A/N: OK, it has been a while and my deepest apologies. There was a
teeny little problem with the story and I think I fixed it, the plot
concerning why Brandubh would be helping the likes of a slayer bothered
me. So I went back and slightly revised some. I know, moan and groan.
Therefore, if you happened to have been reading it before, you may want
to take a gander at what I changed. Nothing much, I swear. And I will
try my best to update more often!
By the way, thank you to all the readers and especially to those who reviewed. It makes me happy to see someone is actually reading this!!
Disclaimer: No characters portrayed in this short story are mine except Aelwyn (AL win), Gaelargh (Gale are), Brandubh (Brawn doov) McDonogh, Kyle McTavish and Eamonn (AY mun) and whoever else pops up along the way from the past.
Previously on Blarney: A slayer from the past along with her sorceress sidekick, happen upon a cluricaun caught in the middle of a fight out in an enchanted glen. His story is yet a mystery but he claims he is to aid the chosen one, it's his destiny. Later, the slayer joins forces with another mysterious character, a vampire who seems to be on the side of good as well. Meanwhile, back in the present in SunnyD, a certain slayer and vampire struggle with their intermingling lives and the fact someone or something is plaguing them with irritating practical jokes.
Glen of Cloongallon, Ireland
Spring, 1602, following evening
Aelwyn had never fought better in the entire three years of her slayer existence than she did this eventide. One would think, just by watching her, that she was trying her best to impress someone or something. Who or what, well, that seemed to be for one person only, or shall we say one redeemed vampire only.
Their first night of their collaboration brought out a bounty of enemies for them to combat. The slayer was a lethal weapon against all that they crossed paths with, in and out of the glen. She played an impressive show of her fighting skills and abilities, hoping to target a reaction from her newest slaying companion. But, as she later noticed, he was kept busy with his own scuffle and dare not let his attentions fall on anything else.
A commotion broke out as she dusted the final demon, a yelling match between Gael and Brandubh. The white witch was telling the wee man about what magicks he was and was not allowed to use, about consequences and harmful spells.
"Don't be poppin' up out of nowhere, using yer magicks when I'm least expectin' it. Ye could 'ave 'armed anyone of us. And why were ye not at home when we came by? We patrol every night, same time."
Brandubh, hands on his hips, stomped his foot very much in a childish tantrum. "Don't ye be yellin' at me, lassie. I come and go as I please. Just be happy I can help ye out. That vampire would've been on you like spume on milk."
Gael crossed her arms vehemently. "I was in the line of fire, Bran. Ye are careless and one day, someone will pay for yer carelessness. I don't want to be the first one."
"Piffle, ye be alright, lassie. No worries. And I'm willin'...VAMPIRE!" Brandubh screamed as he raised his arms up over his head, shocking Eamonn to freeze where he stood. Both girls yelled no, Gael running towards the tiny man in an attempt to halt his sorcery as Aelwyn stepped in front of the vampire.
"But, but, but he is a vampire, I feel it in me bones."
"Tis true, Bran, but he be on our side, fightin' the good fight along with the rest of us. This is Eamonn and he's a...well he's a...good vampire," Ael finished with a shrug of her shoulders, not able to come up with a better title.
No one spoke for a few seconds until Brandubh sighed. "Aye, the vampire with a soul."
Eamonn looked at the slayer standing next to him in utter confusion before glancing back at the cluricaun. "Nay, lit'le man, I don't have a soul. At least, I'm not aware of one."
Aelwyn cocked her head to the side as she crossed her arms over her chest. "What ye be spoutin' on about, Bran? Ye said that like ye know of vampires with souls existin'. Aye, right."
Bran chuckled only slightly nervously. "Aye, lass, just twistin' hay, keepin' ye on yer toes, tis the truth."
Gael whistled for her horse. "Come along, Bran, I'll ride ye home." as the steed trotted up to her reliantly, waiting patiently for his next command.
