody on Anya's list."
He went on, "I received a telephone call from Anyanka, within the past half hour. She told me that Dawn Summers has disappeared from Sunnydale. She has no idea where the girl is."
Fred asked, "A Slayer, who is also a vampire, is missing?"
Harmony said, "Consider the possibilities Wes."
"Very well Harmony. That will be all."
Harmony went out the door, and shut it behind herself.
Fred was now alone with Wesley.
He said, "Now you're a vampire. You cannot have children; but you have a very cute pair of fangs; so there is a strong chance, that at the height of our passion, you might loose control and kill me."
She told him, "It's more than a chance Wes. The next time we make hot, naked love, you are definitely going to die in my arms; but then I will lie there, holding you in my arms, and inside my body, until you revive undead, with me still holding you. Then you'll think you've awakened in Heaven, in the arms of an angel, who's making passionate love to you; and the angel will be me."
He said, "Why Winifred, that is truly beautiful. However, my fiancee, Miss Winifred Berkle is dead.
"'Angel' indeed! You are a demon, with her body, her personality and her memories, but you are not she. You should not be wearing her engagement ring."
Fred stood up and approached Wesley, with her fangs still extended.
A storefront church, named Salvation Chapel, stood along a downtown side street, several blocks from Wolfram and Hart headquarters. At 9:30 PM, most of the small shops were closed, and their storefronts darkened. A few cars were parked along the curb.
The sidewalk was deserted, when a dark green, six year old Ford Taurus drove up, and parked in front of the Chapel.
The front door on the driver's side opened, and Cordelia Chase got out. The tall, dark haired woman in her early twenties, wore blue denim slacks, a light yellow jacket, and carried a slightly tattered white handbag.
She shut and locked the car door, and headed for the Chapel, with the keys in her hand. She sang,
"I have decided--to follow Jesus!
I have decided--to follow Jesus!
I have decided--to follow Jesus!
No turning back!
No turning back!"
A figure came rushing toward her, out of a dark doorway to her right. The rushing figure was a teenage girl with extended fangs. She pounced on Cordelia.
Cordelia spun sideways, giving the girl a powerful blow, smacking her to the ground.
Then she shouted, "Back off!"
Cordelia reached into her handbag, and took out a cross, which she held out at arm's length, toward the girl's face, while displaying her own fangs.
"You're too late!"
The girl shielded her eyes from the cross. She sat on the sidewalk, wearing slacks and a light jacket, and was very disheveled.
Her voice whined, "I don't believe this! I am so hungry! I haven't eaten since I was undead-ed! You look like such a satisfying meal; but you're a vampire too!"
Cordelia retracted her fangs, and put the cross back in her handbag.
She said, "Hey girl, you really are a mess."
"How long has it been since you became undead?"
"Since Saturday night, or Sunday morning."
"Saturday night? Then you really are hungry. Come on inside. I've got plenty of pigs' blood in the fridge. I'll warm some up for you in the microwave."
"Inside here? A Chapel, with crosses and Bibles? You're a vampire."
Cordelia told her, "I am also a born again servant, of the Lord Jesus Christ! Just like you should be."
"But that isn't possible." The girl whined, "You're a vampire like me, and we vampires are all demons."
"I disagree with that theory. Demons are spirits, 'and a spirit has not flesh and blood.' We vampires are made of flesh and blood, and we have free will.
"You can choose to come inside the Chapel, where we'll have pigs' blood, all warmed up and in a mug; or you can choose to kill someone, and suck the blood out of his or her neck, which is a lot more difficult. You do have free will."
"But inside a Church?"
Cordelia reached out, took the girl's hand, and helped her stand up.
Then she said, "You look familiar. What's your name?"
"I'm Dawn Summers, Cordelia."
"Dawn? Right. You're Buffy's kid sister. I remember you from Sunnydale."
Dawn told her, "The Vampire Slayer has been beheaded."
"Oh Dawn! I heard what happened. I am so sorry."
"And no surprise; her little sister's been vamped. I am going to be a healthy young woman forever, but Buffy won't."
Cordelia put a comforting arm around the girl.
"Please come inside Dawn."
Dawn froze and held back.
Cordelia prayed, "In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I ask God the Father Almighty, to send forth the Holy Spirit, to lead you to the Cross.
"In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen."
Dawn retracted her fangs.
Cordelia unlocked the Chapel door. Then she and Dawn went inside the House of Worship.
At 10 PM, the Executive Office Lobby was quiet. Harmony sat behind the Reception Desk. She'd made a few calls, asking people to call back, if they had any word about the whereabouts of Dawn Summers.
