Further, I predict the winner of this round (whomever that may be), will likely be the vamp most likely to give Spike a run for his money, so vote wisely...
As far as that goes, I noticed something interesting in my SiteMeter stats—every time I post a Spike fight, I'm getting a lot of referrals from a web discussion group called Don't Kill Spike, whose Live Journal page reposts the fight account and links to me. So a shout-out to those lovely Spike-obsessed peoples, and thanks for coming out to see the fights! Please don't be shy about leaving comments ...
But now, on to fight number two of our quarterfinals. Angel has returned from his Mexican adventure, ready to face Damon Salvatore. Angel wins the coin toss, and, in spite of Spike's earlier comments, selects the Sunnydale cemetery for the fight's location.
HOW I THINK THE FIGHT WILL GO:
Damon sits cross-legged on top of a lichen-crusted tomb, peering around into the gloom. An interesting place, he thinks. I saw at least two other vampires stalking in the shadows, and also what I could almost swear was a Lubber Demon. Haven't seen one of those in decades.
Damon leaps to his feet, startled. Angel stands behind him about ten feet away.
"Nice," Damon jumps to the ground. "It's been a long time since anyone's been able to sneak up on me."
Angel shrugs. "Welcome to Sunnydale."
"Quite the nightlife you've got here."
"Being on a Hellmouth does that."
"Might take up residence here myself."
"Well, the town comes with a resident Slayer, but hey ... knock yourself out."
Damon peers more closely at his adversary. "I've heard a lot about you."
"Really? I can't say the same about you."
Damon shrugs off the jibe. "From what I've heard, you were pretty badass back in the day. Now you're all domesticated and concerned with mortals and stuff."
Angel's expressionless face suddenly splits in a wolfish grin. "Well, I guess you're about to see just how much of a house cat I've become."
"I've already seen it," Damon snorts derisively. "My brother Stefan is just like you. Weakened and hobbled by a conscience. I can't believe—"
Angel's attack catches Damon under the chin, and the blow lifts him up in the air to land on his back on top of the tomb. He rolls off, dropping into a defensive posture. Angel stands impassively, his arms at his side, as if he had never moved.
"I thought you said you'd heard of me, Damon," he says conversationally.
Damon snarls, and launches himself forward. They trade punches and kicks, neither managing to land a blow; on his guard, Damon finds that he can match Angel's seasoned fighter's skills, but cannot break through his defense. They move in a brutal ballet through the graveyard, leaping atop tombs and mausoleums, each testing the other carefully. Damon feels his blood seethe, enjoying the exchanges of blows, not having been matched against such an adversary in years and years.
They pause several meters apart, looking at each other appraisingly. "Not bad," Angels says grudgingly. "You've got a natural speed, and your viciousness almost makes up for your lack of technique."
"I'm just getting warmed up."
"Indeed?" Angel's arm flashes forward, throwing something at Damon's face. Damon feels a thin shell crack against his cheek and a gelatinous fluid spray out over his face.
He's throwing eggs at me? he thinks, enraged at the insult but puzzled at why Angel would stoop to such tactics. He wipes the goo from his face, and is about to sneer something derisive as a reply; he notices that it is not egg yolk on his hand at about the same time as he feels his knees buckle and the energy leave his body. He falls to the ground.
"Concentrated vervain extract? Right first try." Angel kicks the stricken Damon over on his back. "See, when I said I'd never heard of you, that wasn't entirely true. I have a pretty accomplished research team, and we were able to find out some fun things about you." From beneath a nearby tree, Angel retrieves the sword he'd hidden. "I'm sorry you'll never find your Katherine, friend. I mean that."
And he brings the sword down.
Projected Winner: ANGEL