Fandoms: Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Smallville/Supernatural
Pairings: Chloe/Angel, onesided Chloe/Sam, onesided Buffy/Giles, Cordelia/Dean
Discliamer: Don't own the characters or shows mentioned
Summary: When Chloe's father moved to Sunnydale he planned on forcing Chloe to have a safe, normal life...course, that's gonna be hard now that she's living on a Hellmouth and has some mysterious psychic connection with its mystic energies.
Taking in a deep breath, Chloe smiled as she looked at the dancing bodies all around her. It was relaxing to just come to the Bronze and see people having fun, she didn’t know why she never used to do stuff like this while back in Smallville.
Not that they’d had anything similar to a Bronze in Smallville.
There was a live band playing tonight called Superfine, playing the song “Already Met You”. She knew Buffy liked this band, they’d played here at the Bronze before, and she knew the Slayer was going to be disappointed to have missed out on this.
But Buffy’s mother had noticed her decline in grades due to her not studying, and had threatened to ground her if her grades didn’t come up, so upon hearing this Giles had given his Slayer a disapproving glare and told her no more partying. On the nights before patrolling she was to stay with him at the library studying.
Although Buffy had pouted and complained she really hadn’t put up as much of a fuss as she should have, which didn’t surprise Chloe at all. She figured, deep down inside, Buffy was glad for the excuse to be alone with Giles, even if the quite oblivious Englishman didn’t realize it.
Chloe caught a glimpse of Dean and grinned when she saw him rolling his eyes as Cordelia had him cornered, obviously arguing. Dean looked like he wanted to tell her to just shove off, and she kept on throwing her hands in the air.
I don’t even want to know what that is all about.
Her green gaze swept the room and finally found Sam, who was having a drink by the ‘bar’ (which didn’t serve alcohol to minors). He was leaning against the counter, half listening to Blayne Matthews from their biology class as the jock talked to one of his minions.
“Seven, including Cheryl.” Balyne smirked. “I’ll tell you, though, her sister was lookin’ to make it eight!”
Sam rolled his eyes at them.
Chloe smirked as she made her way towards him.
“Ooh, Cheryl’s sister?” The other boy asked Blayne, impressed. “The one in college?”
Blayne nodded, quite impressed with himself. “Home for the holidays and lookin’ for some love!” He puffed out his chest with pride. “She’s not my type, though. Girls really gotta have something to go with me.”
“Like what?” Sam snorted, interrupting the conversation. “A lobotomy?”
Chloe sneered in agreement.
The two boys turned to look at him.
Blayne made up his face at Sam. “I know your brother’s one of the big men on campus, a local locker room hero, but what about you, Sam?” He looked so smug. “How many times have you scored?”
Sam’s eyes widened slightly and a blush covered his face.
Blayne snorted. “It’s just a question.”
His friend laughed in derision.
Sam looked embarrassed and humiliated.
Chloe narrowed her eyes before clearing her throat, fixing her shirt so that one strap was almost falling off her shoulder, and pasted a sultry smile as she made her presence known. “Baby!”
They all turned to look at her and none were more surprised than Sam when she plastered herself against him, fistfuls of the front of his shirt in her hands, her back arched so she could look up into his face, grinning saucily into at him.
“Uhm, hi.” Sam’s face was redder than before and he looked like he didn’t know what was happening or where to put his hands.
Chloe sidled a look at Blayne and his friend, smug at how impressed they now seemed with Sam all of a sudden.
Sam seemed to get what was going on, because he suddenly relaxed and smirked, arm going around her waist as he pulled her tighter into his larger frame.
Chloe returned her gaze to Sam and walked her fingers up his chest. “What do you say you tell your brother you’re bored with this scene and we get out of here?”
Sam tried his best to send a long suffering look in the boys direction. “Sorry boys, duty calls.” And with that he sauntered away, arm around Chloe, with the blonde clinging to him.
Only when they were out of sight did they pull apart and laugh as soon as their gazes met. Amusement colored their faces as they enjoyed a prank pulled off.
“Thanks for that.” Sam announced, smiling gratefully at her. “You didn’t have to.”
“Oh please, someone had to knock the Casanova down a peg or two.” Chloe waved that off. “Just two days ago he propositioned Buffy and me---at the same time.”
Sam shook in head in disgust. “Why is it that I have no trouble imagining that?”
“Because you know the type of guy Blayne is?” Chloe snarked before her gaze landed on someone she hadn’t expected to see. “I don’t believe it.”
“What?” Sam asked.
“I---I have to go talk to someone, wait here for me. I have a feeling we’re going to need to go to the school and talk to Buffy and Giles after this.” She didn’t even look away from the man in the shadows of the Bronze, staring at her, before she walked away from Sam.
Making her way towards him, Chloe dodged a couple of teens here and there until she was standing in front of Angel, raising her eyebrow at him.
“Why do I feel I should be wary you’re here?” She asked.
He chuckled slightly at that, though his face was deadly pale and he didn’t look very amused, if anything, he looked a little worried. “Hi.”
There was silence as they continued to look at each other.
Chloe didn’t know whether to be amused or annoyed. “Should I be wary?”