Before they left Sunnydale, Harmony had remembered to put a copy of the Vampire's Handbook, in the dead girl's hand. She hoped that Dawn had taken it with her.
The door to Wesley's office opened, and Fred stepped out into the Lobby, shutting the door behind herself. She came over to the desk.
"Harmony." She said, "You're going to have to cancel all of Mr. Wyndham-Price's appointments, for the rest of tonight. Tomorrow night, things will be back to normal.
"No. As a matter of fact, everything's going to be better than ever around here."
Fred licked her lips. She looked at the engagement ring that remained on her finger, smiled pleasantly, and softly burped.
Harmony asked, "So tell me Fred, how you like being a vampire so far?"
"So far, I've never felt stronger or healthier than I am now. I've never felt more alive, than I have since I've been dead. On the other hand, I'll never have children; and today I'm back at work, doing the same job I did before I got vamped."
Harmony shrugged, "Aren't we all?"
"Harmony?" Fred asked, "Do you ever feel bad, knowing that you'll never have a child?"
"Yeah. Sometimes, but I don't dwell on it. Then all I need is to hear one of those brats screaming and squalling, and I feel good about it."
An elevator opened, and Xander stepped out into the Lobby. He came over to Harmony.
"Good evening Xander." She said, "You can tell Anya, that every Potential Slayer on Buffy's list is dead, and full colored glossy pictures of their naked corpses, will be featured in the next issue of 'Undead Living" Magazine', which she can purchase over the internet. They're also going to appear in our next Dead Nudies Calendar; one of them a month, for eight months. That can also be purchased over the internet; just in case you're interested."
Xander asked, "In case I'm interested, in looking at pictures of naked dead women?"
"Of course you are Xander." Harmony told him, "Necrophilia is part of being a vampire."
Then Fred asked Harmony, "Only eight dead nudie vampire victims, when it's a twelve month calendar?"
Harmony told her, "We can add the photos I took of you and Dawn, on our first night in Sunnydale. Then we'll only have to look for two more."
"But I wasn't a Potential Slayer. Dawn might have been, but I was on our side."
"You we're a dead nudie. For the calendar, that's all that matters."
Then the receptionist told Xander, "Tell Anya that Wolfram and Hart is already paying 10,000 a piece for each photo, but nothing more."
Now Xander spoke. "I got a call from Anya on my cell phone. She says that Dawn has run away from Sunnydale."
"We got a call from her too." Fred said, "I'm not surprised."
He told them, "Before we left Sunnydale, Anya told me, that she'd make sure, that Dawn would get to school on time."
"Get to school on time?" Harmony said, "Yeah-right. Since when do they have night classes at Sunnydale High, for vampires?"
Fred told her, "She can always get her G.E.D. diploma through the mail. A lot of our people here did. You did."
Xander told them, "Dawn's a smart girl. She wouldn't have just run off, without some kind of a plan."
Fred asked, "Do you think she could be with Willow? After I became undead, I was talking to some of the vamps in Sunnydale. One of them said that he saw Willow getting on a bus to here."
"Here?" Xander said, "In a City this size, it'll be easy for both of them to disappear."
Harmony said, "Well wherever Dawn is, we're supposed to find her. I know this sounds awful, but we're expected to kill her again, and make sure she stays dead, before she receives her empowerment as the next Slayer."
Xander repeated, "Make sure she stays dead? Dawn? I refused to kill her the other night and I'm not doing it now!"
"I hate the idea too," Harmony told him, "but you do know, that we vampires can't allow any new Slayer to live."
"I know," he told her, "But don't ask for my help in this."
An elevator's doors opened. Xander stepped inside and the doors shut behind him.
"He's right." Fred told Harmony, "Wolfram and Hart provides the goods and services that vampires need, to function in this world; not to put them out of this world permanently."
"I don't want to be doing this either." Harmony told her, "We'd be going back to the way things were three years ago, when Angel was running things here."
"Angel?" Fred asked, "'The Vampire with a Soul'?"
Harmony nodded. "About 100 years ago, a tribe of Gypsies cursed Angel with self loathing. He called that 'Having a soul.' Then he spent the next 100 years, trying to atone for his misdeeds, by destroying other vampires.
"About three years ago, there was a Board of Directors Meeting, going on in the Conference Room. Around 1 in the morning, I was seated right here at my desk, when all three elevator doors opened at the same time. Angel and three dozen of his people came running out armed.
"One of them pointed a gun at me, and he shot me in the heart, right between the boobs, and killed me totally brain dead.
"He'd put a lead slug in my heart, not a wooden stake, so I revived undead three nights later. Angel and his people were running the Company; and I came to wish that I had been staked."
