Revenge For Love - (9) Family & Friends - Part 2
Chapter Summary: Xander got a taste of just how fangy Buffy is now when he opened his mouth with one too many remarks against Spike. Willow seems a bit skittish, but supportive. Giles is in research mode. Joyce has a lot of questions, and I'm sure she is going to be demanding some answers from Giles and Buffy. What will happen when Joyce shows up at Giles' door? Will Spike and Buffy be able to stay away from each other when they sleep? Have the pixies been talking to Dru again yet?
A HUGE Thank You to Tam for beta'ing this chapter for me. My brain has been pretty scrambled with everything going on lately. She helped to make sure that this chapter made the sense that I wanted it to. Thanks Tam!
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.
Joyce Summers woke to the first rays of the sun streaming through Buffy's open window. She had spent the whole night in Buffy's bed fighting through one horrible nightmare after another. In so many of them, she watched her little girl fall at the hands of the disfigured creatures that Buffy wrote about in her diary.
Joyce sat up in the bed, rubbing the remnants of sleep from her eyes. Each nightmare slipped back into her conscious memory. Some images seemed more like real memories than nightmares. The more she thought about it, the more various events made more sense to her. 'I've seen these vampires before.'
"How could I have been so blind?" Joyce muttered out loud. "That is what those people were at Parent/Teacher night." She snorted. "Gang members on PCP. How could I have been so gullible?"
Something Buffy had said to her a long time ago came back to slap her in the face. "Sometimes people only see what they want to see because they aren't ready for the truth." At the time, Joyce believed that Buffy was being sarcastic. Apparently not.
Joyce had done exactly that. Instead of listening to her daughter's early Slayer ramblings, she had brushed it off as Buffy being a rebellious teenager. She'd thought Buffy was using imaginary creatures to excuse her destructive behavior.
For the last two years, Joyce had chastised Buffy for being lazy or irresponsible when she was in fact doing the exact opposite. Her daughter had been forced to grow up and fight a darkness that Joyce could not imagine having to deal with as a child. She had so many questions and no clear idea who to get the answers from. What was the name of her Watcher? Wasn't it something Giles?
"Wait a minute." Joyce stood up, left Buffy's room and headed downstairs. "He's the school librarian." She dug through various bills, papers, and other notes on her desk. When she located the Sunnydale High staff directory, she thumbed through the various sections until she found what she was looking for. "Rupert Giles."
Joyce picked up the phone and started to dial information then hung up. "Maybe I should call Willow's house first? The girls should both be there this early on a Saturday." She thought about some of the entries in Buffy's diary. "Never mind. She probably isn't even there."
With a sigh Joyce picked up the phone again to call information. She hastily wrote down the phone number and address she was given. She marched back up the stairs for a quick shower and a change of clothes. She wanted some answers to her questions, and she promised herself to give this Mr. Giles a piece of her mind, face-to-face. How dare a grown man hide something like this from her about her own daughter?
Spike and Buffy slept simultaneously in different locations. Buffy was curled up in Giles' bed alone. Likewise Spike lay in his bed at the mansion by himself. Though apart, both seemed to travel to the same plane in their dreams.
Spike stood behind Buffy who was sitting on a wooden board. The board was attached to a large tree branch by two long ropes to complete the old-fashioned swing. He rested his hands comfortably on her shoulders while he looked out over their surroundings. It seemed so peaceful here.
Buffy's feet dangled close to the ground. If she tilted her foot she could reach the ground on her tiptoes. Off in the distance the sun lay heavy on the horizon. She felt no need to run for cover. Her skin didn't even tingle in concern or worry. "Spike?" She couldn't feel the approaching sun, but she could feel Spike's presence.
"Yes, Kitten?" Spike looked down at the golden aura that surrounded Buffy in the sunlight.
"How are we in the sun?" Buffy knew this all had to be a dream, but everything felt so real. She was drawn to Spike's essence as if he were physically standing behind her.
"Hell if I know." Spike admired the beauty of the sunlight rolling over the hills. Without his vampiric sense of time he hadn't realized that the sun was actually rising. "It must be a dream, but you shouldn't be here."
