Kill Everybody

Encumbered as she was by Xander's weight, Adrianna reacted the only way she could. She flung out her free arm in a wide arc, launching a psychic blast in the demon's direction.

With its head lowered, the demon never saw the attack coming. It ran headlong into it and was sent careening backwards, through the door and out into the hallway. The door was left hanging on one hinge from the force of the massive form crashing through it. Adrianna heard her opponent land heavily on the floor, but the crooked door obscured her view of the hallway.

There was a brief pause, while everybody waited with bated breath to see if the demon was going to come crashing back into the room. There was no groans of pain, no sounds of the demon getting back to its feet; just silence.

As they looked on, the door started to swing open on its single hinge. Adrianna raised her hand, ready to attack again. But when the door opened fully, it revealed Kane, with his arms raised in the air.

"Don't shoot," he said, grinning at Adrianna, "I'm unarmed."

With a shake of her head, she dropped her arm and glared at Kane. "The demon?" she asked, gesturing behind him.

"Dead," he replied. "You broke its neck. Nice shot."

He stepped into the room, his eyes quickly scanning the interior. His gaze lingered briefly on Jason's unconscious form, but he didn't say anything. When his eyes refocused on Adrianna, he held out his hand. There was a folded piece of paper sitting in it.

"What's that?" she asked, eyeing the paper warily.

Kane rolled his eyes. "It's a piece of paper." She opened her mouth, ready to let into him, but he cut her off. "I took it off ugly back there. It was sticking out of his loincloth." He frowned. "Along with other things. Have you ever seen a bull demon's wang? It's not pretty."

Adrianna didn't bother responding. Instead, she reached out and ripped the paper out of his hand. It was a simple sheet of unlined white printer paper, folded neatly in half. It had gotten a bit rumpled during the brief fight, but was otherwise undamaged. She flipped it open and quickly read it.

When she looked up from it, Kane was looking at her, a smirk on his face. He cocked an eyebrow and nodded towards the page. "Interesting, huh?"

Her face broke out in a wide grin then. "Definitely."

"What does it say?" Christy asked. Her eyes were darting from the paper to Adrianna to Kane and back again.

Adrianna looked back down at the page and began to read aloud. "Mark and the other humans, this is a warning. We know about you. We know your names, we know where you live, we know your strengths, and we know your weaknesses. If you attempt to interfere in our plans, you will die. The shadow demons were just the beginning. This is your one chance to leave. Leave town, leave the country. Just leave."

"How is that interesting?" Mark asked. "Sounds like a pretty standard ultimatum to me. Fight and die, or leave town."

Adrianna opened her mouth to respond, but Kane cut her off. "There are several reasons that message is interesting. Number one, it's complete bullshit. There's not a chance in Hell those assholes let any of you out alive. You're the good guys; they want you all dead and buried, long before Krystallanos ever tries crossing over. If they let you leave now, there would always be the chance you'd come back and fuck them over somehow before this whole thing comes to a head. And I'll be right back."

Before anyone could say a word, he turned and strode out of the room. Behind her, Adrianna could hear her friends shifting, undoubtedly shooting annoyed looks at one another. She herself was a little irritated. Kane's mannerisms were hard to get used to.

Fortunately, he returned a moment later, carrying a plastic chair. He set it down beside Xander and gestured to it. "Sit his invalid ass down in that before you both collapse. We've already got one idiot out of action; we don't need any more casualties."

As much as Adrianna wanted to rip into him for insulting Jason, she was too relieved to finally let go of Xander to say anything. She wasn't a very big person, and even the thin vampire got heavy over time. With a sigh of relief, she helped him into the chair, then stepped back.

"Reason number two," Kane said, continuing on as though he hadn't just left the room. "The message was addressed to you chumps. Which means—"

"They don't know Kane and Xander are working with us." Adrianna smirked at the big man.

Ha! she thought. How do you like getting interrupted, dick?

"Exactly," he said. "If they knew we were, they'd definitely be going about things a little differently."

"Differently how?" That was Ben.

Kane pursed his lips, a thoughtful expression on his face. "Well, they would have sent something a little more challenging than shadow demons, first of all. And when I slaughtered whatever they did send, they'd have probably just levelled the city."