“I won’t be long.” He answered.
She frowned, immediately worried. “I should, shouldn’t I? You’re going to tell me something I don’t wanna hear, aren’t you?”
He smiled apologetically at her.
Chloe eyes narrowed as she noticed a stain darkening the front of his shirt and without pause to think of what she was doing, she lifted up his shirt, revealing a taunt, muscular stomach with a series of ugly, fresh cuts. “You’re hurt.”
“It’s nothing.” He smoothened down his shirt again with a small wince of pain. “I didn’t pay attention, that’s all.”
“To what?” Chloe gasped. “Someone with a big fork?”
He didn’t see the humor, eyes intense. “He’s coming.”
“Fork Guy?” Chloe asked, for lack of a better, more villainous name.
“Tell the Slayer not to let him corner her.” Angel instructed. “Tell her to not give him a moment’s mercy. He’ll rip her throat out.”
“Shouldn’t you be the one telling her this?” Chloe asked, folding her arms over her chest. “Why come to me? I’m almost sure you know where she is right now.”
Angel looked uncomfortable. “I find you easier to deal with than her. She’s very---mouthy---and a little---annoying.”
Chloe bit the inside of her lip to keep from laughing at that. “And I’m the lesser of two evils?”
Angel seemed to realize she was laughing at him, and his lips twitched slightly in amusement before he cleared his throat. “I have to go.” He turned and left, disappearing out of the door into the shadows as quickly and soundlessly as he’d appeared in the Bronze.
Chloe turned and watched him go, looking at the closed door long after he’d left.
“Who was that?” A voice asked behind her.
She turned and finally remembered Sam, wondering why he seemed so tense all of a sudden. Then again, it was wise not to trust any stranger in general, especially if you were living on a Hellmouth. “That was Angel.”
“The weird guy that warned Buffy about the Harvest?” Sam tore his gaze from the door and fixed it on her.
“Yep.” Chloe nodded. “The one and only.”
“Oh.” He didn’t say anything for a long time, his jaw tense, before he finally cleared his throat. “So, anymore cryptic messages?”
“Yes, actually.” She quickly told him what Angel had told her.
Sam frowned. “That’s all he said? Fork Guy?”
Chloe nodded, slightly amused. “That’s all Cryptic Guy said: Fork Guy.”
Sam suddenly smirked. “I think there are too many ‘guys’ in your life.” He chuckled as he threw his arm casually around her shoulder. “How about we save Dean from Attack of the Exes and he and I walk you back home?” The tall boy maneuvered her so that they were walking towards where Dean was still arguing with Cordelia. “I don’t want you walking back to your home alone anyway, and its less safe with Fork Guy running on the loose.”
“But we need to tell Buffy and Giles.” Chloe protested.
“You can call her once you’re safe in home and Dean and I are heading back to our place.” Sam’s reasoning was sharp.
“Oh alright.” Chloe sighed.
Sam gave her a little squeeze, and they headed out on their mission to save Dean.
The next day found Chloe yawning into her hand, sleepy. She hadn’t had much sleep since Buffy and her had been on the phone until three in the morning, chatting about what Angel had said and how the first ‘study date’ (as Chloe was referring to it) with Giles had went.
“Okay, I’ve got some gossip.” Dean announced as he came towards them and threw himself on the grass where they were sitting, talking while waiting for the first bell to ring.
“Where’s Sam?” Buffy asked, interrupting, as she noticed the absence of the younger Winchester.
“With Giles.” Dean shrugged that off as unimportant. “I come offering gossip, remember?”
“Since when did you become a girl?” Buffy raised an eyebrow at him playfully.
Dean flipped her off before turning his attention to Chloe. “So, guess what I just heard in the office? No Dr. Gregory today.”
“What happened?” Buffy asked, frowning, probably wondering why this was worthy of the title: Gossip. “Is he sick?”
“They didn’t say anything about being sick,” Dean deigned to look at her once more. “From what I overheard, the word they were using sounded more like missing.”
“Missing?” Chloe frowned, immediately concerned.
Dr. Gregory was their science teacher, and he was the only one she liked on the faculty!
“You two look awfully stricken with that news.” Dean decided, sounding curious.
“He’s one of the only teachers who doesn’t think I’m a felon.” Buffy mourned.
“He was so nice.” Chloe added. “I heard rumors that he spent a couple of years in Africa teaching kids in small villages with no schools.”
“Really?” Buffy’s expression was pure awww.
Dean raised an eyebrow. “Speaking about rumors, what’s this I hear about you and my baby brother hooking up last night?”
Chloe laughed. “I bet the guys who’d snubbed Sam before are all congratulating him and clapping him on the back now.”
Dean nodded, looking amused. “He’s more than somewhat disturbed by all the touching, yes.”
“Well, the show you two put on last night must have been convincing.” Buffy decided with a grin.
“Show?” Dean looked from one girl to the other. “You mean there’s no wedding bells in the future?”
“No.” Chloe shook her head, but was spared the need to talk further on the subject as the bell rung. She got up and brushed off her skirt before turning to Dean. “We have science first period, right?”
“I got history.” Buffy pouted before waving her goodbyes and stalked off alone to her next class.