Buffy toed off the ground to twist the swing around to face in the opposite direction. "And why shouldn't I be here?" She grabbed the lapels of Spike's duster to hold herself stationary. "Should I be hurt that you don't think you should be dreaming about me?"
"No, you silly chit." Spike tweaked the end of Buffy's nose. "I can feel you here." He placed his hand over his heart. "And here." He tapped his right temple with a fingertip.
"So?" Buffy replied with a hint of agitation in her voice. If she wasn't so new to being a vampire, she never would have fallen asleep without Spike. She refused to be upset at the opportunity to feel him in her dreams. "I need to feel you here with me. Why don't you want me here?"
It nearly broke Spike's heart to see the pain and doubt in his Mate's eyes. "Luv, I want you here." He inhaled a deep unnecessary breath. "But if we are still connected enough to share a dream, it could create enough of a draw to alert Angelus and Dru."
Buffy relaxed a little bit. She wrapped her arm around Spike's waist. "Please don't make me leave so soon." She softly played up to his more emotional side in the hopes that she could get him to forget the logic. This was a dream. No one should be able to ruin it for them.
"You are safe for now." A tall dark-haired man stepped beyond the copse of trees into the open. "No one can feel the pull of your presence outside of this place."
"Who ..." Buffy's question was halted by the emergence of a younger looking female who exuded a sense of power well beyond her appearance of age.
"Spirits from another realm guard this place. You are not tied to your former reality here," she explained to Buffy and Spike.
The man walked alongside the woman. Their hands were clasped together. Spike's nostrils flared at the power of their scent and essence. These two were claimed by each other. The warning marks and signatures were obvious.
Buffy picked up on the claim. She tilted her head to the side in curiosity. They had to be vampires. Even though she couldn't remember seeing them before, she felt like she knew at least the woman. "Why are other vampires in our dreams Spike? I hope this isn't one of your kinky fantasies because I have to say that I don't think I'm ready for a group thing yet."
Before Spike answered, the other vampire laughed wholeheartedly. "She is just as feisty as you my darling."
The woman hid her chuckle behind a hand covering her mouth. She found the blond woman's antics adorable. There had been so much to learn after she was turned. This blond seemed to take it more in stride than she had. "I have a feeling that she will learn much faster than I did, beloved." She settled her gaze on Buffy. "She has many who will protect her. They might just make it."
"As amusing as this repartee is turning out to be ... Who the bloody Hell are you?" A draw of kinship filtered around him, but something was unusual about these two.
Buffy slipped off the swing. She cautiously moved a little closer to the woman. Something about her called out to her. It told Buffy she was family, almost like ... sister! "Were you a Slayer?"
Spike's head snapped up to meet the two unknown vampire's gazes. "Slayer?" He growled low. He stood next to Buffy ready to make a hasty retreat if necessary. Were his vampire senses so off that he couldn't tell a Slayer from a vampire anymore? Turned Slayers still killed vampires. He couldn't take the chance that this woman would try to kill Buffy.
"You're partially right," The young woman replied. The man gripped his Mate's hand tighter. "We are sisters in more ways than one now."
The elder vampire faced Spike directly. "I'm surprised that you haven't figured out our identities already, William." He grinned in delight at Spike's discomfort. He always enjoyed a good tease, especially at someone else's expense.
"Don't tease him too much dear." The female waggled a finger of caution at her Mate. "So much has happened in such a short time. All he cares about is the safety of his Childe and Mate. Surely you remember that feeling."
Spike moved beyond the point of being irritated while they talked about him as if he wasn't standing right there. "If someone doesn't start making sense soon, there are plenty of trees around here to turn you to dust with," He snarled.
"You should learn some patience young man. Rushing about recklessly has always been your weakness." The male poked a finger into Spike's chest. "We've waited almost 400 years for your arrival. You can wait ten minutes for our explanations."
"400 ... Bloody Hell!" Spike exclaimed.
"Oh my! OH MY!" Buffy trembled in Spike's arms. "Antoinette?"