Mark's eyes widened. "Can they do that? Do they have that kind of power?"

Adrianna watched as Kane's eyes darted to Xander and the two shared tiny, almost invisible smirks.

"Yeah," Kane replied. "They can do that. It's really not that hard. Little bit of magic in just the right place and this dirty little shit-hole goes down in flames. Everybody dies bloody, and they get a seventy-five square mile parking lot to use for their ritual. It's win-win, really, from their perspective."

"Why haven't they just done that already then?" Adrianna asked. "I doubt it's because they value human life so much."

Kane chuckled and shook his head. "Of course not. You're all vermin to them. No, it's a matter of power. When I said a 'little bit of magic', I really meant 'a shitton'. They could do it, but it wouldn't be a walk in the park. Magic, especially magic from this dimension, is tiring to use. I think Xander gave you all a pretty clear demonstration of that." He gestured to the vampire, who smiled back wanly. "Even powerful beings would be pretty drained after such a massive expenditure. So they'd rather just murder all you fucks one by one than put out that kind of effort."

"Well, thank God for small miracles then," Adrianna replied. The thought of being murdered by some faceless demon was scary, but being burned alive in a massive, city-wide inferno was even less appealing.

As her friends started muttering to each other behind her, Adrianna kept her eyes focused on Kane. He didn't look like he'd said all he wanted to say yet.

"I'm not done yet," he stated, a second later. Everybody fell silent and looked at him. "You guys might want to pay attention for this one, because it could have a pretty big impact on your lives." He held up three fingers. "Reason number three. This hospital is currently surrounded by a small army of demons."

Pandemonium broke out after that announcement.

"What?" Mark cried. "Why didn't you say anything earlier?"

"How many are there?" That was Christy.

Ben, cool-headed as ever, asked "How did you get in here?"

But louder than the rest was Adrianna's voice. "Enough!" she shouted, loud enough to draw everyone's attention to her. "How many?"

Kane shrugged. "A couple dozen; nice mix of locals and some out-of-towners. They're posted around the property, with a couple hiding in cars in the parking lot." Adrianna flashed back to earlier in the parking lot, when she was sure she felt something watching her. "I didn't take the time to look around much, but I'm sure there's at least one powerful demon out there; one of Krystallanos' higher ranking acolytes. I can feel him."

The humans let that information sink in for a moment. They were used to fighting outnumbered, but there was a limit. Invincibility wasn't a power any of them had, and even superior fighting skills could only do so much.

They all shared a look, and Adrianna could read the uncertainty in their eyes. Even Mark, usually so ready to take the lead and deliver a possible solution, looked reluctant.

With a small sigh, Adrianna turned back to Kane. "What do you think we should do?" she asked, her voice low, subdued.

"Personally, I think you should all sneak out of here and make a run for it. It's dark out, and not all demons can see well in the dark. I'd bet money you could get away." He paused, but Adrianna could tell there was a 'but' coming. "But, if you do that, you'll be leaving this hospital completely defenseless. And once they realize you're gone, they'll probably fuck this place up, just out of anger."

Of course they will, was Adrianna's first thought. There was never an easy way to do things for her and her friends. The ending was always bloody.

"So, you're suggesting we stay and fight then, even though we're terribly outnumbered?" Mark asked, eyes focused on Kane's.

"What?" the big man said, surprise ringing in his tone. "No! What the fuck are you talking about? I think you should run for it. I can get you out of here, no fucking doubt about it. I think you'd be crazy to stay and fight. There are some big-ass demons out there, with fangs and claws and a whole shitload of other deadly weapons. They'll probably cut you to ribbons. I'm just letting you know all the facts. And the fact is, if you leave, they will almost certainly slaughter everybody in this hospital, probably painfully."

He already knew they'd be staying. There was a tiny knowing smirk on his face, even as he told them to run. And for once, Adrianna couldn't fault him. They were the good guys; they didn't let murderous demons kill innocent people, especially when it was their presence that put the innocents in danger in the first place.

"You'll stay and help?" she asked, addressing the question to Kane.