Dean and Chloe talked about homework (which Dean hadn’t done—of course) and when they reached the science they saw a relatively attractive woman writing her name on the board.
As Chloe was passing the desk she noticed something on the ground and frowned as she bent to pick up a pair of cracked glasses she recognized.
“What’s wrong?” Dean asked, surprising her because she thought he’d journeyed on to his seat.
“They’re Dr. Gregory’s glasses.” She showed them to him. “Why are they still here?”
“Maybe he got a new pair.” Dean shrugged, not really interested.
Guessing he could be right, Chloe set the glasses on the lab table and gave the substitute teacher a glance as she walked to her stool, which was, unfortunately, next to Blayne.
As soon as everyone was seated, the woman in the tight, short outfit, turned towards them, a bright smile on her face. “My name is Natalie French, and I will be substituting for Dr. Gregory.” There was a pause as she picked up a mantis mounted in a clear plastic box. “His notes tell me you were right in the middle of insect life. The praying mantis is a fascinating creature. Forced to live alone. Can anyone tell me why?”
Chloe was admittedly not impressed by the substitute teacher. Then again, she’d already had this class in Smallville, and knew all about this, so she doubted that anyone could have made her interested in the mantis or the other insects in the animal kingdom.
Noticing everyone squirming in their seats, she sighed and answered. “They’re cannibals.”
Everyone in the class looked disgusted.
“Oh, well, it’s hardly their fault!” Natalie laughed at everyone’s reaction. “It’s the way nature designed them: noble, solitary and prolific. Over 1800 species worldwide, and in nearly all of them the female is larger and more aggressive than the male.”
“Nothing wrong with an aggressive female.” Chloe mumbled, opening her text book, not noticing the looks Ms. French and Blayne both gave her at that comment.
Blayne smirked, leaning closer to Chloe. “How did Baby Winchester manage to snag a catch like you?”
She raised an eyebrow at him before returning her attention to her book, deciding that that wasn’t even worth her breath in answering.
The substitute teacher picked up her notebook and started walking around the room. “The California Mantis lays her eggs, and then finds a mate…” her gaze went over the males of the class. “…to fertilize them. Once he’s played his part, she covers the eggs in a protective sack and attaches it to a leaf or twig out of danger. Now, if she’s done her job correctly, in a few months she’ll have several hundred offspring.”
Having made her way back to the front of the class she put down her book and leaned with her palms flat against the desk. “You know, we should make some model egg sacks for the science fair. Who would like to help me do that after school?”
All the boys raised their hands.
Even Dean did.
Chloe rolled her eyes, along with nearly every girl in the class.
Show a couple of hormonal teen boys a cute face, tight clothes and flirty smile and you had an army of idiots at your disposal.
“Good!” Ms. French was obviously pleased as she sat down and continued their lesson.
Chloe found herself answering most of the questions since no one else had done their homework or knew about the subject, and by the time the class was over and she was heading with Dean to the cafeteria Chloe felt drained from having talked so much.
“She was all over me.” Dean grinned confidently as they waited in the line, slowly moving along and getting their food. “It’s probably my natural good looks and smoky magnetism.”
“It could be your humility as well.” Chloe snarked.
“What humility?” He asked, confused.
Blayne came up next to Dean, placing a ridiculous amount of food on his tray. “Gotta carb up for my one-on-one with Miss French today.” He announced smugly at the other male, rubbing it in. “When’s yours? Oh, right. Tomorrow. You came in second, I came in first. Guess that’s what they call natural selection.” He was way too happy about this. “Who’s the main man on campus now?”
Dean snorted as he watched Blayne walk away. “Who’s being used as a warm up to the main act?” He called out.
Blayne paused and glared at him before walking away, not half as smug as he’d been moments before.
“I’m the main man on campus.” Dean grinned smugly to himself. He went to get some utensils, and as he walked back Cordelia came through the exit and bumped into him.
“Watch we’re you’re going, Neanderthal!” She snapped, apparently still touchy about whatever they’d been arguing about last night.
The brunette went behind the counter, showing a piece of paper to the cafeteria workers. “Medically prescribed lunch.” She told them in her I’m-Superior-Than-You-So-Why-Are-You-Breathing-My-Air kinda way. “My doctor ships it daily…I’ll only be here for as long as I can hold my breath.” She opened a refrigerator and then let out a loud scream.
Chloe and Dean shared a look before dropping their trays and hurrying to her side, both freezing to a halt as they stared inside, horrified at what was hanging in the fridge.
“His head! His head!” Cordelia screamed hysterically, bringing her hands to her face. “Oh, my God! Where’s his head?!?”
Brown eyes rolled back in her head, knees buckled, and Cordelia passed out on the floor.
No one even noticed.
“What---what is---what--?” Dean stammered, eyes wide as he stared, wide-eyed, at the headless body strung up in the refrigerator.
But Chloe already knew who it was.
She’d read the name on the body’s lab coat.
She was still in that same state of shock when everyone congregated in the library, both her and Buffy sitting on the steps leading up to where the book shelves were, Dean and Sam standing anxiously by the table.
