It seemed like an eternity as the two creatures of the night held each other's penetrating gaze. Spike's demon had slid forward the moment Angel had called to him. He may like to think he was a man, but underneath it all, he was at the mercy of the ancient, mystical forces that had mated man with demon.
Angel's call to him had been primal; filled with despair and regret, leaving Spike with the bereft knowledge that no matter what past transgressions had occurred between them; he would now do anything in his power to help the other vampire. Armed with the instinctive knowledge that the older vampire wanted his slow suicide sped up, Spike couldn't help but have his determination reaffirmed. That little niggling voice in his head would not leave him alone.
Angel could not die. It was as simple as that.
Angel tipped his head once more in silent submission, a telling event in itself as Angel in his normal state would never allow himself to become submissive to his grandchilde - soul or not.
With a heavy sigh, Spike turned to Giles. "Need to talk to you about a few things, mate."
The term 'mate' did not go unnoticed by the watcher, knowing instinctively it was not just a flippant term but rather a white flag in the face of adversity.
Giles nodded his head in a curt decisive manner and turned to the others.
"Joyce, would you be so kind as to take Willow and Xander home?"
The anticipated loud protestations soon ensued, causing Joyce and Giles to share an aggravated look over their heads.
"I'll take them home," Oz announced calmly, reaching for his girlfriend's hand.
"Thank you, Oz," Giles returned, his respect for the werewolf rising with each level-headed encounter. If only it had been Oz who had befriended Buffy on that first day of school rather than Xander.... Events most likely would have taken a much different course entirely, he thought wryly.
Giles had to respect the way Oz herded Willow and Xander out, trying to take note of the subtle yet highly effective maneuvering skills he utilized. When the door to the mansion had slammed shut in a theatrical manner, Giles sighed with relief.
With a brief glance in Joyce's direction, Giles turned his attention to Spike. "What did you wish to speak about?"
"Need to talk to Buffy first."
Without waiting for a reply, Spike grabbed Buffy's hand and drew her out of the room. When they had obtained a small measure of privacy, he gathered her carefully into his arms, a slight edge of paranoia still gripping him at having his girl in such close contact with the big poof.
He needn't have worried though. Buffy clung to him, allowing her tears to fall. But they were not the tears of a lover, even Spike could discern that. They were merely an expression of sadness over the misfortune of someone who still held a small place in her heart.
"We have to do something," Buffy whispered, now aware that Giles had entered the room and was eyeing them with impatience, her mother not far behind.
"Yeah, I know," Spike ground out, resenting the intrusion.
Buffy turned in Spike's embrace to face the two intruding adults, knowing what was going to be necessary to help Angel.
"I'm still can't believe you didn't stake Angel on sight, Giles," Buffy remarked bitterly, not wanting to entertain the thought that Angel's demise would have been preferable in this situation.
"As I told Spike, there was something that was not allowing me to carry through with my initial intent, no matter how strong the desire was,” Giles replied in agitation, ripping his glasses off in a gesture that was familiar to Buffy.
Spike nodded his head. "Yeah, Getting that same feelin'."
Giles looked at him curiously, the implications astounding. "So... you think there is some... supernatural force at work here?"
Spike snorted derisively. "Well, can pretty much tell you my last feelings were that I hated the bloody bastard. Shouldn't be having these thoughts of seeing the wanker all fleshed out, ya know? So yeah, I'm thinking something else is going on here."
Wrinkles appeared on Giles's forehead as his brow furrowed with the inference that they were dealing with an unknown that had the capability of altering their emotions.
"Yes, well, be that as it may, we are still presented with the problem of Angel not willing to eat," Giles finally announced in a tired voice.
"I can get him to feed.”
Giles looked at him sharply. "Yes, I am certain that you could. But... I was under the impression that vampires required blood from a living source in which to obtain nourishment. I do not believe your blood will suffice."
A barely discernable look passed between Buffy and Spike, one that filled Giles with a sick feeling of dread. "No. I cannot allow this."
"It's none of your business, Giles," Buffy said softly, her entire body going rigid in preparation for the backlash she was sure to follow.
"What?" Joyce asked in confusion. This is not what she had signed up for when she decided to have children, she thought with irritation. Demons and starving vampires.... Whatever happened to normal things like football games and broken curfews?
Silence met her probing question. Joyce's eyes narrowed as they landed on the Watcher. "I'd like an answer to my question, please."
Giles shoved his glasses back onto his face. "Er, Spike is suggesting that Angel be allowed to feed from him."
"And what's the problem with that?"
Again silence greeted her confusion, Buffy not really wanting to draw her mother's attention again to the fact that Spike was a vampire.
Joyce sighed with irritation then looked at the one person who she knew would answer her. "Spike?"
Spike spared a quick look at Buffy who studiously ignored his gaze as she picked at non-existent lint on her sweater. "I'll be feeding from Buffy first. That's the problem that ol' Rupert has."
