Revenge For Love - (12) Family Bonds
Chapter Summary: Buffy tried to take a walk in the sun when she thought Spike was gone. She didn't burn, and Spike knocked her back into the house. Buffy and Spike renewed their connection, and an interruption by Xander left Buffy staked but not dusty. Antoinette arrived on the scene to assist and issue another little warning for them all. Now Giles, Willow and Spike are researching anything else they'll need for the funeral tonight. Buffy is resting on the couch. Xander is unconscious in a chair in Giles' living room. So far Xander's life has been spared, but will the bonds of family allow him to survive?
**WARNING: A bit of torture, major character death, and violence in this chapter. Also if you love Xander, you are probably not going to want to read this chapter.**
DEDICATION: This chapter is dedicated to my faithful reviewer Dana. She's been here from the beginning with her comments and ideas. Her ideas were a key factor to this chapter's contents. So, if you like Xander blame it on her. LOL. Just kidding. I wanted this to happen, but I just wasn't sure how to make it the most believable. She had some great ideas. Also the day this is being updated (June 13th) is her birthday. So Happy Birthday, Dana, and thank you.
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.
After Antoinette disappeared, Spike worked on getting Buffy to rest. She refused to head to the bedroom. She deemed it too far away from Spike. She finally relented to resting on the couch. She adamantly denied being tired, but her body disagreed with her. Weary from her wounds and traumatic emotions over Spike's "death", her eyes closed and sleep claimed her rather quickly.
Giles checked on Xander's condition. Confident that Xander would remain unconscious for a couple more hours, he directed Willow down a new path for their research. He seemed to recall reading once or twice about vampires who walked in the sun. He dismissed the idea previously, but after the day's earlier events he wanted to look into it.
Spike sat at the table behind the couch. His gaze intermittently switched back and forth from Buffy to the books in front of him. He scanned the journals for any pertinent information. Maybe there was something to be found by reading between the lines. Right now he was as lost as a rowboat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Absentmindedly he fingered the amulet around his neck.
"Is that the cause of this morning's turmoil?" Giles pointed at the amulet Spike wore.
Spike nodded. "Seemed to have a few effects that someone forgot to write about or mention." He was still a bit disgusted at himself for not finding a way to get word to Buffy. He had assumed he would be able to use his thoughts when she lost his vampiric essence. "I knew the amulet would mask the essence of my demon, but the bloody thing covered more than I thought it would."
"It was foolish to wear something magical without being informed or knowledgeable of its function."
"I didn't have a whole lot of bloody choice, Watcher." Spike sighed in exasperation. "Do you honestly think after how I came barreling in here that I wanted her to think I was gone?"
Giles set down the book he was reading. He thought back to the earlier desperation he'd seen in Spike's eyes when he tackled Buffy. The question was better left unanswered. He was willing to support and protect Buffy, but he couldn't help his skeptical nature where demons were concerned. "Where did you get the amulet from?"
"Louis," Spike answered simply. "Surely you read about it in his journal." He held the book up off the table.
"Of course, but I assumed both amulets were destroyed when you made no mention of their existence."
"Why would I give up all my aces, Rupert?" Spike queried honestly. "Would you have told me if our places were reversed?"
Giles stuttered for a moment before he became silent again. He shook his head back and forth to indicate that he would have kept the knowledge to himself. "We need to work on our trust issues." He nodded his head in Buffy's direction. "For her sake."
"I'm trying, Watcher. You have no idea how hard this is for me. It's just as hard for me to trust you as it is for you to trust me." Spike sighed in frustration. "I keep waiting for the stake in the back." He tilted his head towards Xander's slumped form. "Not like it hasn't already been tried."
"I have no plans to stake you unless you give me further reason to. We have a common goal, Spike." Giles wrote down a few more references to check for information. "We both want to protect Buffy and kill Angelus."
"You have more in common than that." Willow muttered out loud. Her voice was soft but audible to Spike and Giles.
Spike glanced over at the studious redhead. "What was that, Red?"
Giles' eyes widened in a minor fit of fearful trepidation. "I'm sure that we don't have time for frivolous jaunts, Willow. We have important research to tend to before tonight's confrontation." He tried to dissuade Willow from further conversation, but his words had the opposite effect on the young girl.
"I think it's cute, Giles." Willow grinned mischievously. She picked up several pieces of paper before she walked over to Spike. "The irony of it all is amusing."