Giles poured a glass of water and brought it over to Buffy. The Slayer had been very shook up about the happening. Dr. Gregory had been the only teacher who hadn’t looked at her as if waiting for her to burn down something else or do something heinously delinquent.
Giles bent to his knees and handed the glass to Buffy. “Here. Drink this.”
“No, thank you.” And yet Buffy mechanically reached for the glass and took a sip of the water.
Dean paced back and forth on the floor, agitated. “I’ve never seen…”
Giles looked back at Dean.
“I mean,” Dean stopped, visibly shaken as he ran a hand over his shortly cropped hair. “I’ve never seen anything like…that was new.”
“I just don’t get it.” Sam looked up from where he was leaning against the railing. “Who would want to hurt Dr. Gregory? All the students liked him!”
“He didn’t have any enemies on the staff either, at least none that I’m aware of.” Giles sighed, standing, face troubled. “He was a civilized man…I liked him.”
“Me too.” Buffy whispered.
“We’re going to find out who did this.” Chloe announced, determined. “And we’re going to stop them.”
“Count on it.” Buffy whispered.
“What do we know?” Giles asked, knowing the best thing they could all do was immerse themselves into the case.
“Oh, not a lot, um…” Buffy sniffled and wiped a tear from her nose.
“He was killed here on campus.” Chloe volunteered the information. “I’m guessing the last day we saw him.”
“How do you work that out?” Giles asked her.
“He didn’t change his clothing.” She answered, looking up at him.
“This is a question that no one particularly wants to hear,” Sam sighed, folding his arms over his chest. “But where did they put his head?”
“You’re right.” Dean made a face. “I didn’t want to hear that.”
“Angel wanted me to warn Buffy that something was coming.” Chloe reminded everyone from where she was sitting, hands clasped in front of her. “What if it isn’t a coincidence and what he warned us about is what took Dr. Gregory’s head?”
“I don’t know.” Giles took off his glasses and pressed a hand to his forehead. “I’ve been trying to gather more information about the Master, our, uh, local vampire king. There was one oblique reference to a, a vampire who displeased the Master and cut his hand off in penance.”
“He cut it off and replaced it with a fork?” Buffy made a face at Giles.
“That’s not very intimidating.” Dean backed her up.
“I don’t know what he replaced it with.” Giles replied a little tiredly.
“Why would he come after Dr. Gregory?” Sam made a face.
“That’s just it. I’m not certain he did.” Giles walked over to the counter, picking up a newspaper and returning with it. “There was an incident two nights ago involving a homeless person in Weatherly Park. He was practically shredded, but, uh, nothing like Dr. Gregory.”
Buffy took the newspaper from him and skimmed through the article. “Fork Guy doesn’t do heads.”
“Not historically.” Giles shook his head.
Buffy frowned. “And Dr. Gregory’s blood wasn’t drained either.”
Dean snorted, shaking his head. “So there’s something else out there? Besides Silverwareman?” He let out an aggravated sigh. “Oh, this is fun, we’re on Monster Island.”
“We’re on a Hellmouth.” Chloe turned her gaze on him. “It’s a center of mystical convergence. It’s almost the same thing.”
Dean sighed again.
“Well, unpleasant things do tend to gravitate here, it’s true, but, uh, we don’t know if there’s anything besides this chap.” He tapped the newspaper Buffy was still looking at. “He’s still our likely suspect.” He then turned and looked at Chloe. “Unless that special connection you have with the mystical energies of the Hellmouth is telling you any different?”
Chloe made a face at him. “You make it sound like we’re dating or something.” She rolled her eyes, hugging herself tighter. “And no, ever since the whole Mrs. Madison thing it’s been kinda turned off.”
“Which is a good thing.” Sam put in.
“We don’t need her fainting on us every other day.” Dean added. “Especially not with The Mighty Utensil somewhere out there.”
She glared at them, but it was true. Whenever she fully connected with the Hellmouth energy she tended to overload and ‘shut off’, fainting dead away wherever she was.
They’d been looking for spells or charms or something to use to somehow lessen the effect the Hellmouth had on her, if not stop it altogether, but so far they’d found nothing.
So she was cautiously enjoying this time of respite.
“So this homeless dude was killed in Weatherly Park.” Buffy murmured softly to herself.
“Buffy.” Giles turned immediately at that, advancing towards her. “I know you’re upset, but, uh, this is no time to go hunting, not until we know more.” He hesitated a moment before bringing his hands down on her shoulders. “Please promise me you won’t do anything rash?”
Buffy smiled shakily up at Giles. “Cross my heart.”
Chloe wondered if she was the only one who could see the slight guilt in those eyes.
“You’re going to spend the night at the plant?” Chloe looked out of the window, one hand keeping the curtain to the side and one hand on the cellular pressed to her ear as she spoke to her dad.
“Yes honey, sorry, but there’s a lot of work I need to sort out.” Gabe sighed, sounding tired and harassed. “See you tomorrow.”
“You too, dad, and be careful.” Hanging up, Chloe frowned and continued to look out of the window at the darkness around the house, wondering if Fork Guy was out there.
She also worried about Buffy.
Even though she mightn’t have known the Slayer for very long, she’d gotten good at reading her, and Chloe knew that Buffy was out in Weatherly Park, hunting Fork Guy right this minute.