Fred said, "I heard you had a fatally hostile work environment then."
"'Fatally hostile' is right! They instituted a destructive policy, against all the vampires who worked for them. In this Vampire Owned and Operated Corporation, they actually instituted a Policy of Zero Tolerance, against any and all killing, by all W & H employees, both on and off the job.
"We employees were only allowed to drink pigs' blood."
Fred told her, "Until tonight, that's all I've been drinking, since I became undead. It doesn't taste all that much different from human."
"That's not the point. There were daily random blood tests. Everyone who failed that test got a stake rammed through his or her heart, within the hour. All employees were required to witness every staking on closed circuit TV."
"Yeah. "I've heard about that too."
"Everyone at Wolfram and Hart was under surveillance. Employees were informing on each other. Nobody could trust anybody. We were all getting paranoid. Employee morale was gone.
"That policy even extended off the job. There was a vampire I dated a few times, named Jake. Away from work, he was an Aztec Priest. That was before I received Christ as Savior. I attended his Sacrifices regularly, and I occasionally contributed the use of my fangs, to the worship.
"At every Sacrifice, he ripped the beating heart, out of at least one teenage Aztec girl. You'd think no vampire could possibly object to that; but one evening, when Jake came into work, he got staked for it."
Fred said, "But he was lawfully practicing his Religion."
"And the girls were devout Aztecs, who died willingly; but Angel was so politically correct, that he contributed to the American Civil Liberties Union, so he could get away with anything.
"That was when I decided, that I'd had enough! I just couldn't handle it any more!
"I went right down to the Staking Room. I walked in, with my boobs naked, while the broadcast was still going on.
"I yelled, 'I've killed people at the Aztec Sacrifices too! So go ahead! Stake me now! Make me brain dead forever!'
"There were three people there. They were all kind of startled.
"The stake they killed Jake with, was lying on the table, in a pile of dust, that was all that was left of him. I picked it up, and then I drove that stake through all three of their hearts.
"Then I stood in front of the closed circuit camera, and I started shouting,
"Being a vampire doesn't have to suck! Down with surveillance! Down with Zero Tolerance! We are Vampires! We want human blood!'
"Every vampire watching joined in, shouting, 'We are Vampires! We want human blood!'
"Before long, everyone in this building was shouting, 'We are Vampires! We want human blood!
"By the end of the night, not one human employee was still alive, inside Wolfram and Hart Headquarters. Believe me, if you'd been working here that night, you wouldn't have had to wait another three years, to become undead.
"Then we vampires went out on strike.
"We stood outside chanting, 'We are Vampires! We want human blood!'
"That led to another Board of Directors meeting. They actually asked me to speak to them.
"Yeah. That was a big mistake on their part. As soon as I entered the Conference Room, I walked right up to Angel, and I rammed a sharp wooden stake into his heart."
"Good for you Harmony. You're an actual Working Class Heroine."
"That was the end of the anti-vampire policies; but if we're gonna start making vampires permanently dead again, we'll just be going back to the bad old days."
Fred said, "Nobody here wants that."
"I killed Dawn Summers once," Harmony told her, "and that was enough. Xander's right. He's not going to help kill Dawn Summers permanently, and neither am I."
Cordelia sat with Dawn, at a cluttered old desk, under a single dim fluorescent light, in a small office, in the back of Salvation Chapel. Each woman had a large porcelain mug of pigs' blood in front of her.
Dawn sat with her back to a large cross on the wall. Cordelia faced the cross, while reading from a Bible in front of her.
"'If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us; but if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.'"
Dawn asked, "How do you do it Cordelia? You're sitting here, with a large cross on the wall, and you've got your bare hands on a Bible."
Cordelia said, "I live by faith, and the grace of God, Dawn.
"Now to get back to what I just read. It is God who cleanses us, with the blood of Christ. Not we ourselves. What we have to do is accept Him as Savior, and confess our sins."
"Well," Dawn confessed, "I do lie sometimes. I talk dirty. I cheat in school. I used to shoplift; but I don't anymore. I like to screw; and when my mother was alive, I cursed at her."
"Is there anything else?"
"Well right now, I'm wishing that you were alive, so I could bite you and suck your blood 'til you die."
"And I'm feeling the exact same way about you Dawn."
Dawn asked, "Tell me Cordelia, since you've received Salvation, have you killed anyone?"
"Yes. I am still a carnivorous predator; and the need to hunt, kill and eat, can be overpowering. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, and sometimes my appetite makes the final decision; but you cannot lose you're Salvation. The only unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. I'm not doing that, and neither are you."
Then Cordelia added, "So do you know what you're going to do now Dawn?"