Antoinette nodded. "Yes Buffy. I am Antoinette." She smiled warmly at the man next to her. "This is my ever annoying but beloved Sire and Mate, Charmand."
"But you're dead?" Buffy was highly confused. "I mean really dead as in dusty dead." Every time she thought her day couldn't get any stranger, it did. "Yet you're here together?"
Charmand curled his arm around Antoinette's waist. "We are here as proof that the 'Powers That Be' sometimes get things right. It's not a common occurrence on their part."
Antoinette playfully slapped Charmand's shoulder. "We have a mission, and it doesn't include bashing deities. Not today at least." She chuckled. "Save that for the next time we see them."
"Why are the bloody Powers That Be sending you to us?" Spike questioned with a roll of his eyes.
"For one thing, you needed to know that you are not alone," Charmand started off talking and Antoinette finished. "We can honestly say that we know what you feel, at least some of it."
Buffy tugged on Spike's arm. 'Maybe they can tell us why I can touch crosses.'
"Your soul is stronger than your vampire side." Antoinette answered Buffy's thoughts out loud. "That is a good sign."
"Oi, stay out of our heads," Spike protested. "We have enough trouble keeping thoughts straight between the two of us without two more sets waltzing around in there."
"Sorry, it's a habit you pick up after nearly 400 years of being together." Antoinette motioned to the air around him. "Here, nothing is hidden." She settled her gaze on Buffy. 'We are not hidden from you either.' She thought to her sister Slayer.
Buffy jumped at the female voice in her head. "Okay, that was way weird." She swatted at the air in front of her as if she was trying to swat at a fly to shoo it away.
Charmand laughed. "She is delightful." His eyes twinkled in joy when he looked over at Spike again. "You are going to have your hands full for eternity with that one, you know that right? You are bound for eternity."
"Kind of had that figured out since we claimed each other, you git." Spike sat down on the swing. He pulled Buffy into his lap, rocking back and forth slowly.
"May I slap the Whelp, love?" Charmand rolled his eyes at the sky. "You all really hate me, don't you?"
Antoinette patted Charmand's arm. "He's young, dear. He doesn't know any better."
"I am NOT a child!" Spike protested.
Buffy laughed at the petulant tone in Spike's voice. "Don't have a tantrum now, Sire."
Spike pinched Buffy's waist. "Watch it, Childe. I'll turn you over my knee," he teased.
Antoinette leaned into Charmand. She laid her head down on his shoulder. "I wonder if they realize just how much they care for each other, yet," she whispered softly.
Charmand caressed his fingers down Antoinette's arm lightly. He cleared his throat. As much as he wanted to let them have their fun, he knew their time here was limited. "You are bound to her more than in the normal plane, William."
Buffy stopped squirming on Spike's lap. Both of them focused their attention on Charmand and Antoinette.
"Have you claimed each other several times already?" Charmand asked the question with a raised brow. Somehow he couldn't fathom these two as being celibate.
"Um ..." Buffy blushed. She tucked her head into Spike's shoulder.
"Yeah, mate. We did." Spike answered for the two of them. "Haven't kept track, but she's fed from me several times too. Except for the last feeding, she's drank all her blood from me."
"So you consumed the blood, and then she drank from you?" Charmand questioned. That was strange behavior for a vampire, even a more human one. Such filtration was a gift to the Childe, beyond a normal bond.
"Yeah, that's what I did." Spike narrowed his gaze on the other Master Vampire. "I want her to be as strong as possible."
"Interesting." Antoinette added. She noticed the confused look on Buffy's face and attempted to explain why that was unusual. "Sire's blood is the most potent for his Childe. His strength flows through the blood as well as his control."
Buffy nodded as she listened. She'd noticed the flow of Spike's power each time she drank from him. She felt stronger each time she ate and more aware of everything around her.
"By giving you so much of his blood, he is creating an equal." Antoinette further explained. "Most Sires don't want someone to be as strong as them. Even a strong Childe would not be given what you have. In a vampire sense, it shows that you are treasured above all. It shows that he considers you his match and not some automaton to simply do his bidding."
