Revenge of the Horsechicks

by Death, Chaos, Plague, StratWar and TactWar
Copyright 1998

Written as a reaction to "Innocence", to allow me to sleep at night... and gleefully expanded upon by my fellow Horschicks: with love, to the SunS, and all those especially who are doing the Want-My-Angel-Stomp, channelling Angelus, and needing to write mega-angsty-but-great fic. -- Chaos.

The Time: Sometime before "Phases"
The Scene: Denver, Chris's apartment; usually a bright cheerful place. The TV set is displaying "Innocence". Again.

Onscreen, Buffy was heading home, looking depressed, still not having heard from Angel after their one night together... because Angel was not Angel anymore. But the Slayer didn't know that yet, not at that point, anyway.

Offscreen, Lizbet and Perri were clumped into a whimpering huddled mass on the floor. Dianne was twisting up one of the sofa cushions into a new shape never intended by its creator on the couch. Cath was sitting next to her, a study in alert anticipation. And Kiki was vibrating around the room, having OD'd on caffiene and the sixth viewing of this tape.

For the sixth time, Buffy went to Angel's apartment, opened the door, and looked around the (apparently) empty space. Lizbet squeaked in distress. Perri mewled. Cath's evil grin got wider. Dianne starting saying, "No, sweetie, just turn around and go home, just go home..." and Kiki stopped vibrating around the room, and stood quietly quivering as the inevitable unfolded. Again.

When Buffy threw herself at Angel's chest, Kiki was again unable to bear watching what she knew was on the way, and zipped the hell out of the room, not needing to hear Angel's evil, insulting, callous cruelty to know that he deserved to die. Or worse. She could hear Lizbet and Perri whimpering three rooms away, as well as Dianne's exhortations to the Slayer to kick him where it hurt, and Cath's, "Oh, yeah. He's a bastard. Yup."

After most of the sounds had stopped, Kiki left her safe place and re-entered the room in time to hear Angelus say, "Love ya, babe," and walk out the door. "Such a bastard," Cath repeated in tones both admiring and disgusted. Perri and Lizbet were wiping at their eyes with the Kleenex, and Dianne was collapsed across the couch, eyes closed in pain.

"He has to pay," Kiki said.

"We know that, Kiki," Dianne answered wearily without opening her eyes. "But we still don't know how."

"Death is way too good for him," Cath agreed. "I gotta love his technique, but, you know... I'd also love to make him hurt." She handed another Kleenex to her Trill. "If only for making Perri and Lizbet suffer along with Buffy." Perri was still incoherently gulping, making big wavy motions at the screen and trying to communicate in sign language. At least, Kiki thought it was sign language; it might just have been distress signals.

"Angelus has to pay," Kiki repeated mutinously. "I don't know how, I just know... Something has to be done." She pouted and slumped into one of the cozy chairs, glaring at the screen as Willow and Xander had their confrontation over Cordelia, followed by Willow's totally understandable exit. She snapped back to reality a few seconds later, wincing at new noises in the room.

"Ooooooo," Lizbet wailed, recognizing the signs of impending onscreen pain. "It's, it's, he's, he's, oooooooo..."

Cath, Dianne, and Kiki covered their ears as Lizbet and Perri started dolphining during the Willow-Xander compromise conversation. Both of them ran out of breath as the lights went out in the hallway, and Angelus beckoned to Willow. Muted sounds of distress gave way to shouting as all five Horsechicks attempted to convince Willow to go nowhere near Angelus, then more distress as Buffy showed up, cheers as Xander saved Willow, then groans and shouts and whimpers as Angel kissed Buffy, said, "You know you want it," and threw her against the wall.

Something clicked in Kiki's brain. "Pinky," she breathed, sitting up straight.

"Yes, Brain?" Dianne muttered, glancing at her Trill, then sitting up straighter herself. "I know that look. You're having a thought."

"Better." Kiki stood, smiling maniacally. "I'm having a plan."

"A good plan?" Cath's eyes crinkled as she returned Kiki's sanity-lacking grin. Kiki nodded, starting to hum like Drusilla having a happy thought about corpses.

