By MustangSally and RivkaT
Part of The Bowiehabarata
*SUMMARY: In 2001 the evil from 1936 has reared its ugly head, a Nazi demon with an unpronouceable name and a vampire henchman has decided to use Sunnydale as a recruiting center for the disenfranchised and discontented undead. How will Buffy/Spike and the rest of the Scoobies manage to consign this particular evil back where it belongs? Let us make it abundantly clear that the Nazis are the bad guys.
SPOILER WARNING: Post - Fool for Love. The bulk of Season 5 Cheerfully ignored.
*RATING: NC-17 for violence & explicit sex acts (interetsed yet?)
*DISCLAIMER: The characters are not ours and we would appreciate not being sued.
NOTES: Idle hands are the devil's workshop.
"Shouldn't you be extinct or something?" Spike asked, and knocked back another shot.
The Keshonte demon gave him a headachy look and got himself a little deeper into his own beverage.
"Speak for yourself, vampire."
"I haven't seen your kind in nearly a hundred years," Spike continued, swirling the Stolichanaya and A positive around in the highball glass,
Sweet fuck, why was he yammering like a girl? He'd wanted a drink, several in rapid succession, and not some escapee from Bullfinch's Really Big Book of Rare Demons at his elbow. It had to be the drink making Spike so chatty. He'd walked into the underground bar with the intention of getting pissed and staying that way for a week. He'd picked up some cash on an enforcer gig kicking ass for a little old demon from Pasadena. Working that close to Sunnydale wasn't his idea of fun, but getting paid for tearing some bugger to bits was. Driving down Route 66 and converting lucre to liquor had been the plan, but a Keshonte demon next to him at the bar was rare enough to be interesting.
"I'm surprised you recognize 'my kind.' Not many ever left Europe." The demon's tone was hostile, but not overly so. The tentacles on his head, thin enough to pass for dreadlocks in bad light, waved gently, showing that he wasn't in a dangerous mood.
"There weren't many to begin with, mate. Knew a few in Amsterdam, though, last century."
The demon grunted, and Spike decided he'd run out of nice. Waving his hand, he ordered another drink. The barmaid was a slightly scaly lamia with big green eyes and big soft breasts. He turned his attention away from her curves and concentrated on the bar top instead. Women, couldn't live with them, couldn't be dead with them. He'd spent roughly a hundred and twenty years, alive and dead, moping over one female or another. Your problem, William-me-lad, is what the daytime TV shows call a cycle of failure, he reminded himself. You only want the ones who don't want you. Maybe he should try another therapist. The first one had been tasty.
"They told me this was where all the demons come."
Spike looked up, distracted from his unusual depth of self- analysis. Now the Keshonte wanted to talk, now that Spike was settled in for a good wallow in self-pity. He almost told the Keshonte to bugger off, but the blood-and-vodka combination swirling in his stomach relaxed him.
"Oh, yeah, everybody comes to Rick's." His Bogart impersonation, filtered through various accents, was so bad as to be unrecognizable.
"Rick's? I thought this place was called Lovecraft's?"
"You don't get cable, do you?"
The demon's expression was quizzical. His kind had human eyes, warm brown irises trapped in a scaly pink face.
No dice; the demon continued to look blank.
Spike sighed, rummaged around for a memory of what polite conversation was, and remembered, "So what brings you to the suburban wasteland?"
"What's it to you?"
"You wanted to talk. If you don't, fine. Got some drinking to do." His drink was clotting; he waved for yet another.
The demon hunched forward, obviously keyed up. "I'm here looking for a Wirtschaftsministerium demon. Seen any?"
"That would be 'No'."
Which was a good thing since a Wirtschaftsministerium demon was only slightly less nasty than a wolverine crack addict in need of a fix.