He grinned, exposing his teeth. "Oh, fuck yeah. Wouldn't miss this for the world." He cracked his neck loudly.

"All right. How are we going to do this?" Adrianna turned to her friends, but paused when she noticed Xander's chair was empty. Eyes wide, she whirled back to Kane. "Where did he go?"

"Probably looking for blood. He can't fight in the condition he's in, but some of the red stuff will put him back in ass-kicking shape right quick."

"I didn't even hear him go," she said, shaking her head and glancing back at the chair. "But anyway, guys, what's the plan?"

Christy spoke up immediately. "Somebody needs to stay with Jason. We can't leave him here unprotected."

"She's right," Mark stated. "But not just him. We need somebody to stay in the hospital and make sure nothing gets inside. Even one demon could turn this place into a slaughterhouse."

"The building's too big." Kane stepped up beside Adrianna, effectively inserting himself into the conversation. "There are too many ways in. Even if everybody stayed in here, we couldn't cover them all."

"You have a better plan?" Adrianna asked him.

"Yes. A shield spell. It doesn't have to be much; just enough to keep the demons out while we're fighting them. As long as we keep the majority of them focused on us, even a weak spell should be enough to keep them out of here."

There was a moment's pause. Then, "Well, that's… a pretty good idea, actually." He just grinned. Adrianna ignored him and turned to Ben. "What do you think, Ben? Feel up to it?" She could tell by the look in his eyes he wanted to be a part of the fight. But he was smart; he knew he was the strongest of the group magically.

"Yeah, I can do it," he said, after a few second's of hesitation.

Kane clapped his hands together. "Awesome. You know any good shields?" Ben nodded. "Outstanding. Let's get this show on the road." He turned for the door, but was halted by Adrianna's voice.

"How about a strategy? And if you say we should just charge out there, I will punch you in the face."

He turned back and grinned. "Come on now. I'm not an idiot, Adrianna. If you guys ran out there like idiots, you'd be dead in twelve seconds. No, how about this? I'm going to head out with Xander." As if on cue, the vampire reappeared in the room, standing beside Kane. "We're going to make our presence felt, draw them all toward us. When we give the signal, you all rush out and start kicking a little ass. How does that sound?"

"Like we'll all be dead in under an hour," she replied. Then she sighed and rubbed at her eyes. "But I don't have a better plan. So what the fuck? Let's do it."

"Follow me." Kane, with Xander trailing a few feet behind him, made for the door.

Adrianna turned to look back at her friends. "You guys ready for this?"

"No," Mark replied. "But we have to do something. Let's go." He set off after Kane and didn't look back.

Ben caught her eyes and gave her a small smile. "Don't worry. I'll keep them out of here, Adrianna." Then he too left the room. Christy didn't say a word. She shot one worried glance at Jason's still form, then followed her friends into the hallway.

Adrianna hesitated for a second once they were gone. She went over to Jason and looked down at him. He was still breathing shallowly, and his skin was unnaturally pale. As much as he irked her, it hurt her to see him like that. After a moment, she turned away and set off after the others.

As Kane headed for the main entrance of the hospital, he held a whispered conversation with Xander. "Keep a close eye on them. This shouldn't be suicide, but you never know. None of them have fought in a battle this big before and they might get overwhelmed. Just make sure nothing gets behind them."

Xander nodded. "How many are we dealing with?"

"About sixty, maybe seventy. A decent number, but the majority are grunts. Somebody's directing them, but you can only do so much when you're working with a bunch of fucking idiots." They paused at the doors and waited for the others to catch up. "I want to talk to the leader, so don't kill him."

The humans arrived before Xander could reply. Mark walked right past the pair and looked out through the glass doors into the darkness. "Are they watching us right now?" he asked.

Kane turned his head and looked over the human's shoulder. "Yes," he stated. "There are two Crathans standing about sixty feet away. See that tree there? There's one on either side. They're hunkered down; looks like they've been waiting for awhile. Probably sentries, just watching the door. But their night vision isn't great. I'd be surprised if they could tell you from any other human."

"What?" Kane turned to look at Christy. "Why would they post them as sentries if they can't see in the dark? That's just stupid."