"Concept," Perri observed, wiping at her eyes but beginning to look interested. "Chaos has a plan." Lizbet hiccuped and continued to look miserable. "What do we need for this plan?"

"A Mountie, a homicide cop, a wolf, a blues musician, uhhh, some restraints, several crucifixes, a tesseract, and the address of a really good bar in Toronto. Oh, and we're gonna need this tape of Innocence."

"I like this plan already..."

"We make our own fun."


Time: A little later (but not as much later as it could have been thanks to the judicious use of the tesseract, which is also why we're in fourth-season Highlander, instead of sixth, which never actually happened)
Setting: Joe's Bar, Seacouver. Empty because it's not open yet because that's how we needed it

Joe Dawson was standing behind his bar polishing glasses when the front door banged open and three familiar faces ran in. "Hey, I'm gonna have to see some ID," he informed them with a grin.

The brunette looked amused, but the redhead and the blonde gave him disgusted looks. "Jo-oe," they sing-song whined in near-unison. Joe's grin got broader and he left the safety of the bar to be gang-hugged by all three Horsechicks (Cath with a tad more restraint than Perri and Lizbet, but still...)

"So, to what do I owe the honor of this visit?" the blues musician asked a few minutes later. "And are any more of you going to be showing up?"

"Not many," Cath said, at the same time Perri answered, "We need a favor," and Lizbet informed him, "We're on a mission of righteous vengeance."

"Uh-huh. And what does this favor involve?"

"Let us use the bar to catch a mean, nasty, bad vampire and take him by tesseract to another universe so we can turn him over to the improper authorities," Perri answered promptly.

Joe, having had considerable experience with the three, was not fazed. "And my bar is going to be used why?"

Catherine shrugged. "We need to get him under control before we deliver him, or Da Boss isn't going to be happy, and we won't be able to get her to do what we want."

"Well, we could," Lizbet interjected, "But it'd be harder."

"And besides," Perri finished, "you're really going to want to be part of this. It involves Willow, remember her?"

"Oh, yeah," Joe smiled in remembrance, "she's a sweetheart." His smile disappeared and his face got serious. "This guy hurt her?"

"And Buffy," Lizbet confirmed.

"Among others," Perri added.

"Watch." Catherine inserted the appropriate tape into the TV behind the bar; Lizbet and Perri began cowering on automatic reflex the second Angelus appeared on screen. Catherine watched the episode with an even, narrow-eyed look that gave Joe the suspicion she was taking mental notes for her next Methos story. Then he was too busy growing steadily more furious at the events onscreen to watch the Horsechicks. By the time Angelus grabbed Willow in the hall, Joe's knuckles were white around the grip of his cane, as he began cataloguing creative ways to use it on vampires. It would make a really good stake....

"So, can we use the bar?" Perri asked, once the tape had ended and she regained verbal skills. All three turned hopeful looks on Joe, which were completely unnecessary by this point.

"Absolutely," Joe said grimly."I wouldn't have it any other way. You are going to have back-up, right? Need any help?"

Three heads shook in unison, and three faces grinned evilly (Cath with a tad more evil than Perri and Lizbet, but still...). "No, not right now," Lizbet told him. "Backup is Chris and Dianne's job."


Time: Pretty much the same as before (except that we're now in Due South's second season. Gotta love tesseracts)
Setting: 27th Precinct House, Chicago

"Fraser! Ray!"

Once upon a time, the cops in the precinct would have been interested, or even surprised, at the sight of a tall redhead and a brunette running through the station shouting at the top of their lungs. But since the Mountie had shown up, nothing was really surprising anymore. Elaine just waved them through into the precinct; Diefenbaker didn't even bother to look up.

Fraser, of course, bounced politely to his feet as soon as he saw them. Ray groaned and let his head fall to the desk. "What?" he asked irritably. "I haven't done anything lately, have I? What did I do to deserve this?"

Dianne glared down at him. "Thanks a lot, Vecchio! Always nice to be welcomed!"