"I have information that a vampire was trying to use the Hellmouth to raise the Wirtschaftsministerium." The demon rocked slightly back and forth on the bar stool. If he'd been a vampire Spike would have identified his tone as bloodlust, but that wasn't like a Keshonte. The Keshonte were just another bunch of loser human- wannabes, swanning around Amsterdam reading poetry and eating pastry. He'd heard vague rumors of some sort of healing powers. Spike didn't like healing, unless it preserved the food for later snacking. Wankers. But maybe this wanker was a wanker with cash.
"I might be able to help you out, old son. What's the story with this Wirtschaftsministerium?"
"He was blown off of this plane in a magickal accident about five years ago." Damn, Spike *hated* the ones who put a "k" on magic. It was so nancy-boy. "But he wishes to return, and the Hellmouth is the best place for a remanifestation. When he rises, I will be here."
"And what's the cagey bastard done to get your knickers in a twist?"
The Keshonte examined Spike, scanning his face with an intensity Spike found troubling. The Keshonte seemed to be hunting for cracks in the infamous Spike façade, but since the Keshonte was a male of the species, it seemed unlikely any would be found. "I'm Dracco. You are?"
"No, really," Spike corrected him with an edge worn to sharpness from use.
"Spike, I'm looking for the Wirtschaftsministerium because he is a war criminal."
Spike barked laughter. "Whose war? A human war, a demon war, a war in this century, or from the beginning of time? Demons have been doin' each other in since the first demon realized that he could smack another with a bit of rock. It's not fuckin' worth it, mate." He leaned over until he was almost nose to nose with the Keshonte, "There's a Slayer within spitting distance of the Hellmouth. Unless you got a pair big enough to deal with her, you better forget about the Wirtschaftsministerium."
"I will never forget him -- Karl," finally, a name to cut down on all the boring Germanic syllables. "I will always remember what happened to my people." Dracco showed Spike the inside of his forearm, the runes branded there. "You don't see Keshonte demons because the Nazis destroyed almost all. Most demonologists think we're extinct. They will be right, in two generations."
"Those bastards were efficient."
Dracco knocked back the rest of his beer and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. His voice stayed low and intense and his brown eyes did not flicker from the vampire's face.
"Karl was part of the Schutzstaffel-Totenkopfverbande. He was their JagdKriegspfarrer." The ridiculously long German words twisted something in Spike; he hadn't heard those particular syllables in a long time. Americans with their acronyms preferred the sexier "SS," and left out the Death's Head part entirely. "He ran a concentration camp near Birkenau for undesirable demons. Keshonte wouldn't work for the Nazis, so we were undesirable. And, as you said, they were efficient. The Wirtschaftsministerium demon known as Karl I have hunted since May 8, 1945."
Spike, who could remember being impressed when halftone pictures started appearing in London penny newspapers, wasn't impressed with a mere fifty-six years.
"So how'd he manage to hide from you?"
"He's magically adept. He's good at hiding. And more than hiding. Some colleagues of mine found him in Brasilia about twenty years back. He tore them into pieces the size of postage stamps."
Karl sounded like he might be someone Spike would really enjoy killing. Also Karl was a demon, which minimized the possibility of Spike's brain feeling like it was going to explode, and Karl was a Wirtschaftsministerium demon which made killing him even more attractive. Karl sounded like a badass which made taking him out downright fun. As a matter of fact, Spike was almost tempted to offer to take out Karl for free.
"You are talking to the right vampire, Dracco, I think I can help you out."
As she had so many times before, Fate stepped in and slapped Spike across his sharp cheekbones. This time fate was looking like a succubus walking through the bar's front door carrying an infant's car seat in her shapely arms. Fate was a bitch.
"Bloody hell," Spike breathed and moved to intercept the woman.
"This is not a good time," he told the creature in the baby seat.
"William, it's really nothing. You're nothing," Marranzano the imp coughed and took a deeper drag of his cigar, "always broke, always in trouble. I invested two grand in you and you're given me nothing but heartache and agita."
The Imp looked like a cross between a melted baby doll and Dennis Franz and was not on Spike's top ten list of favorite creatures.
"Shh, you're upsetting him," the succubus cooed and began to rub Marranzano's belly.