"I have no idea. I asked the vampires to let me stay dead. I suppose that was too much for the Slayer's sister to ask. I'm a major trophy."
"How about going back to Sunnydale?"
Dawn spoke sharply. "I can't go back! Everything's gone to Hell without Buffy! Anyanka the Vengeance Demon has reverted to being completely evil. She ordered that all of Willow's charms, and spells, and books on witchcraft be burned; and Willow along with them. Anya's the one who invited the vampires to come into the house, and kill me."
Cordelia said, "Listen Dawn. Willow isn't dead. I got a call from her yesterday. She's come to the City, and she's frantically worried about you. She doesn't know what's happened to you. She asked me to give her a call, if I should see you."
"Then please make that call."
"She also has no idea what's happened to Xander."
"He's one of the vampires who came into the house, but he refused to kill me!"
"Then the Vampires have been victorious. All is well in Sunnydale."
"What! By now there's probably not one person in Town, who hasn't been vamped!"
Cordelia said, "Then all is well in Sunnydale for you Dawn. Remember, you are now a vampire yourself, as am I, and as is every member of this Chapel's Congregation."
Dawn looked puzzled. "This is a Church of born again Vampires?"
"I've got fangs. You've got fangs. Some of God's people got fangs.
"There are even some employees of Wolfram and Hart Corporation, who worship here on Sunday nights."
"Wolfram and Hart? Would one of them happen to be named Harmony?"
"Oh yes. Harm. She's an active member, and a very good friend, for any vampire to have. After she vamped me, she got me all the help she could from Wolfram and Hart. I in turn, brought her to the Lord."
Dawn said, "She vamped me, after she vamped Xander!"
"Well we do not call her 'Harm' for nothing. 'We have this treasure in earthen vessels.'"
Harmony and Fred were again seated together, at the same table, in the Wolfram and Hart Cafeteria. This time they both drank blood from large porcelain mugs.
Fred told her, "I've been thinking about what you said; that there won't be any night classes for vampires in Sunnydale. Well, I was talking to some of the vampires there, and they told me that there will be."
"Oh sure. The vampires are gonna stop living in the conditions that they told me about in Sunnydale. They're gonna stop hiding in crypts, caves or sewers; or hiding in their family's basements. They'll live in real homes, have real jobs, pay taxes, and they'll be highly respected members of the Community."
"Yes. They'll run the Town Government, and being alive in Sunnydale, will be a temporary condition, just like it is here at Wolfram and Hart; and when Sunnydale High School students become undead, they'll transfer to the night classes, and they'll graduate, as vampires with diplomas."
"Then there will be a diploma for Dawn, after all."
Now Anya entered the Cafeteria. Tonight she was fully clothed, in a suitable, bright red business dress. The inverted human bone cross still dangled between her breasts. The shrunken heads remained on her belt.
Every man in the Cafeteria gagged and shuddered.
Anya came over to Harmony and Fred, who also gasped and shuddered for a moment.
Harmony said, "I see you're still using your demonic powers Anya."
The men stopped gagging and shuddering.
Anya told them, "Well you don't think I'd actually walk into Vampire Central, without all the mystical powers I have at my disposal, do you?"
Fred laughed, "I did every day, 'til I got vamped. You really are a wus Anyanka."
Fred gasped and shuddered again, for a moment.
Anya said. "I'm a wus? This entire Dimension is dying from Wussyism. There's this big Holiday Game coming up. The Gladiators versus the Warriors. Everyone says they're gonna massacre each other. But guess what? They're not real gladiators or real warriors. Those are the names of football teams; and when they call it a 'massacre', it's just a figure of speech. Nobody's going to die! What's the point of having a holiday, if nobody's gonna die?"
Fred said. "Good question."
"Now I remember" Anya reminisced, "back in the Demon Realm, when I attended ole' Beelzebub High. All our team sports were genuine massacres. Then when the game was over, one of the losing team's cheerleaders always got hanged from the winning team's goal post."
Harmony said, "When I was a cheerleader at Sunnydale High, more than half of us got vamped. We knew the danger, but we cheered and waved those pom-poms anyway. The guys called us pussy not wussy."
Fred told Anya, "When we were in Sunnydale a cheerleader from the losing team was hanging from the Sunnydale goal post. It looks like your local High School Sports are gonna become the way you'd like them to be. Who knows? You might even be hired as the Coach."
Anya told her, "I've already put in my application."
"Another thing Anya." Fred asked, "I'm wondering. What gives you the power to move between dimensions?"
"This Gem of Amara." She touched a large green gemstone, in the center of the inverted cross.
Fred told her, "I'd like to take a look at it, up in the Lab."