Ray realized what he'd said and instantly started trying to talk his way out of it, without notable success. Fraser intervened as the ladies' faces grew darker. "What Detective Vecchio means to say," he said smoothly (well, kinda), "is that, while we are always pleased to see you, certain amounts of... Well, that is to say..."

Ray rolled his eyes. "He means, weird things always happen around you. So, what's the deal this time?" The brusque question was lightened by the killer smile he directed at both women.

Dianne and Chris exchanged looks and, possibly influenced by the smile, decided to forgive him. "We need you two to help us deliver justice to a bad guy," Dianne answered.

"And we need handcuffs and some other retraints," Chris added.

Ray grinned and settled down on his desk. "Oh, this sounds good."

Fraser stammered and blushed, then managed to get out, "Ah, yes. And, the ah, the restraints would be for..."

"For the bad guy, Fraser," Chris rolled her eyes. "Relax. We just need you two along for muscle."

Ray shook his head, starting to get up. "Look, you know we'd love to help you out, but we've got cases piled up on bad guys in Chicago that it's my *job* to deal with and..."

"Now, Ray," Fraser broke in, "if Christina and Dianne need our help, we really should offer our assistance."

"And besides, we guarantee that this is a badder guy than anyone in Chicago," Dianne said grimly. "Trust us, Ray, you really want to help."

A TV/VCR combination had been fortuituously seized as evidence and plugged in nearby (probably so Dief didn't have to miss his soaps); Dianne and Chris cued up a hastily-dubbed copy of 'Innocence' and let it roll.

Ray attempted to kick in the TV about the time Angelus was ripping Buffy's heart to shreds in the apartment; since Chris was hiding under Fraser's hat, Diefenbaker was growling at the screen, and Dianne was staring thin-lipped at the scene with arms crossed and tapping one toe, Fraser had to prevent the destruction. But by the time Buffy kicked Angelus in the appropriate place, even Fraser looked very approving.

"See what we mean?" Chris said as the tape ended. "He must go down, and we know just how to do it. Going to help?"

"Try and stop us," Ray told her, reaching for his gun. Fraser's face was set and his eyes hard as he settled his hat into perfect position. "Where do we go?"


Time: A bit later (a little over halfway through Buffy's second season. You know when we're talking about.)
Setting: Sunnydale; the abandoned factory

"All right, guys," Dianne began, looking around at the nine- member hit squad that surrounded her. "Now the name of the game here is tag-team confusion. Think we can handle that?"

"I thought Amy was Confusion," Chris frowned.

"I knew we should have gotten more SunS," Lizbet agreed.

"Fine!" Dianne groaned theatrically. "We'll just have to settle for Plaguing him with Chaos and two kinds of War, O.K.?"

"But no Death?"

"He's already got the death thing under control without my help," Dianne groused. Turning to survey the non-HorseChick contingent, she sighed and reached out a restraining hand. "Put the gun away, Ray. We're talking vampire here. Unless you keep wooden bullets in that thing, shooting him will only piss him off."

"Not that that might not be a good idea," Perri observed.

"Oh, good point," Dianne agreed. "Shoot at will then, Ray."

"O.K., so how do we kill him," Joe asked.

"There are actually many traditional ways to kill a vampire," Benny began, sliding into lecture mode-- only to be sideswiped by the Force for Which Nature Denies Any Responsibility that is the HorseChicks.



"A wooden stake through the heart!"


Joe shrugged. "Decapitation sounds good to me, anyone got a sword handy?"

"No," Chris reminded the group, "We don't want to kill him."

"Speak for yourself, " Ray muttered.

"We want to torture him horribly." Cath gave an evil grin.

"That's hard to do properly when he's dead," Chris agreed.

"We don't use the stakes then?" Benny asked in some confusion, eyeing the sturdy pieces of well-pointed wood Perri was handing around.

"Not if it can be helped."

Nodding in approval, Fraser attempted to concur. "It is more important that this criminal be brought to justice...."

"*Bzzzt!*, Benny!" The Mountie jumped as a HorseChick corrected him from waist-level. "Thanks for playing, but this isn't about arresting the bastard. It's about making him suffer unimaginable tortures for as long as inhumanly possible."