With a sigh, she closed the curtains and made sure that all of the windows and doors were locked before she made her way up to her room and bathed. The young blonde changed into a large shirt and boxers, readying to go to bed, when she noticed a dark outline through the curtains to her balcony door.
Going cold in fear, Chloe quickly opened her side table and pulled out the stake she always kept there as she slowly edged towards the balcony.
The figure on the other side was definitely male.
But did it have a fork?
Taking in a deep breath, Chloe reached for the curtain and pulled it across, stake-filled hand held high, only to let out a gasp of relief when she recognized the person on the other side of the glass door.
Lowering the stake and throwing it back onto her bed, she glared at the male before unlocking the balcony door and hugging herself as the cold night air rushed at her. “What are you doing here?”
“I don’t know.” Angel admitted, looking awkward.
“You don’t know.” Chloe raised an eyebrow, giving him a once more. “So this isn’t something about Fork Guy?”
“Fork Guy?” Angel tilted his head slightly as he watched her, obviously confused.
“Fork Guy.” She pointed towards his stomach, remembering the ugly cuts.
“Oh,” he nodded, finally understanding, a small smile lighting his face as he ducked his head and looked up at her through his lashes. “For future references, it’s more like a jumbo claw than a fork.”
“Good, you’re learning not to be so cryptic.” She grinned, not sure why he was here, but still kinda relieved he was. She hadn’t wanted to be alone in the house, not with Jumboclawman out there.
“I try my best.” Angel assured her with mock seriousness.
He must have heard something she hadn’t, because he narrowed his eyes and looked behind him.
“What? What is it?” Chloe asked, eyes going to the darkness.
“Nothing.” He answered a little too fast.
All of a sudden Chloe didn’t feel safe with the balcony door open. “Are you coming in or are you going to stay there all night?”
He paused. “Is that an invitation?”
Raising her eyebrow, wondering at the wording, she nodded. “Sure, come on in.” Stepping out of the way, Chloe closed and locked the door behind Angel as he entered, and then turned to him. “You’re not here for no reason, so why don’t you tell me why you were outside my balcony door like Romeo visiting Juliet?”
Angel didn’t smile, only looked around her room curiously.
She should be freaked, and yet Chloe was only amused by the stark curiosity on his face.
“Angel?” She prompted.
He turned to look back at her before he remembered what she’s asked and nodded, clearing his throat. “I had another run in with, uh, Fork Guytonight.”
All amusement left her in seconds. “Are you okay?”
He nodded. “Was more careful this time, he didn’t realize I was there.”
“Did this happen in Weatherly Park? Buffy’s there now.”
“Yeah, but he won’t be there again tonight, not after what happened.”
“After what happened?” Chloe frowned. “What happened?”
“I don’t really know, that’s why I came here.” Angel gave her room another quick glance before returning his attention on her. “I was following him, and this woman was heading home. He took one look at her and ran screaming for cover. Rushed to the closest manhole and disappeared as if the devil were on his trail.”
Chloe’s eyes narrowed. “He ran away?”
Angel nodded, obviously bothered by this. “He was petrified.”
“Of some woman?” Chloe just couldn’t believe it. “Do you have any idea who she could be?”
“No, I’ve been around that neighborhood for a while and I’ve never seen her before, she’s new—must have just moved here.”
Just moved here…?
The blonde suddenly paused. “She wouldn’t happen to be curvy, brunette, with dark eyes and wearing a ruby necklace?”
Angel’s gaze had strayed to a picture frame on her desk with a picture of her sitting on Clark’s lap and giving a laughing Pete a friendly noogie, but when he heard the description he turned his attention on her, eyes narrowed. “How did you know that?”
“Our professor was just found, without a head, and we got a substitute teacher who just moved here. I didn’t like her, but I thought it was just her flaunting her sexuality in the boys faces.” Chloe began to pace. “But if an undead creature that can shave with its hand is scared of her---what arevampires scared of?”
Angel looked a bit uncomfortable. “Not many things…and not substitute teachers, as a rule.”
“I’ll let Giles and the others know tomorrow.” Chloe decided, sitting down on the bed. “We’re going to have to keep an eye on Ms. French.”
“Good,” Angel strode towards the balcony door.
“So that’s it?” Chloe asked, standing. “You come to my home, tell me this, and then you’re gone?”
Angel paused, looking somewhat confused. “Am I supposed to do something else? Am I doing this wrong?”
Chloe wondered what exactly ‘this’ was. “You know, it would be easier if I knew how to get into contact with you, in case we need something.”
Angel’s easy smile was back on his face. “I’ll be around.
“You mean you plan on making sneaking up onto my balcony a habit?” Chloe snarked, hands on her hips. “I know that the fact that you managed to climb up here is impressive, don’t get me wrong, but my father will probably fill you with lead if he caught you----or force you to marry me.”
Angel snorted in amusement and then his eyes widened, as if surprised at having heard that sound coming from himself.
Her cellular began to ring and she hurried towards it, blinking when she saw Buffy’s name on the caller I.D. Chloe turned to inform Angel of this but found her room empty, the balcony door open, the curtains blowing in the wind.