"Forget it. I take this off, and my power's gone. Then I'm vampire feed, and I won't be able to complete my vengeance task."
Harmony repeated, "Vengeance task?"
Anya said, "I came here to speak to Mr. Wesley Wyndham-Price, who just happens to be metamorphing into a vampire at the moment, and will be unavailable, for some time to come."
Fred smiled, "That was the result of a lover's quarrel he had, with the sweetest gal undead, at Wolfram and Hart; who happily, did not forget to suck on a lozenge first."
Anya told them, "The reason I'm here is that I know who the next Slayer is, and I know where she's hiding."
Harmony asked, "Dawn Summers? Right?"
"Yes, and you don't have all that much time, before she receives her empowerment."
"Well where is she?"
Anya told her, "She has been granted Sanctuary, in the Salvation Chapel, by the Missionary to the Vampires; your former classmate and fellow pom-pom waving pussy..."
"That's right Harmony. I can't use my demonic powers in the presence of the Cross, or the Word of God, spoken in faith."
Harmony said, "And we won't violate any Holy Sanctuary."
"I need Dawn here! She's bait. There are things I have to settle with the Witch, Willow Rosenberg. I want Dawn brought here, so Willow will come looking for her, in a place which has no Holy Sanctuary; so I can use my powers to destroy the Witch."
Fred said, "Destroy Willow? I've heard that she's extremely dangerous."
"So am I!" Anya told them, "I am granting the wish, of Sunnydale County Assistant District Attorney, Marjorie Spencer. She's another Wussy; too afraid of Willow, to seek indictments for the flaying murder of Warren Mears, and the murder of Mr. Rack.
"Willow Rosenberg hasn't spent one day in jail for either crime. Granting this wish, also allows me to take revenge for her burning down the Sunnydale Magic Shop, of which I was the Manager!"
"I see." Fred told her, "This is a matter of personal revenge."
Anya raised her voice in a demonic howl that shook the walls of the Cafeteria.
"I am seeking justice!"
Harmony and Fred both gasped and shuddered again.
Inside the office, in the back of Salvation Chapel, Cordelia and Dawn had been joined by Willow Rosenberg. The red haired, green-eyed woman spoke in a sobbing voice.
"Oh Dawny! I am so sorry! I really did try to help, but Anya destroyed all my wiccan materials and books; so I couldn't do a thing to stop them from turning you into this grotesque creature."
"Willow." Cordelia spoke pointedly. "You couldn't do a thing, because you were trying to fight Satanic forces by using Satanic powers; and 'How can Satan drive out Satan'?"
"But that's the only way I know Cordelia."
The vampire Evangelist told her, "You should 'Draw near to God, and He'll draw near to you. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.'"
Dawn said, "I don't think that Cordelia and I are all that grotesque, Willow. Do you Cordelia?"
"No. I think I'm a deadly beauty, and so are you Dawn. Even more."
Dawn displayed her fangs and teased. "I think I'd like to add Willow to our beautiful sisterhood, so she'll see how wrong she is."
Willow told them, "That won't be necessary."
Now a man stood in the office doorway.
Cordelia said, "Xander?" She smiled, "I heard that my former boyfriend is one of us now."
Xander stood there, looking very uneasy.
He said, "Three of my favorite women, together, and dangerous, and I'm not sure if you're angry with me."
Cordelia said, "There's no reason to be. Dawn said that you were hungry, but you refused to kill her."
Dawn said, "You're still a good person, and the same old Xander as always. You're still someone who I know I can trust."
He said, "Thank you for saying that Dawnster. Listen. Dawn can't stay here any more. Anya's been to Wolfram and Hart. She's told them that she's here. She wants them to make sure she stays dead. Permanently."
Cordelia told them all, "This Chapel is a Holy Sanctuary. If they plan to do evil they can't enter. Every one of them knows that. As long as Dawn stays within these walls, she can't be harmed."
Dawn said, "I don't want to stay within these walls."
Willow said, "Dawn?"
The girl asked, "Since when does the Slayer hide, while her friends protect her? It was always the other way around with Buffy. That's how it will be with me."
Cordelia asked, "Are you the Slayer Dawn? Have you become empowered?"
"I'm not sure. Let's find out!"
Dawn got up out of her seat and stamped out of the office.
Her voice shouted angrily. "Xander! Are you coming?"
Xander hurried out the doorway.
Cordelia then told the red haired witch, "Now as I was saying Willow; you should 'Put on the full armor of God, so you can resist all the attacks of the Evil One; and take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.'"
Willow put her hands over her ears and growled. Cordelia heard a distinct crackling sound, like electric sparks come from the fingers of the former class nerd.