He grinned. "Yeah, it is. Maybe they aren't sentries. I don't fucking know. That's where I would put sentries if I was in charge. But if I was in charge, you'd already be dead. So, take that for what it's worth."

"All right," Adrianna said, before Christy could respond. "How are we going to do this? You said something about a signal…"

"Yeah, you'll know it when you see it. And when you do, I want all of you to fucking fly out of here. Head to the parking lot. It's flat, so there's no place for anybody to hide and jump out at us. We'll make our stand there."

Mark cocked an eyebrow. "Isn't it full of cars?"

Kane grinned. "You let me worry about that. Just be ready." He turned to Ben. "As soon as they clear the hospital, you throw up that shield. Try to keep it contained as close to the perimeter of the building as possible. Wouldn't want to accidently trap a demon inside with you."

Ben nodded, his face set in a determined expression. From the faraway look in his eyes, Kane figured he was already running over potential spells in his head.

The group, gathered together and whispering quietly to each other, started to draw attention from the rest of the people in the lobby. A nurse standing behind the counter was eyeing them suspiciously. Kane noticed the looks. "Time to go. Like I said, be ready." Then he turned and headed out the door, Xander right behind him.

The second they emerged into the cool night air, the pair split up. Xander went right and Kane went left. He wasn't entirely sure if the Crathans would be able to tell they weren't humans from a distance, but he didn't want to take any chances.

Quickly, Kane circled around beside the Crathans and waited. Across from him, he saw Xander move into position on the other side. He waited a beat, then lunged for the one on the right. It never saw him coming. His right arm, thrust with incredible force, caught the demon on the side of its neck, easily tearing through flesh and muscle. The only sound it made as it died was a low gurgle.

Kane's demon collapsed to the ground just as Xander finished off his own foe. The friends converged under the tree. "Draw as many of them off to the right as you can," Kane whispered, keeping his voice as low as possible. "I'm going to clear the parking lot."

Xander nodded and disappeared into the dark without a word. Kane waited a second, until he heard a loud bang sound from somewhere off to his right. Immediately, he saw several demons who'd been lying motionless on the ground between his position and the parking lot spring to their feet and head toward the noise. He remained perfectly still until they passed, then headed for the lot.

Despite his height, Kane was sure he could move amongst the parked cars without being spotted. There was a handy spell his people used to use while hunting that allowed the caster to blend in with their surroundings, as long as they remained completely still. He cast it wordlessly as he approached the cars.

At the edge of the parking lot, Kane paused and listened for heartbeats. He counted six, so unless there were vampires hiding amongst the vehicles, there wasn't much for him to deal with.

Not like it matters anyway, he thought with a grin.

As he made his way around the parked cars, Kane looked for the perfect one with which to set his plan in motion. He found it after several moments. It was a large SUV, easily the biggest vehicle around. And it was parked almost directly in the center of the lot, right where he needed it. Creeping up to it, Kane placed both hands on the rear window and concentrated. It took a second for his magic to spread throughout the entire vehicle. Once it did, the whole thing glowed blue for a fraction of a second, then returned to its regular colour. With a satisfied smile, he knelt behind the SUV and waited.

Almost on cue, Xander materialized beside him. "Did you get many?" Kane asked, taking in the blood on his friend's hands as the vampire crouched beside him.

Xander shrugged. "Four. Drayads. One singed my arm though." He held up his right arm and showed the small burnt patch just above the elbow. "It's okay though; I tore out his throat. Are we ready?"

Kane grinned. "Better go look for a place to hide. Shit's about to get crazy." Xander disappeared without a word. Kane counted to five, to give his friend a chance to find cover, then placed his right hand back on the SUV's bumper and finished the spell he'd started earlier.

Immediately, the vehicle started to vibrate. It started off slow, barely noticeable, but the vibrations quickly escalated, until the SUV was rocking from side to side violently. Kane waited a second, just long enough to spot several demonic faces peering at him through windows of nearby cars, before jumping straight up, as high as he could.