"I knew it was a gift, but I had no idea how much of a gift." Buffy cupped Spike's face with her hand. "You see me as your equal?"
"Of course, luv." Spike kissed Buffy's palm. "Even when we were enemies, I admired and respected the way you fought. Your passion and fire thrilled me with every battle. I always saw you as my equal."
"Yet you decided to keep me your equal even after death? You could have had me at your mercy to do your every bidding." Buffy's voice was full of emotion.
"I would never want you to be anything but what you are, Buffy." Spike nuzzled his face into Buffy's neck. He licked the twin scars of his mark, purring. "Anything else would demean who you are, and I love you just as you are ... sassiness and all."
"Love?" Buffy's head jerked to the side to look at Spike. "Do you mean that?" She was surprised at the admission, but she also knew that he was telling the truth.
"I've never been good at telling love from crushes, but if what I feel for you isn't love, then I don't ever want to be in love," Spike answered honestly. Somehow it seemed easier to articulate the words here in this realm. He didn't even feel too poncy for saying it either. "All I want is you, Mate."
"Oh Spike," Buffy sighed. "Everything inside of me tells me that I love you too." She snuggled in his arms and purred. "It's why it kills me a little bit every minute we are apart."
"It won't be for too much longer, pet. I have some plans in motion to get me back to you sooner."
"You are going to have to use it a lot sooner than you think, William." Charmand interrupted the touching scene between the two vampires. "Angelus doesn't know about Buffy, but his jealousy is going to force your hand."
Spike thought about the amulet in the box back at the mansion. "It will work?"
Charmand nodded. "It will, but not quite how you think it will." He started to say more, but Antoinette hushed him.
"He has to find out on his own, Charmand."
"Sometimes working for the Powers is frustrating. You never know when enough is too much," Charmand sighed. "I can tell you that you will not be separated even if one of you perishes. I believe your bookish friend mentioned a light that surrounds you when you exchange the claim?"
"Yes, Dalton said something about that." Buffy traced circles on Spike's chest while she listened.
"Your soul is very strong, Buffy, and it carries itself throughout all that you do and share," Antoinette explained. "You share everything with William, even that."
"You aren't saying that I am bloody well gaining a soul, are you?" Spike grumbled. "I am not going to become like that brooding ..."
"It doesn't work like that, William," Charmand interrupted. "Angelus buried his humanity a long time ago. He destroyed his soul completely. The curse was the only thing to bring even a sliver of it back."
"So how is this any different? I haven't exactly been a good boy for the last hundred years," Spike answered sarcastically. "My soul isn't all pristine and shiny."
"You still gave yourself limits. I'm not saying that it isn't quite a bit tarnished, but you never destroyed your humanity." Charmand stepped forward to place a hand on Spike's shoulder in camaraderie. He knew what it was like to feel the battle for dominance between the human and demon sides. "You fought to keep your emotions out of the foreground, but you never pushed them completely away. Your passion, tenacity, and love are as much a part of you as your demon."
"You did care for Drusilla for almost a hundred years, Spike," Buffy added. "You loved her enough to stay by her side even when Angelus left you both. Most would have just left her to die."
"It wouldn't have been right to do," Spike muttered.
"That kind of thinking is exactly why your soul was never completely gone." Antoinette smiled warmly at the confused vampire. "The connection to Buffy, and the sharing of her blood, binds you both more with each claim. Her soul calls out to yours just as much as her demon does. You'll notice the effects more as time goes by, but I'm sure you've already felt less of a need to kill innocents."
"If you can call the Watcher and the Whelp innocent, yeah," Spike huffed. "But I had just fed before that. Besides, didn't want Buffy to feel bad about killing her friend."
"Fresh kills can never be replaced by bagged blood. You know that, William." Charmand, who had lived as a vampire for over 150 years, knew the draw for the hunt. "You have controlled your demon well before. This is just a little bit of help to make it easier on you to do so."
Spike nodded. "At least I get credit for controlling it a lot even before the bitty soul."
"Those who would belittle your humanity do not know what they are talking about."
"Hear that, pet?" Spike smiled at Buffy. "How do you think the Watcher would feel about hearing that?"
