Goes alt at Chosen, Home, The Telling (Alias S2). ATS/Alias crossover.
Designed to be accessible to non Alias viewers.
Story pairings: Spike/Syd. Mentions of Spike/Buffy, Spike/Fred, Spike/Dru. Wes/Lilah.
Rating: NC 17. Swearing, some horror, sex, violence, substances of varying legality in various countries and time periods. Angst.
Thanks to Lori for the beta, Lovesbitca, and Magpie.
Not mine: Belongs to Joss, JJA, Fox, ABC, etc.
It helps; the definition gives her focus, a target, a mission. It means she doesn't have to look too close at the girl in the mirror on the other side of the bar. At that girl who had Danny snatched away; who lost Vaughn - after finally having him - along with two years of her life. At the girl that shouldn't exist - the child of Irina Derevko and Jack Bristow.
Syd's not wearing rings - it's not that sort of club or that sort of city - but she knows that her hands are those of a killer. She can't help wondering if she got that from mom or dad, if her eyes are those of evil, her blood tainted by her mother's crimes, and if that's what came out to play while she was away. The scars on her body are bad enough, but they don't come close to the ones on her soul - the ones people can't see. But Syd has a job to do, so she sucks it up, lets no-one here see that moment of weakness and looks out for her contact.
She really wishes it didn't have to be a slim, blue-eyed, blond Englishman who her briefing notes says has a reputation for sarcasm and destruction. One of those in her life is more than enough; two is pushing bad karma way beyond the fair into the realm of cruel and unusual punishment.
It's not the first time, and it won't be the last, that Spike's slumped on a bar stool drowning the hacking mess that is his love life in the bottom of a glass of whatever's cheapest and most effective. In this case, it's pisco, and he wants nothing better than getting well and truly piscoed. Piscoed as a fart, hammered, slaughtered, rat-arsed - the lot. Except, he can't.
He's been sent off to darkest bleeding Peru, to meet up with some CIA tart.
Oh yeah, he's been allowed to use the Brooding One's company jet, special glass and all, not to mention the now empty drinks cabinet. Angel's actually stumped up for a hotel where his boots won't get nicked from under the bed while he's still in it, since with the soul he can't just eat the maid/thief anymore. He's been given an important task, something only he can do, but it doesn't matter, he's not supposed to be here.
He's supposed to be in Texas with his girl, being included in the big family Christmas, being accepted, being wanted, feeling loved.
He's not. He's fucked it up, again.
Ok, he had help. He can still taste Buffy on his lips under the firewater. He doesn't think he'll ever be able not to taste her, not to want her. He's spent years trying not to; to stop loving her, to get her out of his gut, his blood and bone, put into the same always will love, but it can't be anymore corner of his heart that Dru lives in.
He'd thought he'd won, let her go off with those mates of her, have that normal life she wanted so much away from the likes of him. Did the noble crap and everything that being some stupid champion's supposed to do. Given her the freedom from having to take him back, having to live up to words he knows were a lie, and freed himself from having to live with the certainty that it was a lie. Ok, there'd been the odd disaster while he tried to move on. The Egyptian princess client that reverted to mummy form when he took her earring off wasn't a highlight. It'd taken a long time, a lot of mistakes; but she'd been there, his smart little science girl. His friend. The one that cared, the one that actually got to know him, saw him, the real him, and accepted him in front of everyone. Took him on, over a century of baggage and all, and was taking him home to meet the parents. He'd bought a ring, planned to ask her dad like a gentleman should, had all these stupid dreams of being happy, been a right poncy git about it all.
Until the day Cordelia finally woke up. Until a smile on Angel's face he'd never seen in all the years he's known the git. Spike had seen it make him look a century younger when Cordelia let him carry her out of the bed she'd been in for years up to the atrium to stand in the sunlight with her vampire and her friends. Poor kid might have been too weak to walk after all those years in bed, but the hundred-watt smile she'd aimed at Angel made Spike want to write poetry. Though, since she'd been hearing them all talk to her for a while, she'd included him in the smile, so he decided to not ruin the moment.