The SUV went off like a bomb a split second after he jumped. By leaping up, Kane managed to avoid the majority of the blast; he just felt the heat on the bottom of his feet. But the cars in the parking lot—and the demons within them—were not so lucky. The force of the explosion sent every car within twenty feet of the SUV careening through the air, end over end. They came crashing down all over the parking lot, totaling anything and everything they landed on.

As Kane reached the highest point of his jump and began to fall back toward the Earth, he had a bird's eye view of the whole scene. He cringed slightly when he saw a large van land right on Adrianna's car.

I really will owe her a new car after this.

The second Kane touched back down, Xander was standing at his side. They watched as the entire army of demons broke cover and headed straight for them.

"You ready?" Kane asked, his eyes focused on the approaching demons.


"Let's do it." Opening his mouth wide, Kane let out a loud roar. The sound boomed across the parking lot, and gave pause to the demons. They hesitated for a second, then pressed on. Cupping his hands around his mouth, Kane turned toward the hospital entrance. "That was the signal!" he shouted.

There was a brief second of inactivity, then the doors flew open and the humans sprinted toward them.

The group arrived just as the first of the demons closed in on Kane and Xander. Adrianna came to a stop several feet to Kane's right and sent a wave of telekinetic energy at the closest demons. It sent three rocketing backwards, where they bowled over several of their comrades.

"Right on time," Kane said, shooting a grin at the woman. She smirked back.

Part of her wanted to boast about saving his ass, but she knew she hadn't really. She'd seen Kane in action enough to know he was more than capable of handling himself against a handful of demons. But still, whether he needed it or not, she'd helped.

So suck it, she thought. I'm claiming a victory there.

Adrianna's attack forced the demons to draw back a little. Whoever was commanding them was smart enough to realize a head-on attack wasn't going to get them anywhere. Instead, they slowly started to fan out and encircle the group.

"Any thoughts?" Mark asked, as they formed their own outward-facing circle.

"Yeah," Kane replied. "I really wish I had some vodka right now. I'm thirsty."

Adrianna could almost hear the eye-roll in Mark's voice. "Any thoughts on what we should do?"

"Oh." Kane dragged the word out, like it was some sort of revelation. "Right. Well, I plan to throw myself at the first thing that moves and just start cracking skulls. I don't know about you assholes, but that really works for me, on so many levels."

Adrianna was standing on his right, and she bumped her shoulder into his arm with some force. "Stop being a dick. What should we do?"

Kane sighed. "Fight like you normally do. These demons are stupid, for the most part. Once the fighting starts, they'll be separated from whoever is leading them. They'll be easy to pick off then. Make sure you watch your back. Oh, just a sec." Bending, he lifted a large piece of a fallen bumper off the ground and hurled it at a Drayad that was getting a little too close for comfort. It collided with the demon's head, rendering it unconscious. "You and Christy should stay close to each other and keep everybody off our backs."

That made sense to her. Kane, Xander, and Mark all had very physical fighting styles, while she and Christy were better at a distance.

"Okay." By that time, the demons had them completely surrounded. They all hung back, keeping about twenty feet away from the small group, but they were slowly creeping closer, tightening the noose. "How are we going to—"

Kane leaped into action before she could finish her question. He threw himself at the nearest demon, covering the distance between them easily, and crashed heavily into his target. The momentum from his jump, combined with his large form, carried him and the four nearest demons to the ground.

There was a second's hesitation, then the rest of the demons surged forward. Mark and Xander threw themselves forward as well, copying Kane's first move. Neither of them was nearly as big as Kane, but both were strong enough to knock down several demons.

Xander's speed allowed him to return to his feet before his opponents could land a single blow, but Mark wasn't as lucky. As he wrestled with one demon—a Langthor—another one tried to strike his unprotected back. A concentrated blast of air from Christy sent the second attacker flying over the head of its comrades. Mark finally managed to get his hands around his foe's throat and snapped its neck. He sprang back to his feet and shot Christy a thumbs up, before grabbing another demon and throwing a punch at its head.

Kane, meanwhile, ended up buried in the middle of a pile of demons. They were all striking about wildly, doing more damage to each other than anything. Still, Adrianna worried Kane would get overwhelmed by the sheer number of them. Looking around, she spotted pieces of twisted metal lying all around.