Buffy giggled. "What about ..." Her voice dropped off into thin air and her body disappeared from Spike's lap.
"Buffy!" Spike screamed as he scrambled off of the swing to find his Mate. "Where is she?"
"Something must have pulled her attention back to her natural reality." Charmand looked to Antoinette for her thoughts.
Antoinette nodded. "Something must have awakened her. She should be all right."
"Should be?" Spike was mad. "That had better be definitely."
"It all depends on where she fell asleep at. If the place she was at is safe, then she is safe," Charmand explained.
Joyce Summers banged on the door to Rupert Giles' home. She had tried knocking more lightly a couple times already. The longer it took for the man to answer the door, the more upset she became.
A disheveled Giles opened the door to the frantic looking woman. "Mrs. Summers?" He asked groggily. "To what do I owe the pleasure?"
Joyce pushed past Giles into his home. She was mad enough that manners and proper etiquette didn't matter to her anymore. She had ended up calling Willow's house before she left, and Willow's mother hadn't seen Buffy in the last few days.
"Do come in." Giles rolled his eyes. He shut the door and faced Joyce head on.
"I want to know where my daughter is," Joyce spoke bluntly and straight to the point. "I know she's not at Willows, and I want to see her. Now!"
Giles eyes automatically looked towards the stairs that led up to his bedroom. A quick look to his watch told him that it was only 4 hours since they both went to bed. She wasn't going to be ready to wake up yet. "She is safe, Mrs. Summers."
"I didn't ask if she was safe, Mr. Giles," Joyce fumed. "And frankly I don't trust that you are telling me the truth after all the lies you've fed me."
"Lies?" Giles was flustered. "I've never lied to you, Mrs. Summers."
"Not telling someone something they should know is still a lie by omission. I know that she's some sort of vampire slayer." Joyce thrust Buffy's diary into Giles' hands. "I also know that you send her out to kill these creatures every night knowing that they could kill my little girl."
"Mrs. Summers, please sit down. Let's talk about this as civilized adults."
"I don't want to sit down." Joyce stomped her foot much like a two year old would in a temper fit. "I want some answers."
"Buffy is sleeping, and we need to be quiet. She's had a rough time of it lately." Giles tried to calm Joyce down. "I'll fix us some tea."
"I know all about that Angel fellow. A lot more than I ever wanted to know about him too." Joyce cringed. Buffy's diary went into a lot of details about her relationship with Angel and the night she slept with him. "Buffy is here, isn't she?"
"Yes, she is, but as I said before she is sleeping." Giles filled the teakettle with water and put it on the back burner of the stove.
"I want to see her now." Joyce walked towards the stairs.
Giles ran in front of Joyce. "You shouldn't go up there. She needs her rest."
"What are you trying to hide, Mr. Giles?" Joyce tried to twist away from Giles. "She's my daughter. You can't keep me from her!"
"Yeah, she should be safe." Spike ran his fingers through his hair nervously. "She's with her Watcher."
Antoinette gasped. "Are you sure that he won't try to stake her?" Louis had been very understanding of her and Charmand, but Charmand had also saved his life. Would Buffy's Watcher be the same way?
"He might stake me, but he wouldn't do anything to harm Buffy," Spike reassured the ex-slayer. "He loves her like a daughter, it seems."
"Good." Antoinette relaxed a little again. "We don't have much time left. You have the amulet, correct?"
"Yes. The Watcher has Louis' book. He's researching it further."
"The Council can't be told about any of this, William," Charmand was adamant in his command. "They will seek you both out and destroy you at all costs. If the two of you are lost, who knows when the next opportunity will occur. It took nearly 400 years from the last time."
"For what to occur?" Spike questioned.
"Too many factors have to be right for a Slayer to be turned and mated, William," Charmand sighed. "We are a rare breed of vampire, and it takes a very special Slayer to see that."
"Buffy didn't have much of a choice in this one. Something in me just couldn't let her die like that."