The unannounced arrival of The Slayer did that. A miniature whirlwind of energy arrived on the scene with a smile on her face he'd never seen before. One that faded out of existence on seeing Angel's. One that changed into something else, something harder if a smile can be so, even a split second before she saw him. It didn't reach her eyes when she kissed him.
And he kissed her back. All those years of progress, of moving on, of actually feeling loved, and he kissed her like the man back in the basement. Still an oasis in the desert to a man dying of thirst, she was.
It didn't last. She didn't stay.
There was the whole massive row about him not wanting her to know he was in one piece. The thing about her being needed back in Europe. The lack of an invite for him to come with her - until she saw Fred crying under one of the larger ferns - that stung. Angel got chewed out for not telling her about him being there. Though the crossed arms, teary eyes, and pinched face treatment aimed his way for once probably hurt the Great Poof more. Which of course got Cordelia involved - not good for one only just woken up from years in a coma. Her collapse gave Buffy the excuse her eyes had been darting for, and she left them to take the exhausted Seer back to the hospital wing, leaving with words of fruit baskets.
Spike's still got perfect clarity on Buffy. He still loves her, still wants her, but sometimes he really doesn't like her. That was one of those occasions. Unfortunately for Spike he still loves Fred too, and wants to be with her. And Fred got on a plane to Texas after telling him she needed some space to think, as he clearly did. Since he's never ever going to push a woman he loves ever again, he let her, just as he let Buffy run again.
It kills him that he did, on both of them, but pisco helps. It helps a lot.
As does, in an admittedly far less immediately effective way, the mission to find the Pieta of Lucrezia Borgia - sculpted by some Renaissance tosser Wes got really excited about.
Rambaldi - everything always comes down to Milo Rambaldi. She wouldn't be surprised if everything she can't remember about her life can all be summed up in that name - aided and abetted by Arvin Sloane and Sark, she has very little doubts.
She's been chasing the Pieta for months. Running around the Vatican in a nun's habit to access the secret library's records of Pope Alexander VI had been a truly surreal experience in a life full to overflowing of them. Though Sark in a monk outfit topped it. She's pretty sure the Borgia Pope would have got a thrill from them rolling around the Sistine Chapel trying to strangle each other with the cords round their waists; the part of her that's pure Irina Derevko certainly did. She knows Sark did.
But she's the one that used a handy heavy votive candle on him, so she could get away with the bill of payment for the Pieta from the patron to his prophet, and the itemisation of Lucrezia's dowry, showing it being sent with her on her final marriage. She's the one that got blisters from breaking into the museum in Ferrara where the last Borgia lived and died, under cover of the chaos of the Palio and the club next door. She much prefers the trekking boots she's wearing for cover in this backpacker club to those Manolos.
But the Manolos got her Lucrezia's last letters before her death in childbirth, giving the pieta to one of the priests her father sent with her, one of the acolytes of Rambaldi. Syd can't help smiling remembering Marshall's excitement at the briefing once his little friend had translated them.
"Like, wow, that whole thing with the poisonings and her brothers and her dad, and the whole brother killing brother thing. Wow. It's like that Tarantino film Weiss insisted we go see, except with velvet, blood, sex, more blood, torture, more sex, big shirts and doublets - it is doublets, right?" And off Dixon's look, "Right, focus, Marshall. The statue - twelve inches of marble and ivory - a very rare technique of the period, as usual with Rambalidi, I guess. The formula for supercharged cellular repair that stops when the job's, like, done, without going into cancer, which would be bad, and super-healing, wow, according to the notebook you and Vaughn retrieved from the Sark operation in Geneva, is inscribed on the robe of the Virgin."
