The challenge called for news reports, so each drabble title links back to the b!v!X drabble(s) they refer to.
Without A Trace
After seven days with not even a whisper of a clue, Giles succumbed to the pressure of Willow's silent, screaming gaze, and contacted a friend in the local press.
The article, just a couple of column inches on page five, spoke of the disappearance of Xander Harris. It told of when he'd last been seen, leaving the construction site on the corner of South Wilmington and Eighth, and mentioned that he'd recently been promoted to Site Foreman, which was why he'd been almost the last to leave.
It didn't mention the not-coincidental disappearance of his housemate and possessive lover, Spike.
"Lake City, Colorado, is in mourning today, for twin sisters Kate Anne and Hannah Parker. Their bodies, drained of blood, but still dressed in their cheerleading outfits, were discovered early this morning in a dumpster in the parking lot of the nightclub Benny G's."
Willow stopped reading the transcript of the small town's TV breakfast news and glanced around the room at her gathered audience.
"Willow, what on earth made you believe that Spike and Xander were responsible for this particular crime?"
She sighed, and slowly crumpled the report.
"They recovered all the cookies except the mint thins, Xander's favourites."
The news spread like wildfire through the demon community of L.A. Every non- and partly-human being inside the city limits had heard the rumour before the sun had set and rose and then had set anew.
The soul had been erased, had been fragmented, torn apart. Angelus was now back in control and, strangely, sane. His childe, the mad Drusilla, was responsible, they said. She'd bargained with the stars to bring her Daddy back intact.
The truth was, no one knew quite what she'd done, but it had worked, and now they waited nervously to see what he would do.
The emails were coming in at the rate of one or two a day, and on occasion there were even three. By the sixth report the pattern had been obvious to see, and Willow had debated whether to tell or bite her tongue, but in the end her conscience did its job.
"Eighteen dead in four days, every one a Finn, by blood or marriage. This is much too methodical to be Spike's handiwork."
Willow nodded, in complete agreement with Giles, but had to add:
"Xander, before he... left, wanted to start researching his family tree. I showed him how."
Jimmy's statement read like something from a B grade horror movie, and at first the cops thought he must be high. Blood tests later proved that theory false, but that just made the tale he told them even harder to believe.
Two young men who'd spent the evening dancing in the corner had suddenly moved out to block the door. They'd grinned then kissed and turned to face the party and... they'd changed, their faces rippling into something new. And then the mindless slaughter had begun.
The papers placed the blame on drugs and alcohol... and Jimmy? He left town.