"But...." Fraser started to object.

"Vendetta, then," Ray confirmed grimly, ignoring him.

"You got it," Dianne responded in the same tone. "Vengeance on behalf of all women-- and non-asshole men-- everywhere."


"You betcha!"

"Let's go!"


"Uh..." Benny looked uncomfortable.

"Shhh!" Dianne reprimanded, "He's here."


An irritated, limping, and soggy vampire stumbled into the factory, only to find it empty. Dru had run screaming from the fiasco at the mall and Spike was nowhere to be seen. Hell knew what had happened to the idiot backup Spike kept around. "Great," he muttered. "This is just great."

Suddenly, he caught a sound across the huge room. Looking up, he spotted a tall redhead walking tentatively forward as she clutched her bag closely to her side and kept a wary eye on the shadows. Before he could even decide how he wanted to kill her, let alone place the vaguely familiar face, she looked up and saw him.

A broad smile broke over her face as she rushed forward eagerly. "Angel! I've been looking all over for you!"

He matched the smile, amused in spite of himself. "Oh, have you?"

"Yes, yes," the woman muttered, digging into her bag and pulling out a battered steno pad. "See I needed to ask you a few things about the, uh...," she looked up guiltily, "Well, the Dru story."

Ah, right. She was one of the authors poor tortured Angel had been pouring his precious little soul out to. "I thought you'd finished that."

"Oh, no," she assured him. "I still need to know exactly what happened at the convent."

"The convent?"

"Yes." She looked through her notes. "Dru took her holy vows, then you tortured and killed her, turning her into a demon in the process." Caught up in her train of thought, she no longer appeared at all hesitant to broach the subject with "Angel." She looked up again, innocent confusion on her face. "I just don't understand exactly how it happened, is all."

"Oh," Angelus barely kept from purring in delight, "Well, I could always show you."

"Oh could you?" The woman's face lit up. These mortals really were pathetic. It was obvious that only their vermin-like omnipresence had let them survive as a species this long. She continued to babble, "I mean, it's such a pivotal scene and all. The culmination of that whole week of torture and killing...."

"Sure," he laughed easily. "Come right over here and I'll show you."

"Great," she muttered, moving forward as she dug through her bag again. "I just need to find my pen...."

"No, you don't," he let himself purr this time as she came within reach.

"Oh yes," she responded, without looking up, apparently oblivious to her imminent demise. As she stepped right next to him Angelus let his face transform and the demon take over just as she finally looked up....

And _smiled_.

The next second he felt a searing spray of pain across his face, blinding him, stinging, burning....

From a slightly greater distance away he heard her voice again-- the audible equivalent of a smirk. "Garlic mace. Never leave home without it!"

As he stumbled blindly forward towards the sound, he heard a snarl and felt a sharp tug on the back of his coat that sent him sideways into the edge of the conveyor belt. Breath knocked out of him, he pulled himself up sharply and tried to concentrate. Pulses of life all around him, shifting. Surrounding him, but mere mortals all.

Time to work out some aggressions as he painted the walls in their blood.

Blinking his eyes clear, he heard the growl again from somewhere amongst the boxes to his left and he turned to follow. A second later, however, he was distracted by a loud noise from the high stack of crates behind him.


Spinning at this bizarre battle cry, he found himself nearly slapped in the face by a large cross affixed to one of the overhead ropes. He batted it aside barely in time to save himself a painful burn. But before he could determine where the rope's arc had begun, he was distracted yet again.

"Yo, Fang-Boy!" A tall brunette shouted gleefully from one of the low catwalks to his right. Leaning down through the bars of the railing, she grabbed a rather startled-looking Mountie by the shoulders, and attempted to shake him like a cape. "Toro! Toro! Come and get us!"


Angelus felt like killing someone. Since this was his normal state, it wasn't exactly news. But wanting to kill because he was pissed off was different. He didn't like it. Evicerating the first person he got his hands on would help.