She couldn't help thinking about Emily when Marshall mentioned cancer, and her dad's eyes showed the same pain from remembering the woman who was the mom Syd never had, for all Emily's Sloane-shaped flaws. Losing two moms, twice each. Sometimes she really wishes that she had someone that could understand how that feels, someone who knows. But she hasn't got anyone. Dad lost Mom just as much as she did - but losing a lover's one thing, a mother's quite another, especially when it's Irina Derevko. Vaughn's not hers anymore, and Will and Francie are both long lost to her. She's still got Marshall, but he's not exactly someone she can talk to about personal stuff, and Dixon's lost too much, it wouldn't be fair to him. Weiss belongs to Vaughn; she can't unburden herself to him and ask him to hold her burdens away from his friend. She's got nothing but her work.
Work that her dad outlined in the mission briefing: "The Geneva disc shows the priest going undercover in the Jesuits."
With some interruptions from Marshall, "Where better to hide from the rack, and thumbscrews, the whole burning people to death for thinking, being the wrong race, the usual..."
"Marshall! Sark's hack into the Jesuit records shows that the priest went to Cusco, via Spain, as far away from the Inquisition in Rome as possible. His acolyte helped found the Jesuit church there. The Pieta was sealed in a chamber beneath the crypt, built on the site of the former palace."
She should have known from her dad's face that it wouldn't be as simple as a little C4, under the cover of the Christmas Eve fireworks, or a nice archaeologist outfit. But she could really have done without the NSC taking over. Dad clenched his jaw so hard at that point that his teeth were at some risk, but the NSC did provide the missing link on how to get access to the chamber.
"The chamber was sealed using Rambaldi technology. It can only be opened without triggering a self-destruct using a key by 'the blood of the holder'. We have ascertained this key to be held in trust by a law firm in Los Angeles, called Wolfram and Hart."
Spike's been in some odd situations before: public spectacle as a slug meets eye; saviour of the world; that whole thing with the Loch Ness Monster on that week away he had with Fred. But this one, this one takes the biscuit. He can still see and hear the whole exchange across the conference table. "You have got to be kidding!"
Angel looked even more miserable than normal, and almost as bad as Spike felt. "It has to be you."
Wesley sighed, "There really is no one else. The key passed through three other branches, according to my records, before ending up here, where Angel as CEO is the present trustee. It can only be used by someone with a blood descent from him."
Spike knew it was a dumb question, but someone had to ask. "How the bloody hell did some inventor bloke in the Fifteenth century manage that one?"
"Rambaldi came from a line of Watchers that went rogue. But that was around the time of that whole debacle with the Templars, when the Council was in a difficult position when it came to dealing with renegades..."
"Watchers, it had to be. Stake me now, someone, please."
"If only it were that simple."
"Angel, Spike! Attention, please." Wes continued the lecture, "Since Angel has no descendants..."
"Killing your whole family. Such a tragic lack of foresight," Lilah smirked
Which visibly wound up Angel. "You're still here, why?"
"Because you'd miss me?" Which Angel most certainly wouldn't but Wes equally obviously most definitely would. "Because you need me." Which was undeniably - and infuriating to Angel - completely true. "Because you keep killing everyone else the Senior Partners send and, hey, already dead."
All of which had the usual effect on Wes: eyes closing slowly against the pain, rubbing his forehead hard, a, "Lilah, please," before taking a deep breath and concentrating on the business to hand. "Drusilla is insane, evil and not here. Penn was staked. Neither had souls anyway. Sorry, Spike, it has to be you. Trust me, if I could find anyway around this, I would."
"Hey, I can do this!" Then more quietly to the bottom of the glass, "If I wanted to." Which the part of him that wanted nothing other than to dive headfirst into a bottle and howl to the moon about Buffy, Fred and his own stupid heart really didn't want to.
"You do." Angel sighed.