Willow jumped up and hurried out of the office.
Cordelia was now alone. She picked up her phone, dialed, and waited for someone to answer. Then she spoke.
"Good evening Harmony. This is Cordy. Listen carefully. The Lord needs your help tonight. Yeah you Harmony. Believe it or not. I find it hard to believe myself.
"Tell me, have you repented of your sexual promiscuity, and are you only drinking animals' blood? I didn't think so. Listen. The Lord needs someone at Wolfram and Hart to stand in the gap for Him tonight, and you're the one who's available."
A few minutes after 2 AM, the Executives Offices' Lobby at Wolfram and Hart was empty, except for Harmony, who was seated at the reception desk.
The door to Wesley's Office opened. Fred stepped out, and shut the door behind herself. She smoothed out her lab coat, and came over to Harmony with a dreamy smile on her face.
She spoke quietly. "Mr. Wyndham-Price, has just awakened undead, in the arms of a passionate, naked angel. He and I remain engaged."
Harmony sighed. "Oh Fred, I just can't think of anything, more beautiful than that."
"He's still kind of groggy, so he won't be performing any of his managerial duties, until tomorrow night."
Harmony chuckled. "Oh I understand that, girl."
An elevator's doors opened, and Anya stepped out into the Lobby. She came over to Harmony and Fred.
Harmony told her, "I'm sorry Anya, but Mr. Wyndham-Price will be unavailable for any meetings, until tomorrow night."
She said, "Fuck Mr. Wyndham-Price!"
Fred smiled, "Oh I just did. I do regularly. That's why he's unavailable"
Anya said, "I've been hearing about you Harmony. I hear you like to fuck guys while you're vamping them."
"I used to, before I received Salvation. Then it depended on the guy. If I did like a guy enough to fuck him, I tried to make his final moments, as pleasant as possible, for both of us."
"Harmony!" Anya demanded, "Did you fuck Xander while you were killing him?"
"No. We remained fully clothed, and the only penetration that occured, were my fangs in his neck; but I did hold him in a very tight embrace, and I did feel him getting sexually aroused."
Harmony shuddered again.
She told Anya, "I was comforting him, at a stressful time."
Anya told her, "I didn't want him 'comforted'! I didn't want his final moment to be pleasant! I wanted him to suffer! For all eternity! That isn't the way I would have fulfilled your wish!"
Harmony said, "Then what a lucky guy he is, to have died in my arms."
Anyanka once more raised her voice in a bellowing howl that caused the lobby to shake. "I am a demon, who wreaks vengeance upon unfaithful men, and upon their whores!"
Harmony told her, "Only if someone other than you wishes for it Anyanka; and I haven't heard any complaints from Xander, and neither has she."
Anya looked at Fred. "You?"
"Um-hm." She smirked. "Just like Harmony said. He was a lot of fun to play with."
"But you just became engaged."
"True. Wesley is the only one who I truly love. There is no one I really want other than him; but now that I've become a vampire, it's made me a very bad girl."
Anyanka shouted, "You both know what I can do! Remember what happened to the two dozen Fraternity Guys!"
Harmony said, "If you rip our hearts out, they've already stopped beating."
Fred smirked again. "Now that Wesley's a vampire, he'll be a very bad boy himself; so if you want to get even with me, he'll be glad to have you upside down, naked and halfway to happyland."
She and Harmony shuddered again.
Harmony said, "Just like you were with my ex-boyfriend Spike, Anya."
Anya then stepped away from Harmony and Fred, went down the Corridor, and was gone from their sight.
Another elevator's doors opened. Xander, Willow and Dawn stepped out into the Lobby, where they stood under the bright glare of the fluorescent lights embedded in the ceiling.
Harmony said, "Willow?"
She stood up, got out from behind her desk, and approached her former classmate with outspread arms.
"It's so good to see you again, after all this time!"
The red haired woman pointed her finger at the blonde vampire.
"Stand back Harmony! I'm sure you know what I can do to you!"
"Xander here says that you can flay me alive. We could use someone with your talents here at Wolfram and Hart. Pay's good."
There was an echoing shout, along the corridor. Anya hurried along the corridor, and ran back into the Lobby. She stood facing Dawn, Willow and Xander.
She called out, "So hail! Hail! The Buffy Gang's all here. Just where we want you."
Dawn growled, "And you're where I want you."
Buffy's sister exposed her fangs.
Anya spoke calmly. "Now Dawny. There's no reason for there to be bad feelings, between you and I. You know I'm a vengeance demon; and I am compelled to fulfill all vengeful wishes that come my way, regardless of my personal feelings. I thought you understood."
