Living For Love - (11) New Friends, Old Enemies
Previous Chapter Summary: Clem brought by news that other demons appeared to be heading to Sunnydale for refuge. Some humans who knew about demons were on their way too. Unfortunately some demons weren't happy about Sunnydale's "safe haven" existence, and they are on their way to destroy Buffy and Spike. Constance and Dawn have arrived in town just after sunset. Dalton was there to meet them.
Current Chapter Summary: Dalton talks with Constance and Dawn in an attempt to ascertain their intentions. He informs Spike of the new arrivals, and he is brought up to date on all the groups that might be heading to Sunnydale. Buffy and Spike go to meet the new visitors. Some of the Scoobies look into the attempt on Wesley's life and search for Council involvement. There is a bit of a confrontation in England at the Council headquarters. I also put in a little bit of a flashback from when Dalton "tortured" Quentin before the end of Revenge For love for those who requested it before. It isn't hugely graphic, and you can skip the little section between the single set of ~*~ if you want.
Disclaimer and Distribution notes are listed on the Index page of this story.'Single' quote marks surround thoughts in this story. "Regular" quotes are around spoken words.
"Hello there." Dalton, who stood in front of the two new arrivals, pushed the glasses further up the bridge of nose that had slid down slightly. He looked deeply into Constance's silvery eyes. He jerked back slightly at what he thought he saw.
'Uh oh,' Constance thought to herself. 'He can see it.' She prepared herself mentally to have to fight the vampire before her. Any time that anyone recognized the humanity in her it ended up in a fight. Most vampires were disgusted by it. She thought she'd been good at hiding it, but maybe being in Dawn's presence was making it more visible again. She mentally berated herself to be more vigilant at hiding it's presence. To her surprise, the vampire didn't attack. Instead he welcomed them to the town.
"Welcome to Sunnydale." Dalton turned his gaze from the older vampiress to the younger one. "You two seem to be new in town." What he saw lingering behind the younger woman's eyes was even stronger than the older one. 'I haven't seen something so beautiful since Mistress Buffy and Master Spike during their mating.' He was mesmerized by the young vampiress' vivid blue eyes. She seemed fragile and fierce at the same time.
"Yes, we just arrived from Los Angeles." Dawn kept her tone neutral, but the man's gaze unnerved her. It felt like he was looking through her instead at her. "We heard that Sunnydale was a nice place for certain vamps to get a change of scenery in."
"And who told you that?" The Scoobies had several contacts in Los Angeles. It was a huge city, and it was close enough to cause problems if certain situations got out of hand there or in Sunnydale.
"What business is it of yours?" Constance snapped at Dalton. She didn't like how focused the male was on Dawn. His signature as a vampire was obvious, and she wasn't about to allow anyone to take advantage of her Childe.
"My apologies, Madam. I was not trying to be rude. You both caught me a little off guard." Dalton extended his hand slowly. Many creatures who wanted to enter the town gave themselves and their intentions away quickly. He tested their reactions further. Neither woman wore the vampiric faces he knew they had. "Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Dalton."
Constance warily accepted the hand and shook it. "My name is Constance, and she goes by the name Mouse."
"A pleasure to meet both of you. Are you planning to stay long?" The exchange of small talk further confirmed Dalton's belief that the two vampiress' were not in Sunnydale to cause problems. Vampires, especially the more twisted and bloodshed craving ones, didn't have the patience for idle chit chat. They would have given up the fašade of friendliness fairly quickly in the conversation when they grew bored.
"It depends on if we find what we need here." Constance evaded answering the question completely. "If we don't, then we'll have to move on quickly."
Dalton found himself frowning at the thought of the older vampiress leaving before he could get to know her. "Perhaps I can help you find what you are looking for? I must warn you that Sunnydale has a few strict rules about feeding and conduct though. I'm afraid I can't allow you to snack on the general populace."
Dawn gasped, "We'd never ..."
Constance held out her arm in front of Dawn before her tirade could gain momentum. "You've already helped us out considerably. Would you know of a place we can spend the day tomorrow?"
"I think I can help you out there too." Dalton motioned for the two women to follow him. "A few of us live in an old mansion on Crawford Street. There's plenty of room for a couple more."