"So, let's see if I got this it straight. I go to Peru, hang out in a bar to meet some bird from the CIA, who, by the way, doesn't know I'm a vampire, you're a vampire, can't be allowed to realise it, and how the bloody hell do they not know? Pretty piss poor excuse for spies if you ask me."
Angel said, "No one did."
Lilah ignored him. "The Washington branch. Very influential, very good at keeping anyone and anything out of the records they want that way. Does a lot of business with the NSC, amongst others. They've had a good couple of years. They only had to cull ten percent of the head-count at their last appraisal - which did cut the cleanup bills."
"So why they helping us, what with us not being Evil Incorporated?"
"We'll owe them a favour, which they will collect on. But mainly the Senior Partners don't want any more people in the government knowing anything more than they already do."
"Too bloody right! Already too many of 'em buggering about with things they don't need to - like my noggin! And now you want 'em close to it again. So, again, I'm asking. Why am I doing this?"
Angel of course had the one answer he couldn't resist. "I go to Texas and talk to Fred."
And if that means that he has to carry an aerosol of acid to remove the engravings on the robe before the humans get it, he'll do it. He's still shuddering at Wes' answer on how Rambaldi knew the formula. The darkest part of himself might still find the idea of dissecting other vampires appealing, but the lab rat feels sick. His mind's still too busy on trying somehow to sort out his feelings for the two women in his life to think about the Great Poof's arguments about humans not being ready for what would effectively mean immortality. He's sometimes very doubtful he is. But it beats burning any day.
As does a glass of the hard-stuff, something he's needed for, something to distract himself with - hopefully with prospects for a decent spot of violence - the pounding music, and, from the picture he's been shown, a decent looking bird to do it with.
He looks exactly like his picture. The shock of platinum blond hair, distinctive and not too far from the norm amongst the partying backpackers, though the long, slightly too big leather coat certainly is. Mean upper lip, full lower one, head tilted to one side in obvious thought - she was right - definite Sark vibe. Sometimes Syd really hates being right. Though she can't quite believe that someone looking at the bottom of a shot glass like he is could have the security clearance that the NSC told her he has. But the records came up clean when Marshall ran them for her and hey, it's not that she hasn't looked out of it herself on a mission.
But Syd's an observer - she has to be; it's saved her life more times than she can remember, probably literally. The despair on his face looks real. She knows that look all too well; she sees it every time she looks in the mirror after she's spent time with Vaughn. She hopes the whole alcoholic despair vibe is some strange 'British spy working deep cover with law firm' thing, and that he doesn't have to face what he's done without knowing it in the mirror. It's not something she'd wish on anyone that isn't Arvin Sloane. And on bad days, Sark.
It had to be a blonde. The way his luck's running she just had to be, and he's not wrong. Shoulder length golden hair that rips at the stitches holding together the Buffy wound in his heart. Taller, much taller than Buffy - Fred height maybe. His own height, he'd reckon, what with this Syd bird wearing trekking boots to a club, blending in nicely with the kids on the run from growing up, the work, kids, marriage, death thing - not that there's nothing he can't identify with in all that. Taller in heels for definite, tight jeans showing she'd have the legs to carry 'em off. Fuzzy black fleece with tiny red stars decorating it; the sort that feels good to hold a girl with while draining her, which makes the pisco burn the back of his throat. The killer black fedora finishing off her outfit just about finishes him with the memories of the one he used to wear back in the day, and the body count that Cagney and Bogart would have envied that went with it.
But if he throws himself back into the memories he'll lose himself again, so he drains the glass, tilts his head to focus on her face, and says, "Hello, pet."
And from there on it's business. She's all ready to go, and not in the good way, so he tries hard to focus on the job. It's hard though. It's not surprising; it's a fucking surreal situation. The club's catering to the Brits, Aussies, Kiwis, and occasional Canadians on a glorified piss-up disguised as 'travelling'. It's like bars and clubs he's been to all over the world - handy for picking up a bite to eat without having to bother with the local lingo. The music's the standard pre-Christmas crap for the market, and it's bloody hard to concentrate on being Undercover Spy!Spike with Wizzard, Slade, and Midnight Oil as a background motif. Ok, they are a bloody massive improvement on earlier when The Pogues and Kirsty McColl sent him into a Buffy-related second bottle, but it's still hard to shift his brain away from his girls to the one in front of him.
