"Parent-Teacher Night, eh?"

Spike's brand new minion nodded, desperately eager to please. Seeing her made him glad Dru had done him properly, and that Angelus hadn't interfered.

Spike liked to think he would never have been such a pathetic specimen, that a botched turning wouldn't have left him as a brainless automaton, unable to resist the bloodlust, caring only for his sire's approval, but the mere idea it could've happened was horrific. And if he'd been a minion for Angelus...

Bless Dru and her wild mind, the way the voices in her head sometimes made her slip away and do things of which Angelus and Darla definitely did not approve.

He forced his attention back to the minion, who was still watching him with a sickeningly sycophantic expression on its face. "Tonight, at the school?" The thought was so tempting. He wasn't particularly inclined to be patient at the best of times, and he knew, he just knew, the fight was gonna be a good one. The golden girl he'd danced with... he could hardly wait to dance with her again.


"And you're sure she'll be there?"

Another nod, and a hopeful, needy smile.

This weak-minded chit, she would've been a minion even if he'd taken the time and effort to do it properly. No strength of will at all. Completely in thrall to the demon inside her head, and easily manipulated by her betters - really, an embarrassment to the species. But she'd been a meal for Dru, and it seemed she might even come in handy getting close to the Slayer. Spike congratulated himself on his excellent taste in victims.

"How'd you know all this?"

She practically tripped over herself trying to explain. "She has to be there - she'll get expelled - the principal - have to do it together. She'll be there, honest!"

Spike gave her a dark look, and she shuddered at the unspoken threat of his disapproval. He stifled the urge to roll his eyes. The unthinking loyalty was useful, but still pathetic.

He appreciated real loyalty, true respect, and that was something of which this creature would likely never be capable. He understood devotion; he would do almost anything for Dru, after all. But that was because he loved her and he chose to, not because he was incapable of doing anything else. Told her no when she wanted hit, yeah? Knew how to take care of her. Knew to bring her here when she'd wanted to stay in Prague, where the mob would've taken her away from him forever.

He shuddered in horror. No, he was no subject, but losing Dru was not a thought he was willing to contemplate. If Dru weren't sick, he'd be savouring the chase a whole lot more - his third Slayer! - but this was about necessity, not pleasure. Dru came first.

Speaking of which, he needed to concentrate on the business at hand. This was no time to get distracted. Even a good brawl with Buffy (no, with the Slayer) was not why he was here in Sunnydale; it was all about curing Dru, and he needed to remember that.

"So..." He cocked his head to one side and eyeballed his eager little minion. "The Slayer, she trusts you, right?"

The thing (what was its name? Shelley? Sharon?) shrugged and screwed up its face for a second as it thought. The expression looked weird with her game face on, but it was the first speck of actual personality she'd shown since rising. "Don't know. But I'm s'posed to be helping her."

Spike nodded. If nothing else, Buffy hadn't a clue the girl had been turned, and that might be useful. She was expecting trouble at the weekend - they'd have the element of surprise. And he really, really wanted an excuse not to wait. "Best practise losing the fangs, love. She'll stake you on sight if you can't."

The minion's eyes opened wide in fear, and her hands flew to her face. At least she had the sense to be properly terrified by the threat. He'd see how she did tonight, and if she didn't give him cause to stake her... well, he might even bother to learn her name.