"What's amusing?" Whatever Willow was referring to was making the Watcher nervous. Spike delighted in the squirming ritual Giles was succumbing too. "Has to be good if your wriggling that much."
Spike's words struck at Ripper's sarcastic side. His demeanor shifted to one of secret amusement. "We'll see just how funny you think it is shortly." He had a feeling that a vampire finding out he was related to someone from the Watcher's Council would grate the vampire even more than it did Giles.
Willow handed the small stack of papers to Spike. "I've checked and triple checked each date and person from several sources." She wondered if Spike would be upset at the link. 'It must be lonely to think you are all that remains of your family.'
Spike flicked through the first few pages. "Nothing but a whole lot of genealogy on the Watcher's fam ..." He stopped mid-sentence when a particular name caught his eye, Catherine Anne (Jamison) Giles. "No way."
Giles tried to act disinterested in Spike's reactions. He hadn't given much thought on how Spike would feel about their familial link. He watched the creases of confusion mar Spike's face. "Not so smug now, are you?"
"This isn't bloody funny, Watcher," Spike squawked in response. "You made this up." Although he protested vehemently, he hoped it wasn't some sick game. With Angelus' return, and subsequent faking of Spike's final death, Spike felt like he had been cut off from the last of his family. Buffy was the only one he could link to as family. 'If this information is correct, I'll belong to a whole new family.'
Willow risked patting Spike's arm with her hand. "I promise you that I have validated everything as best as I could." She inhaled deeply when Spike's cool hand covered her own.
"How did you find this, Red?" Spike smelled no deception coming from the girl. Her eyes reflected the honesty and purity within her.
"It took nearly all night to piece together where the familiarity of your name came from for Giles." Willow loved a good puzzle. Taking in each little note, clue or road block added to the merriment of the challenge for her.
Spike chanced a glance at Giles for confirmation. Giles nodded in the affirmative. "Your name struck a familiar cord in my memory. I was unable to ascertain the reason until Willow showed me her research."
"Once I found the link to Giles' family, I traced the whole line through the Watcher diaries and Council records." Willow beamed proudly. "You are Giles' great great great uncle. Your father's sister, Catherine, married Giles' great great great grandfather."
Both Spike and Giles simultaneously exclaimed, "Bloody hell". Neither one of them knew what to say. One man was still a Watcher, and the other was still a vampire. They now had a lot more in common. Perhaps the time would come when they could talk about it further, but that time wasn't now.
"I'm not calling you Uncle Spike." Giles removed his glasses and started cleaning them. "I suppose it would be Uncle William, but I'm still not doing it."
"Stupid git." Spike rolled his eyes. "I wouldn't want you to. Sounds bloody ridiculous." Although a part of him enjoyed the fact that he was someone's uncle now. He wasn't going to admit that to Giles. He always assumed his family line died when he was turned. He'd forgotten about his Aunt Catherine.
"Good." Giles slipped his glasses back on. He tucked his handkerchief into his pocket.
"You do realize that you have a free life pass with me now." Spike considered the implications of Giles being family to him. "I've never been like Angelus when it comes to family."
"How so?" Giles questioned.
"Angelus hunted down all of his family when he was turned and killed them." Spike stated matter-of-factly. "I still respected my family, and I tried to stay away from them as much as possible. The only person I did anything to was in the hopes of curing her illness by making her a vampire because I loved her."
Giles stared at Spike awe struck. It was common knowledge that many vampires killed all human ties to world once they were turned. The fact that Spike didn't added another link to the puzzle of his humanity versus his demon.
"That didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, but I never would have done it if I'd known what she would have become." The thought of his mother as a vampire still made him ill to think about. She was nothing like the caring woman he'd adored all of his human life.
"So you are saying that because I am family, you won't kill me?"
"Why?" Giles was curious as to how Spike's mind worked on these matters.
"Family is blood. Blood is family." Spike started in his explanation. "Blood gives us life, and it binds us. Being family tightens those bonds further. Some people will do anything to protect their family no matter what line they cross to do it."
Giles nodded as he listened. Willow sat enraptured by the conversation.
"I am one of those people. You don't know how much I want to kill that Whelp right now." Spike pointed at Xander. "The only thing that even saved his life was that my Mate's life was in danger, and she needed tending."
"I won't let you kill him, Spike, even though he deserves it." Giles' even tone belayed the anger that he himself felt over Xander's actions.