Dawn took a menacing step closer to Anya.
The Vengeance Demon said, "You brought it on yourself Dawn. I was granting your wish."
"Yes. While you and Buffy were having a sisterly spat, I distinctly heard you tell her,
"'I wish some demon would chop your head off.'"
Willow said, "Dawn?"
"I didn't mean it, and she shouldn't have been eavesdropping!"
Anya announced, "I hope this will serve as a lesson for all of you. 'Be careful what you wish for.'"
Dawn told her, "I wish that a vampire would kill you Anya, and make sure you stay dead. Permanently!"
"I have other wishes to grant first Dawny. I've been asked to make Willow pay, for the murders of Warren Mears, and Mr. Rack. This will also include punishment for her burning down my place of business."
Willow said, "And there are a lot of things you have to pay for Anya. This year you turned one guy into a giant worm, and another one into a spineless pig; and don't forget those two dozen Frat Guys, whose hearts got ripped out; and who knows how many more!"
Anya declared, "The vengeance I grant is this: The Witch will burn!"
Harmony shouted, "Not in here Anya! You're not starting any conflagrations inside this building! If you want to burn her, take her outside!"
Dawn said, "And while we're there, let's set Anya on fire too!"
Anya warned, "I still have my full powers Dawn. If you attack me, I'll be unable to avoid dismembering you."
Willow pointed her finger at Anya, and said, "Power-drain!"
The Vengeance Demon asked, "What're you doing?"
Willow told her, "I'm using my wiccan magic, to drain you of all your demonic powers."
Anya sneered. "Your magic isn't working."
The Amara Gemstone, on the inverted cross between Anya's breasts, began to glow. Her face displayed demonic features; pale white, with large, throbbing veins.
She said, "You've already cast a protection spell around Dawn, and that's drained all your power. It'll take at least 24 hours, before you get recharged."
The fluorescent lights embedded in the ceiling dimmed. Willow's entire body began to glow, radiating light to the entire Lobby.
Willow told Anya, "Less time than that. I'm recharging now."
Blue sparks crackled between the Witch's fingers.
Anya's gemstone glowed brighter. Everyone began to shudder.
Anya declared, "Willow Rosenberg! Prepare to be the one, whose skin is flayed off, along with all your friends, standing here with you!"
Willow said, "Tonight Anyanka, your own heart will be the one that gets ripped out, as will those of your friends standing here!"
Now Harmony howled. "Enough of this Satanic Power!"
Everyone halted and looked at Harmony, who stood illuminated in Willow's witch's light.
Harmony said, "I just got a call from Cordelia, and she told me what to do."
She spoke calmly. "In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I ask God the Father Almighty, to send forth the Holy Spirit, and cast out every demon here!
"In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen."
Willow stopped glowing. The fluorescent lights came back on.
The three shrunken heads of the Charmed Ones, dropped off of Anya's belt, bounced on the floor and rolled to the side. Her gemstone had lost its glow. Her features were human again.
Anya asked, "Harmony? What'd you do? My power's gone."
Willow said, "And so is mine. We're both now back to being nothing more than ordinary human beings."
Anya said, "But I still have this power!"
She grabbed the inverted cross, and turned it right side up.
Dawn, Xander and Fred cringed and shielded their eyes.
Harmony did not. She stepped up to Anya and grabbed the cross.
"It is faith in God," Harmony told her, "that gives His Power to the upright Cross, but you don't have the faith."
She pulled the human knucklebone chain up over Anya's head. The cross fell inverted again. Dawn, Xander and Fred stopped cringing and shielding their eyes.
She handed the inverted cross to Fred saying, "Now you can check it out in the Lab."
Fred put the cross in her pocket.
Then Harmony shouted, "Now you can take this outside! Look at the sign ladies! This Building is a Violence Restricted Zone; and in this Lobby, only I have the authority to kill anyone at my discretion!"
Harmony displayed her fangs. "So take this outside!"
Dawn spoke. "I see the sign; but I'm not an employee of Wolfram and Hart, so you can't fire me!"
Then with a growl, Dawn lunged at Anya, with her fangs extended.
Xander reached out with both hands, grabbed Dawn by her shoulders, and held her back.
"It's okay Dawn." He told her, "You don't have to do this. Their powers are gone. The Law will be able to take care of them now."
Anya repeated, "The Law?"
Willow said, "That's right Anyanka. You're heart's not popping out from between your boobs, and my skin's not peeling off; so it looks like you and I are gonna be doing hard time in the Big House, for the remainder of our natural lives, without any possibility of parole."
"Fuck that!" Anya said, "I'm asking for the immediate death penalty, without any appeal."