She lifted the little man up, climbing onto the back of the horse herself and they galloped off out of the glen towards Bran's dwelling in a thicket near the edge of the forest.
Ael and Eamonn began strolling in another direction, back towards town. Both were silent for a long while until Ael could hardly stand it any longer.
"Do ye like it?"
He turned his head slowly and looked at her, brow furrowed in a look of puzzlement.
"Now what are ye going on about, slayer lass?" He smiled at her kindly.
She blushed and looked at the ground in front of her. "Being a vampire. Do you like it?" She looked back up at him quickly, gauging his reaction to her inquiry.
Eamonn's smile disappeared. He sighed and looked straight ahead as he stuffed his hands into the pockets of his cacks.
"Sometimes," he shrugged. "At times I hate it, the hunger, the rage, 'aving to work so hard to pacify it cause I know it will always be there, forever and evermore."
Ael nodded, "Aye, I understand."
The vampire chuckled. "Don't sound so sad about it. Believe me, m'not crawvshawling. The power I have, all the strengths and abilities, I can use them to right all the wrongs. Use them to help instead of hurt. That's good, isn't it?"
"Aye, it tis." Another moment of silence trailed between them.
"Does it scare ye, knowing ye will live forever?" Ael asked him in a quiet voice.
He didn't answer right away leaving the slayer to wonder if she went overboard with the second question.
"Aye, the loneliness can be quite unbearable at times. M'not really good at making friends. Human ones, especially."
Ael wrapped her arms around her to ward off the frosty bite of the night air. "Well, vampire, ye've made a friend in me."
Eamonn stopped in the middle of the narrow path and watched the back of the retreating slayer. She realized suddenly that he had paused and turned to look back at him.
"Thank ye, slayer. That means...well, thank ye." And he began to walk to catch up to her.
She scoffed as she pointed a finger at him. "Doesn't mean I won't be keeping me eye on ye. I can still stake ye good and proper if ye get out of line."
Eamonn held his hands up in the air in mock surrender, a smirk growing at his mouth. "I understand, slayer. Hear ye loud and clear."
She huffed and turned quickly. He followed suit. "And quit calling me slayer all the time. It's Aelwynn. Me family and friends, what I have, call me Ael."
"All right...Ael," he said with a slight merriment in his voice which made her chuckle softly.
In a swift moment, he reached out and grasped her forearm, pulling her to a halt as he took a final step to her. A gasp caught in her throat as she had to grab his sides to steady herself, their bodies only millimeters apart. Her head ducked down, her forehead almost leaning again his chest as her heart raced and her body quivered. He was holding her still, his hands wrapped around her arms just below the shoulder, his head slightly turned away.
"Hush," his cool breath fluttered near her ear. "There's something out there. Be still."
She heard the bones shift and knew he had changed. Sweat beaded up on her forehead, her neck and she shivered when the night air cooled it. She looked up at him timidly.
"I see them, two vampires. I know them." Slowly his features melted back to the familiar face as he turned to look down at hers. He released his hold on her instantly and stepped back.
"M'sorry, sla...Ael." He could hear her heart racing, blood pumping briskly through her veins and his mouth watered briefly. He stomped the urge down and back into its black hole.
"Didn't mean to frighten ye, Ael. I just didn't want us to walk into a nest of demons or vamps."
"I wasn't frightened, just...surprised. Now I really feel the need to hurt something." And she trotted off in the direction he had been looking to earlier.
He caught up with her quickly. "Wait, I know these two. They're both thick---."
"Makes it easier. Now let's sneak up on the dimwits and let me have me fun." Ael smiled mischievously.
At that moment, Eamonn stepped on a twig, the snap of it reverberating off the trees. The vamps showed their ugly faces promptly, ready to pounce and tear the intruders apart. Eamonn hopped in front of the slayer.
"Eamonn, it be only ye. Seems ye brought along a midnight snack as well," the short, pudgy vampire sneered.