Concentrating briefly, she lifted up several of the larger pieces and sent them rocketing off in every direction. One narrowly missed Xander's head, instead flying by his left ear and impaling his opponent through the forehead. The majority of the pieces ended up in the pile on top of Kane. After seeing his healing factor, she wasn't worried too much about accidently impaling him.

With a roar, he suddenly burst free from the pile of bodies, sending them tumbling away from him. Grabbing one of Adrianna's makeshift missiles from the ground, he began to swing it like a bat, sending demons flying whenever he made contact with them. He paused briefly to yank out a small piece of steel that had lodged into the side of his neck, then continued on with the battering.

After seeing how their comrades were faring against the three men, some of the demons decided to try their luck against the women. As one, ten of them rushed toward Adrianna and Christy, all from different directions.

The two were still standing back to back. "I've got an idea!" Christy shouted, over the din of the surrounding battle.

Adrianna launched a blast at one of the oncoming demons, sending it careening backwards. "What?" she called back, after taking a deep breath.

"Grab my waist and hold on tight!" Adrianna didn't question her friend. Whirling, she wrapped her arms around the taller girl's waist and held on as tightly as she could.

Immediately, Christy pointed her palms at the ground and sent a blast of wind down. The sudden updraft launched the two women high into the air, right over the heads of approaching demons. Two of them had been so close to the two that they couldn't stop in time and collided with each other, hard. They both went down and didn't get up.

"Hit them now!" Christy cried.

Her friend's plan quickly became clear to Adrianna. A wide grin split her face as she carefully extended one hand—making sure to keep the other clasped around Christy's waist—and shot a massive blast of energy at the demons. Most of them were standing right below the pair, looking up; they didn't realize what was headed their way. Caught between the hard asphalt and Adrianna's attack, the demons were instantly reduced to little more than bloody pulp. Blood splattered everywhere, along with fragments of bone and shredded organs.

Slowly, Christy lowered them to the ground. They came to a stop right in between two bloody corpses and Adrianna finally released her grip. Christy turned to look at her and Adrianna was surprised to see the sickened expression on her friend's face.

"Are you okay?"

"I'll be fine," Christy replied. "It's the smell though. I never smelled anything like this before."

No two species of demons had the same blood, and with so much blood everywhere, the combination of smells was overpowering. It was like a mixture of sulfur and rotting flesh.

The attack from the two women had the blood-thirsty demons wary of attacking them again. Instead, they returned their attention to the three men. Unfortunately for them, it wasn't much of a better option.

As Adrianna and Christy looked on with wide eyes, Kane extended both hands, palms out, in the direction of a half dozen demons, and screamed something in a language neither of them understood. A torrent of flame poured from his hands, lighting up the dark night and completely engulfing everything in its path. It burned so hot, even from twenty feet away, Adrianna could feel the heat touch her skin. The fire faded quickly, leaving behind nothing but ash.

Two demons used the distraction of Kane's magic to try and launch a sneak attack on the women. Adrianna caught their movement out of the corner of her eye and got a hand up just in time to block a tiny ball of energy one of them hurled in her direction. Both women turned to face the new threat, even as the second demon formed another energy ball in its palm and readied itself to throw.

Christy was faster. Out of nowhere, a vicious wind kicked up, knocking both demons back a step. Adrianna jerked her hand up, pulling both demons up off the ground. Christy's wind caught under their feet and threw them up in the air, dozens of feet. She glared up at them as they rose, her power carrying them higher and higher. Adrianna kept her eyes down, just in case anything else decided to take a cheap shot at them while they were distracted.

Once she lost sight of them in the darkness, Christy killed the wind all at once. There was a second's hesitation, where the demons didn't realize they were falling. Then they let out matching shrieks, which cut off when they hit the pavement.

"Wow," Christy said, eyes wide. "I didn't think they'd break quite so easily." Both corpses were barely recognizable. The impact had reduced them to little more than bloody masses of misshapen flesh.