The one that's looking a bit impatient to go, and who's speaking quietly into what must be a microphone. Vamp hearing's handy. Even if it is only boring stuff about having made contact. Spy shit's obviously not as much fun in real life as watching Bond flicks with Wes, Gunn, and Fred. The memories of which threaten to send him over to the DJ to request Last Christmas - something that shows he's clearly lost it, so he slides off the bar-stool and they leave the club.
They're halfway down the cobbled street to the main square when some geezer with an accent from one of the grottier parts of Eastern Europe looks at Syd like far too many of his own victims looked at him and snarls, "You!"
"He said you'd be here! You will pay for what you did!" The Glock's out and in her face before she's time to register that she hasn't a clue who the hell the guy is. She already knows all too well that she doesn't know what she did while she was away. Whatever it is though, it's obviously bad, really bad. She knows that face; it's hers when she thinks about Sloane.
She's about to spin-kick the gun away when a punch from Spike sends the guy flying twenty feet into a wall. She looks at him, mouth half-open in surprise at the distance.
Who cocks his head to one side and gives her a half-smile. "I work out."
Which is when the bullets start flying.
And they dive into the cover of a nearby alley she's got Weiss in her ear checking she's ok, and asking where the hell her contact is. "The infra-red's only showing you and the hostile."
She's telling Weiss that Spike's with her; that and trying to get a clean, disabling shot of the gunman, so she can get him, and whatever the hell it is that he knows about her. But the shots are getting closer to them, so Spike pulls her across the alley and through a door at a speed that makes her think she must have taken in some serious second-hand drugs from the bar-smoke. Either that or Britain has a serious contender in Track at the next Olympics.
Spike can hear the bloke with the big gun following them, so he pulls the girl further on; can't let him hurt the girl, for all that this one looks a feisty little thing who can take care of herself well and good.
They're in a glorified tunnel, done up as a backpacker restaurant, with loud music, dismembered bits of what smells like Guinea Pig scattered around the kids dancing on the tables. More to the point though, there's toys on the walls: whips, handcuffs - lots of possibilities there - and some nice heavy horseshoes. As they run down the bench he grabs the whip and a couple of horseshoes, whilst the bird takes the bracelets, and does a very nice little jump off the end of the bench through to the back door.
Which takes them into another alley.
Where they look at each other and instinctively take ambush position. Syd in a telly-perfect bird-with-gun stance that'd make Wes hot and put her at some considerable risk from the deliciously scary Lilah, and Spike with an iron throwing-thing in his left hand and the whip in the right. He can't help grinning; it's fun. As gun-boy comes out the door Spike scores a bullseye to the bloke's knee and Syd a perfect shot through his trigger hand, sending the shooter to the ground. She follows through with a kick-away of the gun and snaps the cuffs on.
Spike ambles up to him, flicking the whip against his side. "Now that wasn't very nice. Shooting at the lady like that. We're going to have words, you and me."
Which makes Syd start and just look at him. "That's my job." To the microphone she tells her mates that she's fine, the contact is too and that she has the gunman.
Spike can hear an excited babble coming from Syd's wire that sounds frighteningly like a blend of Fred and Willow in full babble mode thrown into The Fly chamber with a bloke. But the whole, "He's not showing up on the infra-red. We switched to the other satellite, and there you are, both of you, large as life, well actually very small, but still hey, there, but wow, only one of you in the heat camera. Wow, a perfect cold-suit without that whole problem with needing the hood, which I must admit, not exactly inconspicuous - Syd, you have to find out how that works." - definitely not a good sign.
