Buffy walked along patrol sullenly, Spike following a step behind, puffing on his cigarette. Giles had outfitted her with clothes that fit. She now wore a three button light blue shirt, dark brown slacks and matching jacket. Giles had sprung for some nice expensive athletic shoes, too.
Spike fell behind, his stride no match for Buffy's long legs.
"Wait up," he said. "Buffy, slow down, you dodgy bloke."
"Okay, bad joke. What are you so shirty about anyway, didn't Giles square things with mum and the little bit?"
"Why'm I shirty? Oh, I don't know, Spike. Maybe it's because I'm getting a rash where I never had a rash before, or a place to have it. Maybe you like taking a walk on the wild side, but I don't enjoy being a man, Spike, it sucks!"
Buffy turned her back on him and sped up spitefully.
He hurried after her. "Then it should make you happy to know, you're behaving like a regular girly poofer!"
They continued their footrace until they ran across a just turned-out grave.
"Fresh one," Spike observed. He craned his neck then turned to Buffy. "You're the giraffe now, what d'you see?"
Buffy peered into the dark. "Looks like there's another turned grave over there -"
She was jumped from behind. She fell with her attacker on the grass, the vampire snapping at her neck.
Another vamp ran from the darkness toward Spike, who spun to face him. "Looky looky here," the attacker gloated, "we got some easy kills."
Spike grinned and flicked his cigarette at the fiend's face. He vamped and the attacker's expression went chicken. Spike leapt on him with a howl of delight.
Buffy got some room to throw an elbow at her vampire, then twisted from his grip. They squared off, and Buffy threw a side kick and doubled it into a head shot. She spun into a back kick that crunched bone. Her stake flashed, and her opponent whiffed to dust without a whimper.
Spike hit his vamp with the works. He landed both fists, then kneed and kicked the newly minted freak, but his equally newly minted female body lacked its previous strength. The vamp drew his feet back and exploded a kick on Spike's chest that threw him backward, where he landed clutching his boobs in agony.
Buffy thudded a flying spin kick to the vamp's head that flattened him. She staked him and turned quickly to Spike, offering him a hand up. Spike took it, still massaging with the other one.
"I never knew what sort of pain you birds got in the mamsies."
Buffy chuckled. "Who's the poofer, now?"
Surgat hovered several feet above the floor where Ethan Rayne had scrawled his pentagram. The demon spewed forth great gouts of offal, with mounds of multicolored maggots twisting in its midst. The mess plowed almost onto Rayne, but was repelled by the pentagram's invisible shield.
"I will toy with your dying body until you beg me for death," Surgat seethed. "I will tear your bleeding -"
"Shut up." Rayne spat, and Surgat's mouth clamped shut. The demon glared at him, working his claws maliciously at the edge of the protective bubble.
"That's right, sewer mouth," Rayne mocked. "You have no power here. Listen and do what I say."
Surgat shrieked in fury and excreted out of several orifices. Rayne wasn't protected from the stench, and he stamped his foot in anger.
"Claw yourself, demon, until I tell you to stop!"
Surgat, helpless to resist, wailed in pain as he shredded his own flesh. He clawed and tore his face until his skull gleamed whitely under the streaming blood. Rayne felt his stomach twitch, and ordered him to stop.
"See that you don't anger me again, if you know what's good for you, Surgat. I want you to work on the transformation spells I gave you. Do it now, you maggot-filled hulk of shite"
Surgat's remaining eye glowered resentfully at Rayne. His pulped lips dribbled as he croaked, "I did those spells. Give me another." The eye shifted slyly. "Your wish is my command, master."
"You would like that, wouldn't you, filth? If I give you another spell, that will free you. I'm ever mindful of that caveat, Surgat, so don't suggest it again, or I'll have you eating your own innards."
Surgat sobbed like a baby, eons of frustration welling in his black ego, so that in a fit he bit off his own hand and spat it at Rayne. "I did your bidding," he snarled, "now what must I do?"
"You started the spells," Rayne said impatiently, "but they're temporary! I don't want an episode, a vignette, an interesting arc of a storyline here. I want disaster. The slayer is a man now, and more powerful than before. You think that's what I had in mind, you stinking, defecating excuse of a demon? So make it permanent, then I shall release you."
"And all their powers will go to you." Surgat's wounds healed over, and he fixed both burning eyes squarely on Rayne's face. "I can give you all the slayer's powers and more. Let me conjure mammoth forces for you, master. Empower you to vanquish all enemies. You will rule the world!"
"Shut up, you impotent mausoleum of crud. Here I am, all five-nine of me, slapping you around. You boast like a barstool athlete. Make that spell permanent, damn you. I want the buggers to stay in those new bodies. I want their identities lost, their powers corrupt. You know the drill, so get to it."
Surgat thrust his face against the invisible shield, and his putrid breath billowed in waves into Rayne face. He nearly vomited. "You know it takes time," Surgat purred. "And the accursed must condemn themselves by their own acceptance of the curse."
Rayne answered quietly, keeping his breath shallow. "Say what you mean."
"When all the cursed have lain with their opposites, they will forfeit their true selves."
"Oh ho? I see, they must sleep together."
Any opposite will do." Surgat floated back a few feet and took on a softer, almost benevolent tone. "You know that if this shield ever falters, or if you ever make some mistake and free me, I'll certainly lay with you. And you will know my sweet and tender love."
Surgat revealed parts of himself that had been concealed. Rayne shut his eyes and ordered him away, not even bothering to punish the demon. For many minutes Rayne remained within the pentagram, grossed out and frightened. He wondered whether he made a mistake summoning Surgat, for his vengeance on luckless wizards was documented as well as mythologized, the details pervading his thoughts now as he trembled with dread.
He forced his mind back to business. Surgat's spell was doubtless turning that gang of bungling nobodies on their heads, and it made him laugh to think of it. Especially Ripper as a bird, now that was a hoot.
He mused that it was Ripper who would be most resistant to temptation. Ripper was an honorary monk anyway, so now as a woman he would be even more shut off from the charms the opposite sex offered.
Yes, Rupert was a special case, and would take some figuring. Rayne finally left the pentagram and walked downstairs for tea and calculation.
You'll fall, Ripper, he thought. I'll find your Achilles heel and you'll go down, I promise.