Joyce's gasp was immediate, outrage and concern brimming to the surface.
"We will find another way," Giles said flatly.
"Don't be a git," Spike announced loudly.
Buffy rolled her eyes at Giles predictable reaction before addressing their concerns. "Look, he's not going to hurt me and as much as I know you don't want to hear it, it won't be the first time he's bitten me either. This needs to be done."
Giles cringed at the reminder, knowing that she had a valid point and tried to get past his own prejudices. He sighed heavily. "Very well, Buffy, if you... think this is best course of action, I won't stand in your way. However, I must insist on standing guard... just in case."
"The hell you will!" Spike yelled in outrage. “Not runnin’ a bloody peep show here, Watcher!”
Buffy's eyes rolled of their own accord once more. "Spike, chill. Giles, believe me when I tell you - it is so not necessary."
"I don't think I'm comfortable with this either," Joyce said with a frown.
Spike's jaw tensed and his eyes flashed with a surprising sense of betrayal. When he felt one small, but powerful hand on his forearm, he turned to look into her pleading eyes and his escalating resentment eased.
"They don't know you like I do," Buffy told him softly.
Spike looked over to where her mum and the Watcher were regarding them with undisguised curiosity and cursed silently. From the look of determination on Rupert's face and the hint of fear shadowing Joyce eyes, Spike knew privacy was not going to be an option here since they both seemed determined to protect Buffy at all costs.
And he couldn't really blame them for that.
Buffy looked at her mom and tried once more. "You guys can go. Really."
To Buffy's chagrin, her mom pulled more tears on her. "Oh Buffy... I just can't leave you here with even the slightest hint of danger… I just can't bear the thought of losing you again."
Buffy turned to Spike with a helpless look on her face, and he just shrugged.
Buffy sighed. "Alright, fine." She gave them both a hard look. "But no interruptions, ok? And don't... say anything."
Turning back to Spike, she jutted her chin out with determination. “So…we doing this or what?”
A wicked grin slid over Spike’s handsome face. “Oh, you can count on that.”
Buffy shot him a warning look then angled her head to the side bravely, bunching her hair in a loose ponytail with one hand to keep the blonde strands out of fangs way.
"Oh no, not doing it like that, Buffy," Spike said in a low dangerous voice that Buffy knew very well. With wicked intent, he planted his hands firmly on her shoulders and guided her purposefully backwards until her butt hit the wall on the opposite side of the room where her mother and Giles insisted on keeping watch.
"You know how you get," he whispered seductively in her ear.
Already squirming, Buffy shot him a dirty look. "Don't you dare start anything with my mother standing right there!"
"Don't have to start anything," Spike replied smugly. "Just have to do this." A low, rumbling purr sounded from his chest, and Spike rubbed his cheek against her ear to make sure she got the full affect.
Buffy's head dropped back and hit the wall. "Oh, so not fair! You made with the purries."
Slowly easing his body against hers so she was trapped against the wall, he lowered his head to lightly sniff her neck, alternately blowing short bursts of cool air over the promised site. Buffy's eyes closed against their will and she sighed with anticipation.
"I know how to get your motor revvin, Buffy," he purred into her ear.
"Good lord, do you have to turn this into such a... production?" Giles complained loudly causing Buffy's head to jerk up, her face flooding with color. Spike had actually made her forget that there were spectators in the room.
Spike turned his head around and leveled a harsh look on the Watcher. "If you don't soddin' well like it, you know where the door is. Not about to just bite her. That would make me the savage beast you seem to think I am, now wouldn't it?"
"Rupert." Joyce's voice came through in quiet reproach and he whipped his head around to regard her.
A silent battle of wills ensued until Giles finally heaved a weighty sigh and gestured to Spike to continue.
But they found that Spike had used the distraction wisely and now has his head positioned at Buffy's throat, the ridges of his demon clearly visible. Joyce and Giles watched as the vampire's throat muscles contracted as he swallowed Buffy's life blood.
But it was Buffy's reaction that disturbed them the most; her head tossed back as she willingly offered herself to Spike. The abandoned ecstasy on her face painted a disturbing image of just how much she was enjoying what Spike was doing to her.
Her hands were clutching the leather lapels of his jacket and it was clear that the denim encased knee shoved between her legs and Spike's body pressed against her was the only thing keeping her upright.
A low, rumbling sound reached their ears and Giles looked away in embarrassment. Once again he had let his strict prejudices get in the way rather than trusting his Slayer and this particular vampire. But a trustworthy vampire? It was a hard concept to wrap around his strict Council-ingrained brain. However, he was willing to work on it.
Feeling rather like a voyeur, he took Joyce by the arm and led her outside, now willing to give his charge and William the Bloody the privacy they had requested; wishing he had done so in the first place.
The look of acute pleasure on Buffy's face as Spike fed from her was one he could have done quite well without ever have seeing.
The NEXT chapter is the new one, i swear!!
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