Bugger. So much for keeping the vampire thing nice and quiet away from the attention of yet more of the bloody US government.
She stops the conversation and turns back to him. "Thanks for the assist, but this one's mine."
But shot, handcuffed, and knee-capped has the last laugh. "Never again." He bites down and the smell of cyanide hits Spike's nostrils.
The scent of bitter almonds barely has time to register before she's propelled half-way across the alley by the Englishman on top of her. He's unexpectedly heavy, though half the weight could be the enveloping leather currently blocking her view of pretty much everything. Getting its smothering weight off her face makes for a useful chance to check it for signs of cold-suit technology, and from the speed of the owner's response to the cyanide fumes, possibly more, but all she can feel is battered leather - and something heavy digging into her thigh.
She resolves to take a sample from the coat once she can get her hands free. Pushing Spike off her reveals the cause of the potential bruise to be one of the horseshoes half-in and half-out of his pocket. At her "Fast reflexes," he snorts.
Blue eyes black in the moonlight and sparse streetlights, he looks far too much like a small boy caught stealing apples for someone with his security rating and the tension all too evident in his body. "I eat my Weetabix."
But she can't help taking the proffered hand up from the cobbles. It hurts. Body-slamming her onto rough stone has grazed her left hand and she's going to have to clean it of the filth of ages before blood poisoning sets in. Wiping away the surface grit on her fleece burns, but it lets the tiny trickles of blood flow more cleanly, while she focuses on Weiss and Marshall in her ear.
By the time they've got back to the gunman, he's dead and the fumes safely dissipated. She's hearing Weiss tell her to proceed to the target, while listening to Spike ask, "Old friend of yours, pet?"
She can't help sighing, "I wish I knew."
She even does - anything rather than this uncertainty, seeing her own demons on other's faces. The nightmare thought that keeps her awake: that she is her mother, that maybe just maybe she got the same thrill out of whatever it is she's done that her mother did from her murders. That maybe she did it of her own free will, that she enjoyed it, that she chose it. Irina Derevko did - she worked for the bad guys, but she started by choosing to serve her country the same way Syd and her dad did. Ok, they were different countries in a different time, but the original motive was the same. They've all got blood on their hands, and it's all the same colour. Her mother went rogue to serve her own agenda, her father's done it to save her, and she's done it to save the man she loved - no loves. It's all there in her blood and she needs to know what's resulted from that - even if it is her ultimate nightmare - that she's become Irina Derevko and she doesn't even know it.
Spike pats at his pockets until he's got a cigarette out, lit, and practically inhaled in one drag. "Know the feeling, love. So, we leave gun-boy for the usual suspects?"
She goes through the pockets and palms the obviously fake laminated fake ID card which is all that's there, except for a spare clip for the Glock, before nodding. "We're to proceed. He's just another tourist victim of street-crime. The local authorities will attend to the clean up."
Another cigarette. "Been lots of those over the years, pet. All sorted. No messes."
"So we should avoid the alleys. We're good tourists, no jewellery, no watches -"
"So, time for the touristy Church-y thing then. Accompany a bloke to the house of smells and bells?"
He's picking up the used horseshoe and pushing it and its fellow deeper into his pocket with one hand while they move down the alley. Those tucked away, he proffers his arm and she takes it. Lightly in case of another attack, but just enough to make them look like a pair of traveller lovers out for a stroll through the alleys on a mission to find the main plaza and a decent South American Mugging Story for telling back home. In short, looking like anything other than a pair of killers out on a job for the forces of right.
But it's good to have someone touch her again, even if he's not the one she wants.
He's done this so many times. Left bodies and the stench of death behind him in alleys while he walked off arm in arm with the girl. Danced with her sometimes, so many times. His dark goddess waltzing along the cobbles to music she could almost make him feel. His golden goddess poetry in savage motion, leaving dust and dead demons behind them, but never letting him have the music. His frail science goddess using her toys to vaporise the demons who thought his very own Dixie Chick was the weak link of Wolfram and Hart, before sharing her music in the home she'd given him. All the things he's lost. All the bodies he's left behind him, the horror and the pity.