"I give my word that I won't do it this time, but not everyone in my family may be so forgiving." Spike turned his attention back to the journal in front of him, effectively ending the conversation. He had felt the rage of his "son" through the familial bonding all day. He had no doubts that a day of reckoning would soon be upon the boy known as Xander Harris.
Buffy kept her eyes closed on the couch, but she'd been listening to every word spoken in the last 15 minutes. Dalton's growing anger and rage nipped at her demon's psyche. She knew what he planned on doing. A small part of her told her that she needed to stop it from happening. The larger part of her Slayer and human side told her that Xander had been warned what would happen if he tried to hurt Spike or her. Her only concern was for her best friend Willow. She was likely to take the whole matter very hard. She'd deal with that when she had to. She sent along a reassurance to Dalton through their familial bond, giving her approval for what he intended.
Spike looked up over the back of the couch at Buffy in amazement. He'd felt her assurance and approval being sent to Dalton. He raised a curious brow but made no mention of Buffy's thoughts to Giles and Willow who were engrossed in their research again. Buffy continued to amaze him. 'She'll make a fine Mistress. Her understanding of our ways is growing as well as being tempered by her Slayer side. I have to change, but she is changing too. We'll find the middle ground.'
Buffy smiled to herself on the couch. She felt her Sire's pride in her. She understood many things that she couldn't before. She found a sense of peace in the mixture of what she'd been told was right and what she felt was right to do now.
Dalton's agitation grew exponentially as the day wore on. When Buffy was staked he shot out of Spike's room like a rocket. Before that he lay in his Master's bed enjoying the euphoric feelings of their joining. Only the presence of the sun stopped him from racing to Buffy's aid. He felt her pain finally subside, but that did nothing to appease his anger. Even Angelus' loudly uttered, "freak", hadn't deterred him from his mood.
Every hour that went by increased his resolve for revenge. He loved his new Master and Mistress. They'd welcomed him and given him a purpose or reason for "living" again. While he plotted, one obstacle seemed the hardest to get around. How would he get into the Watcher's house? He hadn't been invited in yet. 'I'll cross that bridge when I get there.'
Shortly before sundown, Joyce Summers arrived at Giles' place as planned. She was quickly greeted by her daughter's loving embrace before she could knock on the door.
A large pile of stakes lay on the living room table, joined by a couple swords and daggers. It looked like they were preparing for an all out war. In a way Joyce guessed that is what this was. They were waging a war on the vampires.
Buffy led Joyce over to Spike. "Mom, I'd like you to meet Spike. He's the one who saved me."
Joyce extended her hand out to Spike. "You look vaguely familiar to me. Have we met before?"
Spike gently grasped Joyce's hand and kissed the back of it. "Not properly, but you did slam the flat end of an axe into my skull on Parent/Teacher night at the high school."
Joyce gasped. "Oh my!" She pulled her hand back to cover her mouth.
"S'all right. No hard feelings." Spike smiled. "You were protecting your daughter. Can't fault you for that. I'm right fond of protecting her myself now." He pulled Buffy's back against his chest in an embrace.
"So, I see." Joyce regarded the vampire with a motherly interest. He seemed quite protective of her daughter, but he was also the reason she was a vampire in the first place. She had a hard time reconciling being thankful to him for that.
As if she read her mother's thoughts, Buffy spoke, "Angelus killed me, Mom. I would have died completely if Spike hadn't turned me. Be mad at him, not Spike."
"I'm trying to understand all this, Buffy. I really am. It's just hard for me to get it all straight in my head."
"I know that it's a lot to take in, Joyce." Giles stepped into the living room from the kitchen with a cup of tea in hand. He handed the cup over to Joyce. "I find myself at a loss to understand it all either, but things are as they are. We need to focus on the future and not the past now."
"I'm sure you're right, Rupert." Joyce looked back at her daughter and Spike. "All I can promise is that I'll try to give you both a chance."
"That's all I can ask for Mrs. Summers." Spike sighed a sigh of relief. He worried whether or not Joyce Summers would stake him on the spot when they met.
Buffy felt her lover relax, and she smiled. "Once Angelus is dust, we all have a lot to talk about."
Giles nodded. "Quite, right." He opened up several backpack like bags and started to stow the stakes and daggers away in them. "The sun has nearly set. The mortician should have the casket in place. Willow do you have the ingredients for the cloaking spell ready?"
"Yes, Giles." Willow looked over the different herbs before her on the table.
"Cloaking spell?" Joyce questioned in confusion.