"Thank you Dalton. We wouldn't want to impose on your hospitality though." Constance followed Dalton, but she kept her senses alert to possible trouble.
"I think that my Master and Mistress will be most pleased to have you stay at the mansion. I'm sure they'd like to meet you as well."
As the three walked the Sunnydale streets, they came across what Dalton called a rogue vampire. In most towns the type of vampire who drained and killed humans was common, but not in Sunnydale anymore. He hated to have to dust the vampire in front of Constance and Mouse, but he had no choice. He couldn't let a vampire run free that wasn't following the rules.
While Dalton was taking care of one vampire, another one emerged for the shadows that he did not see. Fortunately Constance saw the danger. She and Dawn ran forward to intercept the vampire before it could attack Dalton from behind. One woman held the vampire while the other twisted its head right off its body.
Dalton dispatched his vampire with enough time to turn around and see the dust settle around Mouse and Constance. His eyes widened in shock, but nothing but gratitude fell from his lips. "Thank you."
"It was the least we could do." Constance brushed the dust off her clothing. Telshar had been a cruel Sire, and he taught his Childe how to fight well and without mercy. She knew that he was very upset with her that she was using that training against their own kind and not humans now. She hoped that Sunnydale would offer them the protection they needed. They had nothing to offer to anyone but themselves.
(Suite at the Sunnydale Hotel)
The walkie talkie on Giles' hip crackled. He turned to Spike and Buffy, and he could see that they were hearing the opening noises in their earpieces as well.
"Master Spike and Mistress Buffy, this is Dalton reporting in," Dalton's voice seemed to echo through the room with so many of the Scoobies in one place with their walkie talkies on.
"Go ahead, Dalton," Spike answered the call. "Dare I say it, but you sound quite excited."
"I am Master!" Dalton chirped over the airwaves happily. "We've had a few new arrivals tonight. I think you will find two of them to be very interesting. The one new vampiress practically glows from the inside like Mistress Buffy. The other vampiress is a bit more subdued, but I could still see that hue behind her eyes."
"That didn't take long," Faith added in her two cents worth from the other side of the room. "They're already showing up."
"They weren't very talkative, but maybe if you and Mistress Buffy came by they would be," Dalton suggested. "They agreed to stay at the mansion for now. That's where we are. Is it possible for you both to drop by?"
Spike looked over at Buffy who nodded her head. If Clem's information was accurate, these arrivals could be the first of a much larger group. They wanted to establish good relations with them from the start. They were still wary about the warning of Telshar's group as well, but Dalton was usually a very good judge of possible threats. He protected Spike and Buffy with every ability and "sixth sense" that he had.
"Did they say anything about where they came from, Dalton?" Giles asked. He was open to new allies, but he was also aware of the threats headed their way too.
"They came from Los Angeles, Rupert."
Everyone in the room perked up at that information. Lots of demons and humans could come from L.A. easily. Shared glances between everyone in the room were in unspoken agreement to find out the vampiress' story as soon as possible.
"We'll be on our way shortly." Buffy smiled at the thought of seeing Dalton. She enjoyed the younger vampire's company, and she hadn't seen him since the day before after Spike was shot.
"On a sadder note, I had to dust Parker, Master."
"Pillock," Spike grumbled. He hadn't liked the brunette vampire from the moment he met him two weeks ago, but Buffy wanted to give the college aged man a chance to prove himself. "What happened?"
"I found him chasing skirts with more than just his "charming" personality," Dalton answered sarcastically.
Buffy sighed. Sometimes she hated it when Spike was right about a person. She mock pouted at the "I told you so" face that Spike sent her way.
"You did what you had to do, Dalton. I'm proud of you," Spike offered his heartfelt praise to the vampire he called his son. "Any other complications?"
"The two new vampiress' dusted a second vampire that tried to attack me from behind. I didn't see who it was. He or she was dust before I turned around from Parker."
"They jumped right in and dusted a fellow vampire?"
"Yep, saved my undead arse too."
"We'll have to thank them," Buffy's gratefulness was apparent in her voice. She didn't want to think what eternity would be like without Dalton by their side. "We'll head over to the mansion as soon as possible. We need to wrap up a couple of things here first."
"I look forward to it."
