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A/N: I know it's been a long time, but I needed to give all my attention to Aloha so I could finish it and focus on Decoy. Now that Aloha is over, I promise you won't have to wait too long for updates. I already have another chapter ready to be sent to my beta, and will start working on another one tonight. I want to thank you all for your patience and I can't wait to get your feedback.

Previously on Decoy: Spike, now living in Las Vegas, finds out through a friend that there is army activity on the site of what used to be Sunnydale. He decides to investigate and discovers that the US army believes Buffy Summers to be a terrorist. Having no choice, he makes his way to Rome to warn her, only to find out that the woman he had believed to be Buffy was only a decoy.

CHAPTER 7: Visitors

Buffy stood in a corner and watched as people walked in one after the other. The room they were using for meetings was located in the basement of the castle so it had no windows. The only furniture was a long table surrounded by chairs. A large map of the world covered one of the stone walls and there was a TV and VCR in a corner. Some of the original potentials--who, Buffy had to remind herself, were not potentials anymore but Slayers--a few witches, some watchers in training, Giles and Xander all took their place at the table while chatting animatedly. At the end of the table, a chair remained empty. On each side of it, Giles and Xander sat facing each other. This was Buffy's chair, but she seldom used it, preferring to stand during those meetings. When everyone settled down, she took her spot at the end of the table, her hands on the back of the chair, and waited patiently for them to stop talking before starting the meeting.

"We're all here? All right, let's start."

A woman with long black hair and intense violet eyes raised her hand to get Buffy's attention.

"What is it, Iris?"

Iris was a witch, and a high priestess. She was also Willow's lover. They had met briefly two summers ago during Willow's retreat in England, but Iris wasn't part of the Coven. She had always worked alone, until now. She joined the new Council a few months ago when it became clear that she could help. The timing was excellent. The affair between Willow and Kennedy had already fizzled and died, and it didn't take too long for things to heat up between the redhead and the dark haired beauty.

"Buffy, I did a locator spell on Willow."

Buffy looked surprised. "Really? I thought you were against the idea of using magic to find her because it was intrusive?"

Iris smiled softly despite the worry clearly written on her face. "I was. Still am. But with everything that's been happening, with this new enemy that we still haven't been able to identify or locate, I couldn't take the chance. If something happened to her..." She shook her head without finishing her sentence.

But she didn't need to. Everyone in the room knew Iris blamed herself for Willow's disappearance. They had a fight the night before Willow left for the States to bring back more Slayers. They disagreed on how to handle Kennedy after the new Slayer had switched sides out of jealousy. Iris thought Willow was too harsh when talking about her ex-lover and what they should do with her. Willow left angry and never returned.

"Iris," Buffy said, her voice full of understanding, "it's not your fault. If Willow did decide she needed some time alone, it wasn't because of you. She felt guilty for Kennedy's betrayal. It's stupid because it's not her fault, but you have nothing to do with this."

Everyone around the table seemed to approve, but Iris didn't look convinced.

"Anyway, that's beside the point." The witch said, effectively bringing the conversation back on topic. "Willow has more power in her little finger than I have in my entire body, but even the most powerful witch can be taken off guard when she's upset. So if there's a chance something did happen to her, I needed to know. That's why I changed my mind and did the spell."

"Did you find anything?" Giles asked.

"Yes and no." She answered cryptically.

"What do you mean?" This time, it was Xander's turn to show curiosity.

"All I know for sure is that she's in California. But it was almost as if there were two of her. The locator spell couldn't focus on only one spot. It kept moving and I couldn't pin-point her exact location."

"And do you think you could use another spell? Something that would be a bit more specific?" Buffy asked.

Iris shook her head. "I don't think so. I used my most powerful spell."

"All right. Something is definitely going on then. Willow was a high priority before, but now I'm bumping her right up there next to bachelor number one and bachelor number two."

At the "what the Hell are you talking about" look she got from some of the young Slayers, Buffy specified. "Ya know... The mysterious vamp who's working on siring half of Europe and is on a Slayer killing spree, and the even more mysterious man he works for? Hello! Have I been talking to myself at these meetings for the past two months?"

They had the decency to look ashamed.

Buffy rolled her eyes. "You really should have learned to translate Buffy humor by now. Anyway, so to conclude the Willow thing, at this point, I really don't care if she gets upset that we used magic to find her. I understand the need to get away from all this--believe me, I do--but screw the need for solitude. If that's really all she wanted, then she can tell us once we find her... safe and sound. I'm going to send the Slayers we have in California to the approximate locations you found, Iris. If she'd there, they'll find her."