He'd made a try at the guy in the red suit, but surprisingly, the Mountie had done a gymnastic flip that lifted him out of Angelus's reach, next to the demented redhead on the catwalk. The vampire had been left to stumble into a pile of garlic-powder laced balloons. He snarled in pain as they popped around him, blinding him with their contents. He could hear the Mountie above him reprove the girl with, "Catherine, that was entirely uncalled for."

"Watch me not care," she said unrepentantly. "It was fun. And look how well it worked!" Angelus snarled, half-blinded by powder, and by the time he was loose from that little trap, they were out of sight.

He prowled the deceptively silent confines of the warehouse. Now and then he'd see movement, shadows, but the boxes and crates provided too much cover. Every few minutes a clove of garlic or a holy water balloon grenade (of Antioch, a voice informed him, echoing spectrally in the warehouse's confines) would ambush him. He'd roar in fury and dash for where the bomb had been lobbed -- to find nothing.

After a while, this got old. Actually, it got old for Angelus shortly after the demented brunette waved a Mountie at him. His pursuers didn't seem to be minding the game much, though.

He wondered if they'd mind when he played the xylophone on their rib cages. The thought made him smile.

Then, far off in the corner of the warehouse, he saw a figure moving. Furtive and silent, it was barely a shadow. But the dim light reflected off pale hair and the top of the head didn't even come up to the edge of one of the crates. Angelus' smile widened. "You couldn't stay away from me, could you?" he called out. "You don't care what I do to you, you'll always come back for more. 'Cause I'm the only one who can give it to you."

"Angel?" The voice was wavery and tremulous. "Is that you? Please tell me that's you. Really you. I just--" Buffy's voice hitched. "I just wanna go home!"

The last statement puzzled Angelus slightly, but he didn't pay attention. He had Buffy neatly cornered with no way out. "You want me, do you..." he began, and then stopped.

The girl wasn't Buffy. She was shorter (if such a thing was possible), rounder, and had a cheerful grin on her face. "Worked as good on you as on airline ticket counter agents," she told him gleefully while she waved a garlic-dipped stake in the air.

Angelus ignored the stake. "I just had an idea."

From the shadows of the warehouse came catcalls. "Aw, did it hurt?" "Isn't it lonely?" "Hurry up, catch it before it runs away like all the others did!"

"Blonde girls," Angel mused. "I'm going to catch every blonde girl I can find and scalp them and leave their hair on Buffy's doorstep. Nice touch, don't you think?"

The girl in front of him took a handful of her dark blonde hair and examined it. "I like it better where it is," she pouted.

Angelus grinned. "Mine."

Before he could take one more step, he felt a crushing blow to the back of his head that sprawled him on the ground. When he looked up, another of the red-heads -- not the tall one, and not the mostly-brunette one who had yelled "Toro!" at him -- was dropping from the chain she had swung over on and landed on her feet beside the not-Buffy. With an identically cheerful grin on her face, she turned to look at her blonde friend. "I've always wanted to do that."

Angelus snarled. The two girls looked at him. "You think he's going to start pawing the ground?" the not-Buffy said.

"Toro!" called someone from the warehouse, and collapsed in giggles again.

With a roar of fury, he dove for the two girls. As one, they turned and ran toward a shadowy outline -- and through it.

The redhead turned to the blonde and said, "Toto? I don't think we're in Sunnydale anymore."

"Are you calling me a dog?" the blonde retorted, very unfazed by their surroundings.

They weren't in the warehouse. They were in what looked like a bar. With a stage, tables, chairs, the two girls.... a man with a gun and the Mountie the demented brunette/redhead (although, in Angelus' current agitated state, "demented" was a highly-not-useful description for any of the women he'd met that night) had waved at him.

He ignored the men, lunging instead for the two girls who'd somehow brought him here. They ducked out of the way behind the Mountie and the the other guy. Angelus changed course and went for the gunman -- who drew and shot him without even blinking.

"Don't do that," the man told him conversationally as the echo of the gunshot faded. "We don't like that. And believe me, you've already done enough we don't like."

"Wahoo!" someone shouted gleefully from behind Angelus, as he staggered back from the impact of the bullet. "Way to go, Ray!" the redhead bouncing behind the Mountie echoed.