Silence once again reigned in the hotel suite.
(England, Council Headquarters)
A very nervous Quentin Travers paced his office. Over 24 hours had passed since the meeting between Wesley Wyndham-Pryce and the renegade ex-Watcher Rupert Giles in Sunnydale. Roger Wyndham-Pryce, Wesley's father, would be expecting a report from him soon. Quentin hadn't heard a word from Sunnydale. Something in his gut told him it wasn't because Wesley was dead.
Quentin absentmindedly rubbed the scarred over puncture wounds on his neck. He shivered in remembrance of the threat issued to him by Dalton after his last attempt to remove the Sunnydale threat. If his plans had been revealed, then he didn't have much longer to live.
(England, Flashback to a few months ago after Travers tried to capture Buffy)
"You ... You can't kill me," Quentin's voice wavered. "Your Mistress and the Coven won't let you kill humans." The warmth of his own blood already dripped down the side of his face after several well placed punches broke his nose and split his cheek.
Dalton laughed. It wasn't a happy or joyous laugh. No, this laugh was filled with darkness and sadistic glee. "You really haven't been listening to me, have you Quentin?"
Quentin Travers cowered away from the vampire. He tried to scoot across the floor, but the chains he'd forgotten were around his hands and feet stopped him from going very far.
"My Master and Mistress stand against evil in any form. Did you hear that? In any form!" Dalton emphasized the last statement with a growl in full vampiric visage that switched quickly to his human facade. "Human or not, you are evil Quentin Travers, and they know it."
"No! I'm protecting the world from evil and filth such as yourself!" Quentin spat in Dalton's face in a brief moment of courage and stupidity.
Dalton advanced on the head of the Council. "You were warned by the most powerful Coven in England that your actions were not welcomed." He stepped another step closer. "You knew of the prophecies that foretold my Mistress' second death and her purpose." He kicked Travers in the shin when he was close enough. "You KNEW that my Mistress was NOT evil, and yet you still try to kill or capture her and my Master using methods that "GOOD" people consider inhumane."
"If you kill me, others will take my place until that abomination is destroyed!" Quentin spat on Dalton with the last bit of moisture he had left in his mouth.
"You will not die by my hand today, Quentin Travers, but know this ... this is your final warning." Dalton pulled Quentin into a standing position effortlessly. "If you come after us, or anyone aligned with us again, you and your entire family blood line will be wiped from this earth. Do you understand?"
"I will never bow down to vampires and demons," Quentin vowed in a last ditch effort to make a point. "You are nothing to me."
"I am the arm of vengeance for my family, and you are our enemy." Dalton's fangs sank deeply into Quentin's neck. He drank deeply and savagely. The scar that would remain on Travers' neck would serve as a mark and reminder of the debt that would be paid with his life if he crossed them again.
The blood curdling scream from Quentin Travers bounced off the Dungeon walls so many times that the reverberations took on a life of their own. With barely enough blood flowing through his body to sustain life, he was left abandoned on the cold stone floor.
Quentin Travers sunk back into his office chair. The sound of arguing outside his door meant only one thing. Roger Wyndham-Pryce was here. The man would want answers that Quentin just didn't have to give. He feared his life was forfeit either way. The Sunnydale group was bound to know of his part in the latest attempt on their lives. If Roger didn't kill him, they would.
(Mansion on Crawford Street)
Buffy and Spike strolled up to the mansion hand in hand. They noted the various positions of sentry guards and nodded their approval. 'He really is smart. He has everything covered,' Buffy sent the thoughts towards her Mate.
'Yes, he is. People generally underestimate him because of his looks, but he is fiercely protective and a good strategist.' Spike opened the door for Buffy to enter before him.
As soon as the Master and Mistress of Sunnydale entered the mansion, everything in the main room fell to silence. Everyone wondered what warranted the special visit. The two Daywalkers had been by the mansion the day before, and usually it was a few days before they would return directly to the mansion for a visit.
Constance and Dawn (Mouse) stood off to one side of the room hidden in the shadows as much as possible. The reactions to the presence of the two blonde vampires rippled throughout the entire mansion enough that they physically felt the power surge. Constance noted how the vampires in the mansion didn't cower and hide away from the stronger Master like they did in Telshar's court. Although they seemed surprise to see the two blondes, no one seemed overly scared.