"Won't be possible." The disempowered witch told her. "Death penalty's been declared Unconstitutional; 'cause it's 'Cruel and unusual punishment'."
"Oh!" Anya howled. "I've had enough of this Wussyism! One of you vampires kill me now!"
Dawn took a step toward her. Xander continued to hold her back.
"No Dawn!" Harmony said, "We can't let them become vampires. They'll have access to supernatural powers again."
With a growl, Dawn broke away from Xander. She pounced on Anya, with her fangs extended. With her new vampiric strength, she grabbed the now powerless woman's shoulders in an unbreakable grip, and chomped into her neck.
Anya squealed. Dawn began to feed.
Anya called out, "Xander!"
He said, "Sorry Anya. I still love you, but I've had enough of this, and you do deserve it."
Anyanka began growing weaker, and sank to her knees, with Dawn still gripping her, as she continued to suck the blood from her sister's killer.
Anya called out in a weakening voice, "But I have to wreak...vengeance...on Willow! The D.A...wished...for it!"
Harmony said, "Oh I can take care of that."
Then she turned, grinned happily, and spread her arms wide.
"This is great Willow! Now we can finally be friends!"
Harmony pounced on Willow, with her fangs extended, gripped her tight, and gave her a firm, clamping chomp in the neck. Willow screamed, as Harmony began to feed.
The blonde vampire felt the once powerful red haired witch dying, as easily as any other young woman she'd killed.
Harmony thought, If her boyfriend hadn't knocked me away last time, I'd have finished vamping her then, and none of these problems would be happening now.
She and Willow collapsed to the floor, beside Dawn and Anya.
Xander and Fred stood watching the two vampires, crouching over the Witch and the Vengeance Demon; sucking the blood out of the two women, who lay dying on the polished floor.
Then Dawn rose up to a squat, above the body of Anya, who lay sprawled on her back, with two deep puncture wounds in her neck.
The door to Wesley's office opened, and Wesley stepped out into the Lobby, dressed in his usual suit and tie.
Harmony rose up to a squat, above the body of Willow.
Wesley looked at the two dead women on the floor, and the four undead people around them.
He said, "Dawn? Xander?"
Xander told him, "If there are any more lists of potential slayers, Mr. Wyndham-Price, you can call off the search. The new Slayer has received her empowerment."
The Wolfram and Hart Executive asked, "What has happened here?"
Harmony, who remained in a squat beside Willow, told him, "The new Slayer's in Town Wes, and she has a pair of fangs, instead of sharp wooden stakes; and she has just used them to help me disarm these two weapons of mass destruction; who were about to turn Wolfram and Hart Headquarters, into a massive pile of smoldering rubble."
Fred said, "Just to play it safe, I think you ought to put Anyanka's head on display in the Trophy Room. Willow's too; just to play it safe."
Harmony said, "I'm not sure if Dawn really is the new Slayer, but if she is, she's on our side, so we won't have to make her permanently dead."
The blonde vampire knelt down again, and resumed feeding off Willow.
Now Wesley spoke. "Fred. Could you please get me a bottle of blood from the Cafeteria? I'm very hungry, and I don't know if we have anyone on the staff, who is still alive, for me to feed from."
Harmony again raised her head.
"Just come on over here Wes." she told him.
Harmony rose back up to a squat. She lifted Willow's limp body up to a sitting position.
Then she said, "Take a few sips. Willow's still got a little life left in her."
Wesley came over to Harmony. He squatted down, and began to feed off Willow.
He said, "Thank you for sharing, Harmony."
She got to her feet.
Then she said, "Just the right thing to do Wes.
An elevator's doors opened. Dawn headed for the elevator, stepping over the body of Anya and around Wesley who continued feeding off Willow. She stepped inside the elevator. Xander joined her, and its doors closed.
Fred spoke. "Before we behead these two, I think we ought to photograph them naked. Then along with my picture and Dawn's, we'll have a full dozen photos, to put in the next 'Dead Nudies' Calendar."
Now Harmony said, "Fred. I'd like to forget about you and I being very bad girls this weekend. Instead of that, I'd like to invite you and Wesley to join me at Church on Sunday night."
The researcher said, "Thank you Harmony. We'll be there. Who could possibly need to be born again, more than an undead airhead?"
Harmony told her, "And all of God's people who've got fangs, will say 'Amen' sister Winifred."
Then Harmony moved back behind her desk, sat down and sang softly.
"Jesus loves all the Vam-pi-res!
All the Vampires in the world!
While we stalk, and pounce and bite,
We're all precious in His sight!
Jesus loves all the Vampires in the world!"
END OF STORY
Approximately 18,800 words.