In pain, badly confused and deeply pissed, Angelus finally decided retreat was the better part of future revenge. He turned to try to escape, and found the tall demented redhead, the shorter demented brunette/redhead, an entirely *new* brunette, a silver-haired man with the very unnerving (and sharp) wooden cane, and a wolf standing in front of a shadowy outline that matched the one he had passed through in the warehouse. Both the redhead and the almost-redhead had stakes. The brunette hefted one of the water balloons.

He was neatly surrounded. Which didn't stop him from making a dive at the nearest person -- one of the dark-haired girls. Before he could get his fangs on her, the guy with the cane smashed him neatly on the back of the head. And the brunette smashed him with her knee... well, somewhere else.

All the males automatically winced. All the females cheered. Angelus tried to ignore the agony enough to kill someone. Anyone. The second he lifted his head to do so, though, something crashed into his back and head. He fell forward again as the two girls who'd lured him through the... whatever dropped the remains of their barstools. As the final, humiliating touch, the wolf planted himself on Angelus and "woofed" reprovingly at him, lip curled and leg raised.

"Now then," said the Matador-wannabee brunette. "Don't you think we should wrap him up all nice and give him as a prezzie?"


Time: Later. (Sometime in FK's second season, or maybe the fourth, who can tell?)
Scene: Toronto; the Raven bar; main room. Empty right now, because Da Boss wanted a night off. No one argues with Da Boss.

Janette was quietly going over some accounts behind the bar (actually, she was sneering at the Victoria's Secret catalog, noting the knockoffs from her designer line of lingerie) when the door of the Raven was preemptorily flung open and the lynch mob entered.

At least, it looked like a lynch mob. She took a drag on her cigarette and dispassionately studied the motley crew in front of her, noting that the Mountie was extremely cute, his friend with the gun was quite sexy, the older man with the cane had definite potential, the vampire was seething, and the women were familiar (insane, but, sadly, familiar). The wolf, was, of course, just too adorable.

The restraints on the vampire, as well as the crucifixes entwined with his bonds were the tip-off that it was a lynching; that, and the grimly triumphant air emanating from the group. It was an attitude that she remembered being on the receiving end of all too well from a time several centuries before. Normally, this would have been grounds for growled threats and demands on her part, but it was her day off, and she was bored.

"Dare I ask... ?" Janette enquired, leaning her chin idly on one hand, laying down her cigarette and picking up her glass of blood-wine with the other.

"We brought you a prezzie!" Perri declared, bouncing over to the bar, then muting the bouncing at a pointed look from the Raven's owner.

"A really cool prezzie," Cath elaborated, joining her Trill and waving a videocassette in front of Janette's face. The vampire batted it down to the counter with a slap and a raised eyebrow.

"You shouldn't have. I'm on a diet," Janette murmured, studying the Mountie from underneath her lashes. "Oh, well, just this once..."

"No, no, no, not him," Dianne said firmly. "And not either of the other two. They're here to help. Once we told Ray and Fraser what he'd done, they said they'd be happy to help us track Angelus down---"

"And then Joe was a sweetheart and helped us set him up. We owe all three of them drinks," Lizbet added, climbing up on a tall barstool so that she could watch the proceedings.

"The bar is closed," the vampire responded firmly. "And I have enough... juvenile companionship for now." She sent Angelus a look of consideration that transformed almost immediately into one of dismissal. "Thank you, it was a very thoughtful gift. I hope you won't mind if I exchange it?"

"Trust us, lady, you want this gift," Ray said, seating himself across from her with a satisfied grin. "At least, you will after you watch the tape."

"Will I?" The vampire's voice was growing more bored; recognizing the danger signs, Kiki jumped in.

"Oh, yeah. We saw it, and it just screamed 'you', Janette. Believe us. Better yet---" she extracted the tape from Janette's grasp, jumped up on the bar, and then got behind it and started monkeying with the VCR setup. "Aha! Yeah, that should work." All four TV screens around the dance floor flared on the opening sequence to "Innocence".