Dalton emerged from the kitchen, wiping his hands on a dish towel. He walked over to Buffy and Spike, stopped in front of them, and lifted one wrist to each of them in a sign of loyalty. Although Buffy and Spike were confident of Dalton's loyalty, they continued the practice of testing the blood as a sign to all the other vampires around them of tradition. It helped to show that no one was immune to the rules either. Dalton was checked, just as any of them were checked, to be sure of their intentions.
Spike and Buffy slipped their fangs into separate wrists simultaneously. They gathered only two small mouthfuls before they nodded their heads, licked the wound clean, and let go of the wrist. Buffy smiled warmly at Dalton. "As always you are a faithful and trusted Son." She kissed him on the cheek.
Constance's thoughts perked up at the word son. Her instincts told her that Dalton and the two newcomers were not of the same direct bloodline. For them to call him son in such a caring way, they must have claimed full Sire rights over him. Dalton didn't seem unhappy about it at all. So, she assumed he was well cared for.
Mouse pointed at the blonde male and whispered softly to Constance, "That is the main voice I heard over the radio Dalton spoke into." She pointed at the blonde female. "I remember hearing her too."
"You love to live up to your name, don't you Mouse?" Constance grinned. Dawn could be as quiet as a church mouse and sneak herself into the tightest and smallest of places so that you didn't even realize she was there. Even with her tall and lanky form, Mouse was able to hide herself in crevices that no one else would dare try to fit into. It made it easier for her to sneak around and gather information on others without being noticed.
"Where are our new guests, Dalton?" Spike already knew that the two new vampiress' were hiding in the shadows, but he didn't want to frighten them. He thought it would be best if Dalton introduced them first.
"I know they were ... Ah, they are over there." Dalton moved towards the pair of hiding vampiress'. He'd zeroed in on the vampiric signature that he'd felt when they came into town. When they were about 20 feet away, he motioned towards the shadows. "Constance, please come out and meet my Master." He smiled reassuringly. "Master and Mistress mean you no harm. They only wish to meet you and speak with you."
Constance stepped slowly out of the shadows. She made sure that Dawn was slightly behind her to give her the most protection from the others in the room. She wasn't fool enough to believe that they'd get out of the room intact if they were attacked, but her Sire instincts wanted her to protect her Childe as much as possible.
"I'd like to introduce Constance," Dalton pointed at the older vampiress, "And Mouse."
"Oh my!" Buffy gasped. "You are beautiful." She took one step towards Dawn, but she stopped when Dawn took one step back from her. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to frighten you," She spoke softly. "I'm Buffy, and this is Spike." She pointed to her Mate. "I've never seen such purity in a vampire."
Spike saw what Buffy referred to. To the Daywalkers the young vampiress did seem to glow from the inside out. It wasn't a physical glow, but the purity of her soul was visible to them. They hadn't come across anyone that was that strong until now. Even Dalton didn't radiate that much purity. "It is a shame that your life was cut short at such a young age." He turned his attention to Constance.
Constance immediately went on the defensive. "I couldn't let her die like that." She remembered all too well the sight of the broken and bleeding young woman in the alley. "A rival gang of vampires had Mouse cornered in the alley I passed by. I did the only thing I knew to do to save her."
"Forgive my Mate, he wasn't accusing you directly." Buffy wrapped her arm around Spike's waist and smiled tenderly at Constance. "He is very forthright, and he's seen a lot of atrocities in his many decades. Your glow is buried deep, but I can still see it. I'm sure Spike can too."
Spike nodded in agreement with Buffy. He could see the fainter glow within the older vampiress. She glowed in a way very similar to Dalton. Her humanity must have been suppressed in some way over the years. Perhaps it was to save her from other tortures and relieve the guilt she felt. They wouldn't know until they found out more about her. "Dalton tells us that you came from Los Angeles?"
"Yes, is that a problem?" Constance's posture stiffened.
"Not necessarily, but some of our contacts in L.A. have warned us about a very unsavory vampire named Telshar who is ripping his way through L.A. and maybe heading this way. We would be remiss in our duty if we didn't follow up on that information," Spike spoke in soft evened tones. He didn't want to frighten the women away, but he wanted to know if these two were the ones that Clem spoke about.