“Who are you?” She whispered before going to the balcony door, locking it shut, and answering the insistently ringing device. “Hey Buffy, you just missed Angel.”
That led to Chloe telling her what Angel had said, and then Buffy admitting that she’d finally found Fork Guy around the time this had happened and she’d seen the happening herself. But she’s noticed something Angel hadn’t.
“She craned her neck.” Chloe frowned, lying down in bed, lights on.
“No, she didn’t crane her neck.” Buffy huffed. “We’re talking full-on Exorcist twist. 180 degrees turn.”
“Ouch.” She ran her fingers through her hair. “You called Giles already, right?”
“Ah-huh.” Buffy replied. “But he doesn’t know of any creature that strikes terror in a vampire’s heart.” She hesitated. “Did Angel have any ideas as to what we’re dealing with?”
“If he did, he didn’t share it with me.” Chloe grumbled. “You know we don’t call him Cryptic Guy for nothing.” She played with the fabric of her sheets. “I’m not sleepy, so I’m going to do some research. There has to be information out there about things that can turn their heads all around.”
“Nothing human can do that.” Buffy reasoned.
“No, nothing human.” And suddenly Chloe’s mind was working rapidly, thoughts and memories flying by quickly as she sat up in bed like a bolt. “But there are some insects that can.”
“Insects?” Buffy asked, confused.
“Just ignore me for now and let me get back to you on that tomorrow.” Chloe announced, thoughts a whirlwind as she jumped out of bed and hurried to where her laptop was resting on her desk. “I gotta go Buffy, sleep tight, okay?”
“Ok.” Buffy sounded curious but resigned. “I already called the Winchesters. We’re all congregating at the library tomorrow morning before classes to discuss this. Bring anything you find.”
“Yes captain.” Chloe mock saluted before sitting down and booting her computer. “See you.” With that she hung up and waited for her computer to finish booting up.
Somehow she knew she wasn’t going to have a moment’s sleep tonight.
“The preying mantis can rotate its head 180 degrees while waiting for its next meal to walk by.” Thanks to not sleeping last night, Chloe had overslept and missed most of her classes of the day and the meeting in the morning, so she’d gone to the library after school ended to present her findings. “Well, that, and an owl, but she’s definitely a preying mantis.”
There was silence.
Sam looked up at her, obviously trying to figure a way to word what was on his mind. “Well, uhm, Miss French is sort of big…for a bug.”
“And she is, by and large,” Giles added. “Woman shaped.”
“Fact One: Only the preying mantis can rotate its head like that in the insect kingdom.” Chloe leaned down on the table, palms flat. “Fact Two: A pretty whacked-out male vampire is scared to death of her, so don’t try and delude yourselves into thinking that she’s normal.” Her eyes narrowed on the males while Buffy nodded in agreement. “Fact Three: Her fashion sense screams predator.”
“It’s the shoulder pads.” Buffy added helpfully.
“Exactly.” Chloe nodded in approval before continuing. “And Fact Four: Female preying mantises look for males when they want to lay and fertilize their eggs. And when the male and her are in the middle of the act…she bites off his head.”
Everyone went pale.
“Doctor Gregory.” Dean winced.
“If you’re right, then she’d have to be a shape shifter or a perception distorter.” Giles stood up, suddenly anxious. “On a helpful note, I had a chum at Oxford, Carlyle, advanced degrees in entomology mythology.”
“Entoma-who?” Buffy blinked.
“Bugs and fairy tales.” Sam supplied easily.
Dean shook his head at his brother. “You are such a geek.”
Sam rolled his eyes.
Giles continued. “If I recall correctly, poor old Carlyle, just before he went mad, claimed there was some beast…”
The library’s computer beeped and Sam looked down, eyes narrowing. “Not good.”
“What?” Dean asked, getting up and going to stand behind his brother, looking at the screen.
“I hacked into the school’s system to see if I could get some more information on our Miss French, and Blayne’s mom just called the school. He never came home last night.”
“The boy who worked with Miss French yesterday?” Giles asked.
“Yeah,” Dean frowned, looking wary and on edge. “And I have to help her in a couple of minutes.”
“Cancel it, find some way out of it.” Buffy ordered, standing, getting into action. “She’s not biting your head off, no matter how annoying you are.”
Dean ignored her, turning to Sam. “Hey, Geek Boy, hack into the coroner’s office.”
Sam sent his brother a surprised look but quickly began typing into the keyboard. “What am I looking for?”
“Autopsy on Dr. Gregory.” Dean replied, still looking over his shoulder at the screen. “I was trying to figure out these marks that I saw on his corpse, and now that Chloe mentioned the whole bug theory, I’m thinking they’re teeth marks.”
“Good thinking.” Chloe approved of the plan, exchanging a look with Dean, before turning to Giles. “You were saying something about a beast?”
“Oh, uh, yeah, I just need to make one transatlantic telephone call.” He got up to go to his office and then stopped, turning back. “Um, this computer invasion Sam’s performing on the coroner’s office…one, one assumes it is entirely legal?”
“Entirely.” Dean nodded.
“Of course!” Buffy exclaimed.