"This is stupid. She's not gonna do anything. Let me go now, and I'll just kill you all," Angelus offered. Dief snarled at him, and the younger vampire flinched back into one of the hanging chain set-ups, lurched forward growling, and was then restrained by Joe, Fraser, Dianne, Cath, and Kiki.

"Shut up. You're lucky we didn't bring the rest of the SunS with us," Perri growled, still furious that he was wearing Angel's face.

"Yeah, if we'd asked Maureen and Valerie along, there wouldn't have been enough of you left to have fun with," Kiki pointed out.

"And we want to have lots of fun," Cath added beatifically. "For a very, very long time."

"So? What's she got to do with it?" Angelus sent Janette a scornful look, which she returned with a thoughtful one of her own. "She's a vampire. You think she's gonna care?"

"Oh, we're counting on it," Lizbet chirped.

"They just spent the night together?" Janette asked, watching the screen nearest her, where the onscreen Angel fell to his knees, thrashing violently as the rain poured down. "And now he's... well. What is happening here?"

"Long story short: she went to bed with Prince Charming, and woke up with the toad," Dianne said with a glare for the captive. "It all gets explained, just watch."

Another viewing of Innocence was completed with only minor violence; Fraser took Ray's gun away from him before he could shoot out the set or try to erase Angelus's face again. Joe contented himself with dirty looks at the vampire, and giving Perri hugs when she needed them. Mid-way through, Kiki decided that she and Dief needed to take a walk around the block. By the time she got back, Ray was stroking Dianne's hair to keep her calm, Fraser was sympathetically patting a whimpering Lizbet on the back, and Cath was sending the odd stray kick at the imprisoned vamp. Janette continued to watch the television set in silence, taking an occasional sip of wine and keeping her eyes fixed on the screen.

"So what?" Angelus asked as the screen faded to black, off of Buffy being comforted by her mother. "Big freakin' deal. She's the Slayer, life is rough, I'm evil, and it was fun. I'd do it again. In fact, I plan to. End of story." He smirked at the assembled Horsechicks, who gave a muted growl and started edging toward him.

"Ladies." The purr stopped them in their tracks. "I believe you said he was mine."

"Yes, we did," Kiki agreed, relaxing a little. "I mean, we might accidentally make him permanently dead, or something. We thought you'd know how to get around that. And we thought..." She broke off, looking uncertain. "Well, you saw---don't you think he deserves a really, really bad time? For the rest of his unlife?"

"Oh, yesssss." Janette's eyes glowed gold as she studied Angelus, who had the sense to begin looking frightened. "He impersonated an innocent girl's lover, tried to break her spirit, humiliated her, mocked her deepest emotions, and attempted to end the world. Which she stopped, at the cost of great personal pain. I admire that." She ground her cigarette out, a wicked smile beginning to form. "He has no excuse for existing, much less enjoying himself so much. But I think I can teach him the real meaning of pain, and a new definition for regret...."

"You don't mind if we watch, do you?" Joe asked, settling back against the bar with a smile. "Willow's a friend of mine, and I'd like to see this bastard get what's coming to him."

"But of course." The Raven's owner smiled graciously, then nodded at the fridge. "You gentlemen can help yourselves to refreshment; I just have a few phone calls to make," she added, reaching under the bar and withdrawing an addressbook. "Amanda would definitely want to know about this..." Janette frowned, "And I wonder... Do you ladies think Natalie would stll be at the morgue at this hour?"


Several phone calls later, after some very strong-minded friends and acquaintances of Janette's had arrived and begun experimenting with Angelus's pain tolerances, and the screams of pain and humiliation were cheerfully echoing off the walls of the Raven, the Horsechicks checked their respective watches and decided it was time to leave. After bidding affectionate farewells to Ray, Benny, Joe, and Dief, and receiving Janette's reassurances that the younger vampire was in good hands, the five women trooped out of the bar, resetting the coordinates of the tesseract as they headed for the street.

"Glad that's settled," Perri was heard to comment as the door closed shut behind them. "Now, for Joss...."


Brought to you by the Horsechicks of the Apocalypse -- When it absolutely, positively, has to be a fate worse than death!

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