"He is my Sire, and he is not so forgiving of the soul that you both can apparently see in us," Constance hung her head low. "We won't trouble you further. At the next sunset, we will leave."
"Nonsense!" Buffy scowled. "We wouldn't turn anyone away that wants to change. How did you know that Sunnydale might be a safe haven for you?"
"A Pylean named Lorne told us where we might find you."
Buffy chuckled. "Did he make you sing for him?" She knew that Lorne was an empathic demon friend of theirs, but he could only read those that sang for him.
"Yes, he did. He told me that I was the cutest little "mouse" to ever sing for him," The young vampiress answered instead of Constance. "He was pretty strange but friendly."
Buffy smiled at Mouse. "Mouse is such an interesting name, but something tells me that isn't what you were born with." She hoped that the older teen would trust them with her true name.
Mouse looked up at Constance and then over at Buffy. "My name is Dawn. The kids on the street nicknamed me Mouse a long time ago."
"Well Dawn," Buffy began, "You and Constance are welcome in our town as long as you adhere to the rules. There aren't many, but the ones we have are absolute." She turned to Constance. "Any help you could give us about your Sire would help us to protect you in the long run. We take care of those who are sincere."
"Thank you. We'll do what we can to help." Constance started to relax for the first time in longer than she could remember.
"We are guardians in more ways than one. Justice is enacted on those who deceive and defy the greater good." Buffy did hate that part of her job, but it was becoming more apparent that a time of judgment was nearing in Sunnydale.
"We want Sunnydale to be our home to live in peace."
"Then we shouldn't have any problems."
Faith paced the main living room of the suite. "I need to be doing something." She stopped in front of Wesley. "My fingers are itching to slay, but I don't want to slay the wrong thing and get everyone mad at me." She sighed.
Wesley could practically feel the nervous edge that permeated from his Slayer. He looked over at Joyce, Rupert, Willow and Xander. "Perhaps we could ask one of them to accompany you on a patrol? They know the town better until you and Buffy can work at bringing your inner Slayer closer to the surface to guide you." He couldn't believe that he was suggesting that Faith not kill all things that made her Slayer radar go off. It was a true sign that he was trying to change his way of thinking.
Faith stomped over to the assembled Scoobies. "Guys, I really want to go patrol, but I don't want to piss off anyone here by staking our friends." She sighed in exasperation. She wanted to help, but without slaying her Slayer urges were making her jittery. "Anyone care to come with me to help?"
"I think we can accommodate you." Giles looked over at Wesley and smiled. He'd seen how Buffy got if she went too long without slaying. The Slayer's need for violence was an instinctual part of the Slayer. It needed to be fed. "I can take you out tonight. Why don't you join us Wesley? You are her Watcher, after all. Being a part of our group does not take that from you."
Wesley smiled with excitement. He had been feeling a bit unnecessary the last couple days. Maybe he still had a purpose after all. He jumped up off the chair. "Let me grab a couple things from my bedroom. Then, I'll be ready to go."
When Wesley disappeared into his bedroom, Faith leaned in to whisper something in Giles' ear, "Thank you, Giles."
(One Week Later - England, Council Headquarters)
"It is with great regret that I announce the passing of our dear friend Quentin Travers, former Head of the Watcher's Council." Roger Wyndham-Pryce, in a show of mock remorse, detailed how his dear friend was found outside his family home dying a couple days prior. He informed the assembly of Watchers, secretaries, and other Council personnel that the multiple wounds on Quentin were well beyond medical healing abilities by the time he was taken to a nearby hospital. "He was a great man and a great leader for our cause. Let us take a moment of silence to reflect on our old friend."
After a pause of several minutes, Roger drew all eyes back up to him at the podium. "We can not let Quentin's death be in vain. Evil must be vanquished." He slammed his fist on the podium. "No ties, not even family, can allow us forget that anyone who supports the cause of evil shall be our enemy." He let his words sink in to the minds of those gathered. "It is therefore, my honor to step in as the new Head of the Watcher's Council to avenge my friend and bring all those who oppose me, and our goals, to their knees!"