The witch looked relieved.

Buffy addressed other problems and transmitted information that had been given to her by informants all over Europe before bringing up the last topic of the day.

"Any development on my sister's ridiculous, yet huge problem?"

Dawn had been super sized into a giant by her stupid boyfriend and Buffy was secretly convinced she'd done it on purpose to annoy her. As if she didn't have enough to worry about already. She couldn't remember exactly, but the day it happened must have been a Tuesday. It was Dawn's favorite day to get in trouble. It didn't look like she was about to break tradition any time soon.

This time, Giles was the one to answer. "Yes. I talked to the Coven in England and they seem to have found a way to reverse what has been done to Dawn. But they need to find the man who caused her predicament first. It shouldn't be too long, Buffy."

She sighed in relief. "Good. Because she's getting increasingly whiny. And since her voice is so much louder now, it's doubly annoying. I can hear her all the way in my bedroom."

The look on everybody's face told her that so could they.

"I can hear you, ya know!" Dawn's booming voice could be heard through the stone walls.

"See what I mean?" Buffy rolled her eyes. "Now next point in the meeting--and I just added this one--moving the meeting room from the basement to the top floor... or possibly another castle so Dawn can't interrupt. All in favor?"

"HEY! I can STILL hear you!"

Everyone laughed, until the ground shook, probably from Dawn stomping her foot.

"DAWN!" Buffy yelled.



A castle in Scotland. For a large group of people in hiding and running a rather large secret operation, it was the ideal location. For the ones driving to get there, definitely less ideal. Ancient castles, unfortunately, are often remote, and that was the case for this one. The road leading there was narrow and sinuous. Add to that a Citroen way past retirement age, and Andrew’s driving, and you had everything needed to cause a severe headache.

Contorted in a seat not fit for a small child, wrapped in a blanked that reeked of mold and other unidentified smells, and suffering from a mild concussion due to the numerous bumps in the road and the low ceiling, Spike started to miss his wooden crate. If it wasn’t for the sun shining high and bright, he would be walking the rest of the way. Unfortunately, he couldn’t walk and he couldn’t drive himself.

After an hour of this, the car slowed down as it approached a large stone structure perched right on top of a green hill. Spike stopped complaining and stared at it, suddenly realizing that this was it. Buffy was somewhere behind those thick walls and he was about to see her again. For some reason, he was more nervous than he had been while knocking on what he thought to be her door in Rome. It somehow felt more official now.

Andrew parked the car in front then turned to Spike. “I didn’t tell anybody you were coming but I’m starting to think that was a mistake. What if one of the Slayers decides to try to kill you?”

“I haven’t lived this long without knowing how to take care of myself.”

“Fine. But if Buffy is pissed, you better make sure no one blames me. It was your idea to come here.”

Spike smirked. “No worries mate, I’ll make sure to tell them it’s all your fault.” He opened the door and bolted in direction of the main entrance, the blanket safely wrapped around him. He chuckled when Andrew protested loudly.


As the late afternoon sun set on the horizon, a white yacht the size to rival any commercial cruise ship slowly navigated its way into Edinburgh’s marina. The sparkling water splashed gently against the pristine white hull of the boat, making the scene deceptively peaceful, especially considering the intentions of the passengers onboard the ship.

In the main cabin, Juliette was sitting on a royal blue velvet couch, well protected from the sun by specially tinted windows. Wearing a yellow Versace mini dress and gold high heels, her long legs crossed elegantly, she was sipping on Champagne and looking at the man she loved.

Daniel Delongpres was standing at the window and keeping a watchful eye on the activities on the deck where a few humans employed by him were throwing cables on the pier.

Wavy blond hair grazed his collar, his broad shoulders filled out his Armani suit perfectly, and emphasized his small waist and firm ass; just looking at him could still send lustful thoughts racing through her head even after all these centuries spent together. He was her sire, her lover and her partner in crime.

He had turned her only a few months after becoming a vampire himself, in 1663. He was only a fledgling and hadn’t asked permission, which caused a rift with his own sire. At the time, Daniel was a disgraced Baron who had insulted King Louis XIV by openly flirting with the Queen, and Juliette was the King’s flavor of the day. She hadn’t been the King’s mistress long enough to even make it into history books, but long enough that turning her and taking her away was the perfect vengeance. The only thing Daniel hadn’t expected was to fall for her. They hadn’t left each other’s side since.