"It will make me practically invisible until I use the command to reveal myself. That way I can get into the coffin without alerting Angelus to my presence." Buffy explained.
"What about Spike? Won't he sense you somehow?"
"Not with this amulet around my neck. It works like a vampire dampening field." Spike turned to Giles. "Once all hell breaks lose, I'm taking it off though. Somehow I have a feeling that if it weakened some of my vampiric abilities, it could weaken them all. I need to be in top form for this fight."
"Agreed." Giles gathered the bags, handing one to each person.
Buffy pulled several stakes from her bag and stowed them away on her person. She looked over at Willow, "Okay, cloak me up, Will."
Willow muttered the phrases for the incantation. She lit each herb in the order of succession that Spike told her. With a poof of smoke, Buffy disappeared from in front of them.
Joyce shrieked. "Buffy!"
"I'm still here, Mom." A disembodied voice danced around the room. "I'm still standing in front of you." A ghostly hand touched Joyce's arm. "See. I'm here."
Joyce's heart raced. "I don't know how I'll ever get used to this supernatural life of yours."
Buffy patted her Mom's arm. "It gets easier every day, Mom."
"Let's go." Giles led Willow and Joyce to the door.
"You guys go on ahead. We'll be right there." Buffy called out to Giles. She waited for the door to close before she wrapped her arms around Spike's waist. "You know he is coming for him."
Spike nodded. He wondered if Buffy felt the presence as much as he did. "Are you going to stop him?"
"No." Buffy shook her head back and forth. "I warned Xander what I would do if he tried to hurt you. He didn't listen."
"Are you sure that you can live with the consequences of this, pet?" Spike wanted the Whelp dead for what he'd done to his Mate but not at the expense of her sanity or guilt.
"If you mean will I feel guilty, then not so much. I will only hurt for how much it is going to hurt Willow." Buffy answered honestly.
"Tell him to make the boy disappear then. It will always leave a doubt as to what truly happened."
Buffy nodded. "All right. You'd better go. I don't want them to suspect you in any of it." She leaned up to kiss Spike softly. "Stay safe, Sire. We're in this together."
"I will, Childe. He may have been my Sire, but you are more important to me than ten Sires." Spike kissed Buffy's forehead and hugged her tightly before he left Giles' house. He needed to catch up to the others.
Angelus practically danced around the mansion. "The streets will be painted red tonight, my dear."
Drusilla stood with her arms crossed in a pouting fashion. She was angry at her Sire, and she wasn't going to play his game tonight.
"Come my deliciously evil queen." Angelus nipped at Drusilla's ear. "It is time to play with the kiddies and make them bleed."
"I do not wish to go, Daddy." Dru stomped her foot in a tantrum motion. "The dollies aren't going to play nice, and I don't want to be there to see them take over."
"You're talking nonsense, Dru. We have them at our mercy and surprise." Angelus turned Dru around in his arms. "We'll crush them before they even know what's hit them."
"No, Daddy. The pixies tell me that play time is over, and we are going to be punished."
Angelus growled. He threw Drusilla away from him and into the wall. "I'll not listen to such crazy meanderings Dru. I've had enough of your double talk." He stomped towards the door. "Stay if you want to, but you will pay for your insolence when I return. You will know true punishment then."
Drusilla whimpered in the corner of their bedroom. She rocked herself back and forth singing, "Ring around the rosie. Pockets full of posies. Ashes, ashes, we all fall down."
Dalton watched Angelus gather all of his minions for the mission. He faked his remorse over Spike's death to a more dramatic level. Angelus had sighed in disgust then ignored him. 'Good. One obstacle out of the way.' He watched the minions and Angelus leave the mansion.
Dalton barricaded Drusilla in her bedroom. He wasn't sure what Spike would want to do about his former lover, but they didn't need her getting loose to help Angelus. Confident that she was secured, he headed out of the mansion towards the Watcher's house.
Joyce, Giles, Willow and Spike arrived at the predetermined cemetery. Spike quickly headed into a nearby crypt to wait for the right time to strike. Joyce rearranged some chairs for the people that were showing up to honor her daughter's memory. Several students from school, a couple teachers, and some of Joyce's business associates took their seats.
Giles and Willow strategically placed several stakes under each chair with tape. They opened the casket lid slightly to slip a few more stakes in there. Buffy would have her bag of stakes with her, but you could never have too many stakes when dealing with vampires. They both took their seats while they waited for Buffy and Angelus to arrive.