Cigarettes are wonderful things.
Concentrating on each drag, the tang, the taste of the tobacco, he can keep himself from folding. He can feel the burn, the warmth filling his empty body, something other than the reek of death to an overly sensitive nose. He can put to one side, compartmentalise the bodies he's left dumped in alleys the length and breadth of South America, lost in all the torn and broken bodies the humans managed for themselves. It masks the temptation of her blood, all the blood. He can cope, but there's absolutely no way on earth that he's ever going be able to give up smoking.
It gets him through the stink of incense in the church, the crosses, the bleeding saints, the memories of the broken beauty who loved breaking the bad nuns who never saved her. The cigs let him put to one side the tastes, the screams that filled so many churches with Angelus and afterwards with Dru - without the reverting to the whole gibbering wreck thing.
The tang of tobacco is almost enough to make him forget the smell of his own flesh burning on a cross. It gets him through to the crypt, at the cost of pretty much the rest of the packet, but it does the job.
He keeps hold of her, almost painfully at the sight of the altar, only letting go long enough for her to retrieve the skeleton key to the crypt from her hatband. It's good to have someone there - even it's the wrong someone.
But they manage to slip into the crypt under cover of the service going on. They get to the niche Wes told him was there, he drops his last ciggie, and takes the bloody odd-shaped piece of gold out from his inside coat pocket. Syd obviously recognises it, and he hears her whisper, "The Eye of Rambaldi." So, Percy must have got the right trinket out the vaults, which is encouraging. Bodes well for the rest of the job.
He turns away from the girl and flickers in and out of game-face, just long enough to graze his finger hard enough to make it bleed. He can't help saying, "It's always about blood."
Turning back to her he drips the blood on the Eye's pupil. Key all activated as per exhaustive instructions he places it in the niche in the stone wall. And hey presto, the wall does a low budget Indiana Jones routine, swinging to one side, revealing a small room with a shrine and the statue. They both crowd into the room and yep, Percy's right again. "Pieta, pet?"
Syd smiles at him. "It is." She's reaching for it.
He's lost in it. The candlelight reveals a beautiful woman with golden hair holding a dead man at the foot of a cross. He can't help but flash back to another cross, and a broken body that was never cradled.
He can't desecrate this, but he has to. He has to destroy this; its something beautiful that's not meant for him, as usual. Vampire reflexes get it in his arms before Syd can take it.
Which is when an English voice fills the archway where the wall was. "You really are so terribly good at this, Sydney."
Syd turns. "Sark. Why am I so not surprised."
The gun's pointed straight at Spike. "Because we truly are destined to work together. Now tell your friend to put down the statue, and drop to your knees, both of you."
Spike snorts, "Not my type, mate. Sorry."
"You've replaced me. Sydney, I'm hurt." Sark's head-tilt is scarily like the other Englishman.
"Not as much as you're going to be." Syd really, really wants to wipe that smug grin off his face.
"More you really, I'm afraid. The wall's been primed with C4. Enough to fake a small earthquake, dreadful tragedy, desperate need for an archaeological salvage operation, certainly enough to do both of you some considerable damage. Now, do the sensible thing before I'm forced to kill your friend."
"Going to take more than you to do that job, mate." Spike grins.
Syd's inching closer to Sark, so she has a chance to elbow his gun hand, when she spots the still burning cigarette on the floor ominously close to the wall and the explosives, so she sweeps her grazed hand onto the key, triggering the self-destruct and the only possible escape.
Spike, statue in hand, just has time to say, "Oh, bollocks," as the floor collapses beneath them, dropping them straight down a well-shaft. She hears the explosion before her head hits the stone wall, and unconscious she sinks deep into the water.
Continued in Part 2