"She did accept you when she awoke, though." Charmand insisted. "Most Slayers would just stake their Sire. She is special. Like my Antoinette, your Buffy's Slayer demon realized that the two of you belonged together. That couldn't have happened if Buffy hadn't felt some sort of attraction to you before her death."
"I've smelled her arousal whenever we fought, but I always thought it was just a Slayer thing," Spike snorted with delight. "You know the thrill of the fight and all."
"It was more than that," Antoinette interjected. "Fighting does turn Slayers on, but not to the levels that it did when you two were fighting each other. That was far from normal."
"How do you know that?"
"Because of how you are with each other now." Antoinette twisted her hands together. "If you had only fought at regular levels, you wouldn't be so drawn to each other now."
The sun started to sink to the horizon. Charmand's shadow draped over Spike's body. "I don't know when or if we will see each other again, but know that you aren't alone."
Charmand hurried his words along. He felt the pull of the Powers calling them back. "The flux of power is changing, William. Follow your heart, and you will be steered in the right direction."
"The father shall perish, and the mother will become the child," Antoinette spoke softly but loud enough to be heard. "The circle will be banished, and the coven brought forward. A friend will become the enemy, and an enemy will be the protector." She cupped Spikes cheek with her hand and leaned down to place a soft kiss on his forehead. "Be careful, fair warrior, and take care of my sister."
"The path is not easy, but you are going to be given a chance that we did not have." Charmand looked at Antoinette sadly. "Don't let anyone take it away from you. You both belong in the light, together."
As the mystical sun set Spike vanished from his dream and into wakefulness, and he wasn't alone.
"Dru?" He looked up into the eyes of his former love. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"You can't keep me from her!" The shouting grew louder the longer Buffy laid there. She growled and jumped out of bed. Not only was she still very tired, but also she'd just been ripped from Spike's arms to the sound of bickering downstairs.
A very cranky and sleepy Buffy threw on the nearest piece of clothing she could find which happened to be one of Giles button down dress shirts. She hastily buttoned the shirt and stomped down the stairs not even realizing that she was in full game face. "What the hell is going on down here? Can't a girl get any sleep even when she's dead?"
Joyce Summers looked up at what sounded like her daughter. She stared, open-mouthed, at a face that both did and did not look like Buffy. "Buffy? Your face?" she stuttered.
"Giles?" Buffy's gaze flitted between Giles and her mother.
"You're ... you're ... oh no!" With those last words Joyce Summers passed out right into Giles' arms.
Drusilla tweaked the end of Spike's nose. "Time for my little doggie to wake up." She danced her fingers down Spike's chest.
Spike sat up abruptly. He grabbed Dru's hand and growled. "Not yours to play with anymore, Dru."
Dru gazed into the fiery gaze of Spike's now golden eyes. "You really are lost to Mummy, aren't you?"
Spike shook off his demon face. "I don't know what you mean, pet. I just don't like you touching me smelling like the poofter." He tried to brush off his disgust at her touching him.
"You are going to come and play with all the other kiddies today, Spike." Dru pulled a t-shirt over Spike's head. Spike laid stiff legged while Dru pulled up a pair of black jeans and fastened them. "You've been alone in here too long. Time to be a nice boy." She tucked her arm under Spike's knees, lifting him out of the bed.
"Dru, I don't want to go anywhere. I want to stay in my room," Spike argued with the woman he once felt was his destiny. He was silently grateful that Dru refused to let him mate with her several decades ago. What he had now was so much better than anything he could ever had with Dru.
Dru ordered one of the newest minions around when she carried Spike into the main area of the mansion. "Go get the chair and bring it to me." She twirled around a couple times with Spike in her arms. "Daddy won't listen to me, but maybe you will. I miss you, Spike. I don't want to lose my happy family."
Spike forced himself not to get sick from the spinning. He was still a bit disorientated from being pulled from the other realm. He clutched Drusilla tightly out of necessity, not want.
Angelus watched Spike and Dru from a shadowed corner. It angered him to see Dru giving any attention to his wayward Childe. 'She's only supposed to be thinking about me. I'm all the family she needs.' His frown twisted into a vicious sneer. 'I think it is time for dear Willie to meet his maker permanently.'