"Later baby, you're givin' me a boner, " the imp told her, and turned his pug-dog face back to Spike. "I want my two grand, Willie and I want it by the end of the week or you're going to be perforated by something that started out life as a tree. Capice?"
Marranzano began coughing and spraying Spike with hot imp saliva, which was disgusting even given Spike's flexible aesthetics.
"Two grand. End of the week."
"Two and a half grand. Interest. And don't try getting yourself killed to avoid me. I'll just have your skinny vamp ass resurrected and kill you again myself. Capice?"
Marranzano and the succubus took themselves off to a corner booth and Spike slouched back over to Dracco at the bar.
"How much is he into you for?" Dracco asked.
"Two and a half grand."
"Right. You help me out with Karl and I'll bail you out with Marranzano."
"Sounds like a plan," Spike said, and they didn't shake hands, since a demon's promise is a demon's promise. "One condition."
Dracco's mouth twitched. "There's always a condition."
"I want to kill him."
Finally, the demon smiled, and Spike was mildly shocked to see that his teeth were white and even, testaments to the power of orthodontia and bleaching. "No. But you can hold him down while I kill him."
"Right. But you buy the next round."
Three double-rounds later Spike had decided that Dracco was the best friend he had ever had in his life, as he generally felt about anyone buying drinks after a half-dozen or so. The next step in the inebriation process was the telling of truth and Spike plunged into it with the reckless disregard which was his habit.
"I saw one of the demon labs once," Spike said.
Dracco's predicament had shaken loose the shattered glass of his memory and the shiny images rattled around his mind, a shimmer here, an edge there, a flash of pain in eyes, of blood on lips, memories that cut as they shifted.
"Were you ... a subject?"
Spike laughed into the A positive. "They tried to talk me into signing up. I was more interested in the nightlife in Berlin. You didn't get much more decadent than that." Spike liked to tell himself that he was the model for the MC in Cabaret; it might even be true, since he'd earned a fair amount of useless Weimar cash in one of the clubs, snacking on unruly customers and terrorizing the girls into doing whatever management wanted. "The SS liked having vampires; it fit the image. The vampires liked the buffet. I didn't want anything to do with it. Never could follow orders."
"The lab?" Dracco prodded.
Carefully, Spike stepped around the broken shards in his mind, deciding what Dracco should see. There were things that he didn't want to see again either.
"A woman, a vampire was with me at the time. We were making merry picking off the locals." The liquor smoothed out the edges of Spike's voice, returning it to the grammar and diction of his living life. "It was a good time to be a vampire, so much chaos, no real rules other than Heil Hitler and shit on everyone else. Snag is, my Drusilla was mad as a hatter when she was changed and changing didn't fix her, but she's got some other powers you might say - psychic. You know Hitler was obsessed with the supernatural? Was picking up every alleged magical object in Europe and hiding it in the mountains? Of course you know, he probably boiled your parents' bones to see if eatin' you would transfer your powers, whatever they are." He paused, but Dracco did not enlighten him.
"The - what the hell were they called? It was a nightmare." He drank again and let his brain cells relax. "Yeah, Schutzstaffel Himmelfahrts Kommandos - say that five times fast. The SHK were picking up demons and vampires as fast as the rest of the SS was making up shiny new decorations for their valor in terrorizing Jewish businessmen and raping their wives and daughters. Another vamp ratted us out. Georg told his SHK buddies about Dru's talents, and they picked her up. I went and got her out."
"What did you see?"
He had to close his eyes against the memories. Blood roses, blood rising like the tide, blood washing away the dirt of a thousand- year reich. "I saw too much," Spike admitted.
"They wanted to get the secrets of eternal life without the nasty demonic side effects," Dracco said, unnecessarily.
"Yeah, well, I showed them exactly what nasty demonic side effects look like, thank you."
And he'd spent the next day hiding in a warehouse sobbing into Drusilla's lap, demanding to know why she had done this to him and moaning about the awfulness of humans.
Continued in Part 2