The two were spared from further conversation by a sudden shout. Both whirled around, just in time to see a massive, red-skinned demon leap onto Kane's unprotected back and wrap all four of its arms around him. He reached back, grasping for his attacker's head, as Xander and Mark took up the fight with the two Drayads Kane had been fighting.

Adrianna took one step forward and raised her hand. Kane was facing away from her, so his attacker's back was right in front of her. But before she could do anything, Kane took matters into his own hands. He straightened up, then just fell back. The impact with the ground drove all the air from his opponent's lungs, giving him a split second to break free.

He jumped to his feet and whirled around, but the demon was fast. It scrambled to its feet and quickly put some space between it and the group. As they looked on, the demon grinned. "You are strong," it said, voice more like a hiss than anything else. The two arms attached at its shoulders waved wildly in the air behind it. "Who are you? Why do you help the humans?"

Kane cracked his neck and shrugged. "Why should I tell you when I'm just going to kill you?"

The demon's grin widened. "Kill me? No, I don't think so. You might be strong, but I watched you fight. I'm stronger."

Again, Kane shrugged. "Maybe you are."

At that, Adrianna's eyes widened.

What? No way. The demon looked powerful, but after seeing Kane in action, she had a hard time believing he was the weaker of the two.

In that moment, she decided she had to make a move. As Kane and the demon continued to converse, trading barbs with one another, Adrianna slowly moved her head, looking for the perfect weapon. She found it, after a moment; a large sliver of metal, lying right behind the demon. Keeping her movements slow and cautious, she concentrated and raised the metal off the ground until it was even with the demon's head. Then she let it fly.

At the last moment, Kane saw the missile heading for the demon's head. His eyes widened and he raised his hand. "No!" But it was too late. The metal pierced through the demon's skull, killing it instantly. The corpse remained standing for a second, before collapsing into a heap on the ground.

Kane immediately rounded on her, anger written all over his face. "What the fuck are you doing" he shouted, getting right into her face and glaring down at her. "Alive! I wanted him alive! He was the leader; he could have fucking told us something!"

Never one to back down from a fight, Adrianna shouted right back at him. "How the fuck was I supposed to know that? You said you were fucking weaker than him! I did what I had to—"

"I was bluffing, you stupid fucking child! He was a magic-user; I needed to catch him off-guard to knock him out!" His eyes were wide, nostrils flaring as he stepped closer to her. Both his fists were clenching and unclenching reflexively. Adrianna took a step back and raised a hand, ready to defend herself. Suddenly, he straightened up and took a step back. "Whatever. It is what it is," he said, voice cold and lacking any of the heat it had possessed seconds ago. "We'll have other chances to learn more." Then he turned and stalked off into the darkness.

Everybody watched him go silently. Adrianna, for her part, felt like she'd been hit by a truck. The sudden turn from raging anger to cold indifference had her head spinning. She wasn't sure what had just happened.

"Well," Christy said, after a moment, "that was… interesting."

Xander chuckled. "I wouldn't worry too much. Kane has… anger issues. He'll go kill a few things and be back to normal by morning." He addressed that toward Adrianna. To the rest of the group, he said, "Go get your friend and get some rest. I'll keep an eye on Jason and make sure he makes it home once he wakes up."

Adrianna looked around at her friends. Mark looked reluctant to let the vampire look after Jason, but the battle had taken a toll on everyone, including him, and they all needed a rest. After a minute, he nodded and turned back toward the hospital. Christy went with him.

"He was really pissed, huh?" Adrianna asked, once it was just her and Xander left.

"Yes, he really was. That's why he walked away. He'll go take out his frustrations on some poor demons and be over it by the time he gets home." The vampire put a comforting hand on her shoulder. "Don't worry about it, Adrianna. He loses his temper a lot; this probably won't be the last time. You just have to go with it."

She smiled wanly. "Thanks, Xander. I'll keep that in mind." He nodded and started off toward the hospital.

Adrianna stood in the dark for a second, just staring around at the devastation. Then she caught sight of a familiar piece of material lying on the ground, several feet away. Going over to it, she bent down and lifted it up.

"Son of a bitch!" she screamed, immediately recognizing it as a piece from one of her seat covers. "My fucking car! You asshole!"