“One hundred per cent.” Sam reassured.
Giles tore his dubious gaze from them and turned his suspicious expression on a smirking Chloe before sighing and shaking his head. “Right.” He turned his back on them as he headed towards his office, mumbling to himself. “Wasn’t here, didn’t see it, couldn’t have stopped them.”
Chloe bit her bottom lip to keep from giggling.
“I just can’t believe I thought a bug was hot!” Dean declared vehemently as he left Sam to continue with the hacking, looking between Buffy and Chloe in disgust. “A bug! And yet I thought there was this certain chemical thing between her and me.”
“Well, actually there probably was.” Chloe admitted. “It’s called a pheromone. It’s a chemical attractant that insects give off.”
“How do you know all these things?” Buffy asked.
Chloe shrugged. “I did this class in Smallville already before transferring, plus, I actually pay attention in class when the teacher’s teaching.”
Buffy and Dean both looked away at that statement, sheepish expressions on their faces.
“Frankly, madam, I haven’t the faintest idea what time it is, nor do I care.” They could hear Giles from his office. “Now, unlock his cell, unstrap him, and bring him to the telephone immediately. This is a matter of life and death!”
Dean turned to Buffy. “I need you to go to Miss French and make some excuse as to why I can’t be her dinner tonight.”
“Okay, I’ll paraphrase that.” Buffy nodded before stalking out of the library.
Sam continued typing. “Got it! Coroner’s report, complete with…” He made up his face. “Color pictures.”
Dean went back to his brother and looked at the pictures. “They are teeth marks…”
Chloe, feeling a little useless at the moment, hugged herself and went to look out of the window.
Really, more and more she was beginning to doubt what she was doing being a part of this group. She wasn’t athletically strong like Dean, or incredibly intelligent like Sam, and she definitely wasn’t a Slayer like Buffy. So what exactly did she bring into this team except for some conversations with a silent, informed guy (he could talk to anyone so Angel didn’t really count) and her fainting spells when the Hellmouth got angsty?
At least…at least in Smallville she knew her place. She was Research Girl, the one who figured out who was the meteor freak of the week and how to stop him/her.
It made her miss home again so very much.
And she wondered what Clark and Pete were doing at such a time as this.
“I—I understand, Carlyle. Yes…” Giles’ voice reached her. “I-I’ll take ever precaution. Uh, absolutely, i-i-it sounds exactly like the creature you described. Y-you were right all along about everything.” He paused, listening to the voice on the other side of the line. “Well, n-no, you weren’tright about your mother coming back as a Pekinese, but…uh…Try to rest, old man.” He stood up, obviously itching to end the conversation. “Yes…ta! Bye now!”
He hung up and came out of his office. “Dr. Ferris Carlyle spent years transcribing a lost pre-Germanic language. What he discovered he kept to himself until several teenage boys were murdered in the Cotswolds. Then he went hunting for it.”
“It being…?” Chloe prompted.
“Uh, he calls her a She-Mantis.” Giles answered. “This type of creature, the Kleptes-Virgo, or, or virgin-thief, appears in, in many cultures. The Greek sirens, the Celtic sea maidens, who, who tore the living flesh from the bones of, um…”
Dean looked pale in horror.
“Basically,” Giles continued. “The She-Mantis assumes the form of a beautiful woman and then lures innocent virgins back to her nest.”
“Virgins? But that can’t be right.” Sam made a face. “Dean’s not---.”
Everyone turned to Dean and saw the pale look on his face.
Sam’s mouth fell open. “I don’t believe it.”
“Shut up!” Dean snapped, blushing in humiliation. “You breathe one word about this to anyone and I’ll---!”
“You’re a virgin?” Chloe pressed, unable to believe what she was hearing. “But what about all the girls who boasting about your sexual prowess?”
“I’m a school legend.” Dean grumbled, folding his arms over his chest. “It would make them more popular if they said they slept with me.”
“Teenagers today.” Giles bemoaned.
“I just don’t believe it.” Sam shook his head, running his hand through his hair. “This means Blayne’s a virgin too.”
Dean’s eyes widened, finally seeing a good side to this whole conversation. “That’s right! Blaynie-boy’s a Scarlet V!”
“Okay, okay, enough with the unholy glee.” Chloe walked around the table to stand in front of Giles. “So this She-Mantis is breeding and we need to find her nest and snuff her. Any tips on the snuffing part?”
“Uh, Carlyle recommends cleaving all body parts with a sharp blade.”
“Slice and Dice.” Dean grinned. “I’m liking this plan already.”
Chloe and Sam rolled their eyes at the same time while Giles just raised an eyebrow at him.
“Well, whatever you do,” Giles spoke once more. “It had better be certain and swift. This beast is extremely dangerous.”
“Your friend Carlyle faced it and he’s still around.” Sam pointed out.
“Yes, in a straitjacket,” Giles reminded. “Howling his innards out day and night.”
The three youngsters gave each other nervous expressions.
“We’ve got problems, people!” Buffy announced as she threw open the library doors and stormed inside. “Miss French didn’t wait for Dean. When he didn’t show up she got another hormones on legs to volunteer to help her. A couple of students saw them walking out of the school together carrying some supplies so they could do the work at her home.”