The door of Giles' place opened up when Dalton arrived. It appeared that the door had opened on its own, but the whispered words of his Mistress brought understanding. "You haven't been invited, have you?"
"No Mistress. I haven't." Dalton tilted his head to the side in supplication to his Mistress.
Invisible fangs dove into his neck to take two long pulls for verification of what Buffy already knew. Dalton was loyal to her and Spike. "I'll bring him to you."
Dalton nodded. He watched the boy's unconscious body seemingly float across the living room to the door. The body was placed on the ground outside of the entrance.
"Do what you wish, but make sure no one finds the body." Buffy commanded. "He should know pain, but I will not see my other friends suffer even more because of it."
"Yes, Mistress." Dalton heaved Xander's body up over his shoulder. "It shall be done." He disappeared into the shadows of the growing darkness intent on his revenge.
Buffy headed off quickly towards the cemetery. She had to be in place very soon.
Unobserved by the others, an older woman left her place in the shrubbery that surrounded Giles' home. "A very interesting development indeed. I must check again with the others to be sure we are correct about this."
Xander groggily roused from unconsciousness to a searing pain in his limbs. He found himself stretched and tied to an X like fixture of wood. His hands and legs were each bound to a different end of the X. He was stretched out just beyond the limit of being comfortable, and the pain was slowly gaining strength.
"You're finally awake." Dalton stepped out of the shadows into the moonlight. He held a wooden stake in his hand that he slapped against his palm constantly.
"What do you want? Untie me and maybe Buffy won't stake you." Xander recognized the vampire who had visited all of them in the library a few nights ago.
Dalton laughed. "Who do you think helped me to get you?" He reveled in the look of fear on the boy's face. "That's right, little one. You broke her trust, and now you will pay for it."
Xander yelped and pulled against his bonds. The face before him was a true demon bent on revenge. Each pull against the ropes dug them into his wrists causing them to bleed. He nearly pulled his arm out of its socket to get away from the rapidly approaching vampire.
"Do you have any idea what it feels like to know your Mate or Mistress is in such pain as you caused?" Dalton stopped right in front of Xander. "Do you know the burning that it causes in your gut when you can't do a thing to help?" He slashed out the sharpened stake cutting Xander's clothes and cutting into the skin of his abdomen.
"AHHHH!" Xander screamed. A burning sensation buried within his abdomen as well as the pain from the wound created. He wondered if the tip of the stake was laden with some kind of poison.
Dalton smirked. "Oh it won't kill you." He lifted up the point of the stake to show Xander his own blood and a slippery green residue underneath it. "It will just make it hurt more."
Xander's eyes widened, and his screams were louder with the next slash of the stake deeper into his stomach from one side to the other.
"I should turn you into a vampire and torture you for decades." Dalton taunted. "Even then I would not feel satisfied that you had suffered enough." He laughed. "No one worries about the bookish vampire. Well you are learning differently, aren't you boy?"
"Ye ... yes ..." Xander stuttered. "Oh God, it hurts."
"This is nothing compared to what I could do to you." Dalton twirled the stake in his hand. He raised it to shoulder height. "Do you know what she felt? What she was willing to go through to keep you from hurting her beloved?" He rammed the stake forward into Xander's lung, near his heart. He pushed at it again to embed the wood deep enough to press the tip into the wooden X that he was attached to.
Xander screamed bloody murder, but it was no use. Wherever they were, no one was near enough to hear them. The pain was excruciating, and he found himself loosing consciousness. He wasn't able to bear the pain, and he knew he was going to die.
Dalton hated violence as a whole, but his demon rejoiced in the pain he caused the young man. Even his human side felt justified in this revenge. As the boy lost consciousness, Dalton sank his fangs into Xander's neck. He drained him to within a couple heartbeats of his last before slashing his wrist and forcing the blood down the boy's mouth.
Dalton murmured a few words that required no permission from the boy to accept. He only gave him enough blood to allow him to turn. He would barely even be strong enough to be a minion, but it wouldn't matter. He uttered a few more phrases to hasten along the turning.
The boy would be a vampire enough by morning that when he greeted the sun he would feel the pain burn through him before turning to ash. There would not be any remains to be found, save some ash that no one would be able to identify as Xander Harris.
Dalton fulfilled his promise to his Mistress and his need to avenge the wrongs committed against his family. Now it was time to head to the cemetery to aid his family against Angelus.