It takes Mel by surprise.
Not the lurks - though they're not as common since she killed Harth. Maybe Makita's right and the rutters are killing each other. Mel can only hope. These guys, though, are the lowest of the low, four skeletal corpses of what were almost certainly shooters, not even on the way to being pumps, before they caught vampirism like some sort of disease. She stubbled upon them on the way home from Gunther's and it's almost a welcome diversion, something to play with.
So she launches into them with characteristic lust for violence.
And it's not the ferocity of their attack that surprises her either. From the looks of things they've gone a few days without blood. From the litter strewn aorund their nest, death hasn't exactly cured them of their shooting habits, which is probably why. But a vampire starved of blood is a desperate, dangerous thing, and fights with more violence than usual.
So it's harder to dust them off than normal. They fight back. This is fine. Mel likes to fight.
Nor is it that temporarily they get the upper hand. That's OK, too, sometimes it happens. Mel will get her way up again. Besides, it's almost good. Brings a challenge, makes the blood pump just a little louder and harder, makes her feel alive.
It's not even that when one catches her a nasty blow on her wrist, it bends backwards and she's forced to drop her scythe, sending it clattering across the roof. Temporary setback.
her is the way that moment brings with it a feeling of sheer utter
, which starts in her centre, seizing her lungs and heart in tight hot claws, driving out the air and sending every once of concentration from her brain. That's what surprises her, and gives the lurk fighting her the opportunity to throw her against a wall so hard blocks of concrete fall onto the roof from a few stories above. Hard enough that Mel's head whips back and hits the wall.
She's still trying to catch her breath when another of the picks her up and knocks her against the wall again and she feels her shoulders crack.
She's still trying to figure out what's going on when he laughs, and tosses her like a doll to his companion, who leers at her with yellow eyes and brings a toothy mought don to her neck.
Of course, that's when she decides she's had enough, and rams her head hard into his face.
Landing on her feet, she kicks him hard enough to send him flying off the roof, and sends the others sprawling as she sprints over to her weapon.
The sense of relief that washes over her as her hands close over the leather bound shaft is tangible. But it's not just relief, she's sure of it.
As the Slayer leaps to her feet, waving the scythe, and makes short work of one, two, three, four vampires, she feels it coursing through her, the power, the knowledge, the rightness of it all. She feels like she belongs.
Standing in the spiralling clouds of dust, she realises something's changed.