“Or so she could have dinner in bed.” Chloe summarized.
“Exactly.” Buffy declared, before turning to Dean. “You were her first choice as the main course. She must have given you the address to her home.”
Dean paused before beginning to pat down his pockets and then retrieved a folded piece of paper. “Here it is!”
“Good.” Buffy turned to Giles. “Do we know what she is and how to kill her?”
“We do.” He nodded. “She-mantis---slice and dice.”
“Slice and dice, I approve.” Buffy put her hands on her hips. “Now we need to grab some machetes, and head towards that house before that boy finds out that Miss French’s idea of a love bite is completely different from his!”
“Before we go in all guns a blazing, we need one more thing.” Chloe announced, drawing the attention back at her. “We need to record bat sonar, and fast.”
Sam paused, and then grinned. “You’re a genius.”
“Thank you, I thought so myself.” Chloe smiled.
“Can someone clue the rest of us in?” Dean asked.
Sam turned to his brother. “Bats eat them. The mantis hears sonar, its entire nervous system goes kaplooey…making the slicing and dicing mucheasier.”
“Where are we going to find the…?” Giles began.
“In the vid library?” Chloe was surprised he even had to ask, pointing towards the aisle in question. “Go!” She then turned to Buffy and Dean. “You two, handle the armory. Grabbing a couple of cans of bug spray can’t hurt either.”
They nodded and left.
“What about me, chief?” Sam asked from the computer.
“Ready yourself, soldier.” Chloe couldn’t help but give him a little smile at that title. “We’re about to go to war.”
If they had doubted whether the non descriptive house in the neighborhood was truly the home of a humanoid, virgin-eating bug, the scream for help somewhat muffled due to it coming from the basement was enough to let them know that they’d come to the right place.
Buffy smashed the basement window and slid within rapidly, Dean and Sam hurrying inside behind her, and Giles right behind them. Chloe had been about to do the same thing when she heard the sound of screaming coming from the Park.
She hesitated, looking down below where the sounds of fighting could be heard, and inhuman screeches, back to the park. Back and back again until she groaned and turned around, taking off towards the park, knowing that she was about to get herself killed in a horrible way.
A sliced up woman ran passed Chloe, holding to her side and trying to get as far away from the sounds of fighting as she could.
Chloe stopped, turned to look at the departing victim, and then turned to look at the direction of the grunts and hisses. She took in a deep breath, tightened her hold on her machete, and hurried forwards, breaking through some shrubs to stumble across an animalistic looking vampire with a hand that was iron claws fighting with Angel.
She was frozen in shock at the grace and agility in Angel’s every movement. In comparison the vampire was large and klutzy, having none of the panther-like grace that Angel possessed.
Angel moved fluidly like liquid, dodging the swipes of the iron claws, his hand tight around a stake, waiting, watching for the perfect opening, for when the vampire did something stupid and left himself open and vulnerable.
Chloe found herself fascinated as she watched him fight.
Not even Buffy managed to impress her this way.
And she was a Slayer.
Angel backed away from another attack and didn’t notice an upturned root, tripping over it and landing on the ground.
The creature raised his claw to bring it down on Angel, and Chloe found herself reacting, not even realizing she’d moved until she was behind the monster and swung the machete, its blade cutting the creature’s hand clean off.
Blood spurted onto her face and the monster screamed in pain as he cradled the stub that’d once been a clawed hand to his chest, looking up at her with a hiss. But before he could charge at the girl who’d gone still in shock, Angel was back on his feet, staking the bastard through the back.
With a shriek the vampire exploded into ashes.
“Are you okay?” Angel turned to Chloe, placing his hands on her shoulders, giving her a little shake when all she did was look up at him unseeingly, eyes wide. “Chloe! Are. You. Okay?”
Finally blinking, Chloe nodded, slowly. “I—I chopped off his hand.”
“Thanks for that, by the way.” Now that he knew she was okay he let go of her and took a couple of careful steps away. “Well, uh, that’s one less vampire walking around and making a nuisance of himself.”
“I guess we have to thank you for that.” Chloe dropped her machete and hugged herself, shaking away the memory of the sound of metal cutting through bone. And my father brought me here to have a safe, normal life.
“What are you doing here?” Angel finally asked.
Her eyes widened as she suddenly remembered. “The woman you saw Fork Guy run away from? She’s a She-Mantis, lives back there,” she pointed behind them at the house barely visible through the trees. “Buffy and us came to stop her from snacking on more male students.”
“CHLOE?” They could hear Buffy calling for her, a little bit hysteric.
“CHLO!” Sam’s voice echoed followed by Dean’s.
“I better get back there before they have a heart attack.” She began to back away slowly.
“You’re forgetting your machete.” Angel picked it up and held it up for her.
“Oh, right.” She hurried forwards and placed her hand on his, not prepared for the near electric jolt that raced up and down her body at the contact.
And then Angel was pulling his hand away, leaving the machete in hers, looking surprised and wary.
“CHLOE!” Giles called out.
“I—I have to go.” With that Chloe turned and ran away, trying to calm the fast beating of her heart.