“Juliette, darling, are you ready to go?”

Her mind had been wandering so far away that she didn’t notice him there until he crouched down in front of her and spoke her name. She caressed his cheek and kissed him lightly before smiling at him.

“Oui mon amour. But before we go, I was wondering...”

“What is it, beautiful? You know you can have anything you want.”

“That big redhead sailor you hired, can I have him as a snack? He looks delicious.”

Daniel laughed heartily, throwing his head back.

“Hey! Mais tu ries de moi?!”

“No darling, I’m not laughing at you. You’re just so adorable, it warms my cold dead heart.” He turned his head to one of his men standing by the door. “Mark.”

“Yes sir?”

“Get Jason, would you? Tell him we need to talk to him.”

Mark left without a word.

Juliette clapped her hands happily, a big smile on her glossy lips.

“Alright, ma jolie, but as soon as you’re done, we need to go. My informants tell me there’s a lot of Slayer activity in Scotland. I can’t wait to get this party started.”

She flashed him her pearly whites. “I’ll be quick. Believe me, I can’t wait for the fun to begin either.”

“I love you.”

“Je t’aime aussi.”


A loud commotion upstairs took Buffy's attention away from the digital screens on which Xander and she had been watching an operation in progress. She looked at her old friend questioningly, but he only shrugged, indicating that he was as clueless as she was.

"Do you think we're under attack?" She asked.

"Doesn't sound like it. Sounds more like party squeals than battle cries. A little like when Faith comes marching back into town like the prodigy child or something. You know how popular our little reformed psycho Slayer is with the girls. Mind boggling, really." He shook his head disapprovingly.

"Yeah well, Faith and Robin are a little busy in Cleveland, so I doubt it's her."

Things had been crazy on the Cleveland Hellmouth and Faith and her crew had their hands full trying to keep things under control.

"Why don't you go check it out, Buf? I'll keep my one eye on the Moscow operation."

Buffy made a face. "Would you stop with the eye jokes? It's sooo last year." She stuck her tongue out playfully and turned on her heels and made her way out.

“But, it’s all I have! The eye jokes and the pirate jokes. Don’t take that away from me, it‘s cruel.” Xander whined. Grinning, Buffy poked her head through the doorway. “You still have the Austin Power jokes... Number One.”

“Hey! Not funny!”

He could hear her chuckling as she made her way up the stairs. He rolled his eye and went back to work.

When Buffy walked into the main room of the castle, she stopped and looked around in confusion. The Sunnydale Slayers were gathered in a circle, looking excited and talking all at once, with the newer Slayers standing about looking as confused as Buffy felt. Giles, standing with his back to her, was talking to whoever the Slayers were surrounding. She finally cleared her throat.

“Hey guys... What’s going on here?”

When nobody seemed to hear her, she tried again. “HELLO? Will somebody tell me what’s happening or should I guess?”

An eerie silence fell over the room. She couldn’t tell why, but she got scared and her heart started beating faster. As if she knew something big was about to happen. But not in her wildest dream could she have imagined what took place next.

The crowd parted. Looking nervous and uncomfortable, Giles turned to look at her, then, after a moment of hesitation, he stepped aside.

It’s funny how you can be staring straight at a ghost, but for a few seconds, you won’t even notice it because your brain would rather focus on something that doesn’t terrify it as much.

She saw Andrew. She frowned and blinked a few times, not understanding what the big deal was about. The seconds ticked by slowly on the big clock.

Then she saw him. And the world stopped turning on its axis.



Her face was white, her hands shaking, and she looked anything but pleased.


“How dare you show up here.” She whispered through her teeth.

Before anybody could react, Buffy surprised everybody by launching herself at the vampire. He tried taking a step back, but couldn’t avoid her and she collided with his very hard, and very real chest, then landed ungracefully on her ass. Spike lost his balance under the attack too and fell back.

They all stared at the scene in shock, but strangely, no one looked more surprised than Buffy herself.

“Bloody buggering hell! What was that for?!” Spike yelled, a stunned look on his handsome face.

But Buffy was still staring in silence, her eyes tearing up. She gasped as if she couldn’t catch her breath and backed up along the floor, pushing herself quickly with her feet. Giles approached her and reached down to try to help her up, but she weakly slapped his hand away. She finally found her voice, barely.

“You... First.... You’re not. Oh my GOD. Real…”

And then she did the very unslayery thing and burst into tears.

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