"Mac, Wally, fancy running into ye. Thought ye both be out of town after the last time."
"Sorry, lad, had no intentions of running away. Now, let's have a look at this scrumptious meal ye so graciously delivered to us."
Ael roughly pushed Eamonn to the side. "Let me handle this. I feel a need to inflict some pain."
Eamonn cocked his head to the side, crossed his arms over his chest and grinned shamelessly at the two unsuspecting nitwits.
A high roundhouse had both fools on their backsides as the slayer made her way to the opposite side of the prone vamps. The skinny one growled and like the animal he was, jumped up and attacked. He was nothing for the slayer, and after a few painful punches, she dusted him just as the short one came at her. He was a bit stronger and quicker than the last but still no match for the slayer. She swept her leg around and knocked his out from under him before staking him.
Ael placed her stake back into her belt, and brushed the dust from her dress, her eyes turning to rest in his, the lone vampire she had no intentions of staking. The look he gave her caught her off guard, and warmth flowed through her. A look of pure admiration and awe painted on his face, his eyes dark with something she was not familiar with. She felt the heat rise up to her cheeks and had to look away briefly to gather her wits.
"Well, that was fun even though it seemed too easy. Next time, ye should join the fracas and have a bit o'fun yeself."
"Oh, I'll be around for many more encounters, I'm most sure of it. Come alone, Ael. Let's get ye home before Watcher sends a search party out for ye."
O/OSunnydale, 17 March, 2002
The day of the wedding began sunny and glorious, as Anya tromped around the Summers' living room, head hung down and shoulders sagging. Dawn was the first to notice her discomfiture and readily asked the ex-demon what was ailing her on a day when she should be exhilarated.
"What's with the sad face, Anya? Did something happen?"
Anya groaned, placed one hand over her tummy, one in her hair. "I've gained three pounds, my hair is under conditioned, my shoes rub blisters on my feet,---and to top it all off, it's sunny and mild out. It's doomed. The wedding is doomed, my life is doomed. I'm going to die a lonely old-maid with 27 cats and a smelly apartment."
She plopped down on the couch and slumped forward. Dawn stood in front of her, mouth hanging open in amazement. Then loud guffaws burst forth from the teen as she leaned over, hands on her knees. Anya glared and huffed with vehemence.
"I don't think this is a laughing matter. I have 200 guests arriving within four hours, and it's ruined. The whole thing is ruined."
Dawn wiped the tears away and stifled another bout of giggles. "Anya, it's fixable. Everything is do-able. You'll get through this, get married, have a wonderful wedding and reception, and then off to the honeymoon without a care in the world. And it's beautiful out to boot. All sunny and...."
"Hush, it's bad luck. It's an old Kremackt wive's tale that to "Marry in the rain and gloom, and suffer not a lifelong doom." The weatherman said chance of thunderstorms today. Asinine man. I have every sense to call that station and tell them they need to fire that person."
"Ok, well, let's worry about the weather later and get you ready. I'll help you with the other stuff. I'll get the girls to help. Willow is upstairs already and Buffy is...wait, Buffy said she had an errand to run so it's just the three of us. It will all work out. Come on.""I am not bloody well going, slayer." Buffy had never heard the vampire whine so loud in the few years she'd known him.
"Wimp. Coward. Chicken," she taunted him. He growled as he swiftly spun around to glower at her. She was bound and determined to drag him to Xander and Anya's wedding whether he liked it or not.
"I am not a coward. Besides, I have nothing to wear."
Buffy sputtered and covered her mouth. She didn't want to vex him so much that he would flat out refuse to go with her. She could usually get him to succumb to anything but there was always that slight chance he would withdraw back into his cold, dark lonely place as he ushered her back out into the sunshine.
"Sorry, you sounded just like a woman. Wear what you have on; I'm sure you have a black dress shirt in that dark and dismal wardrobe of yours." That got another growl as he turned away and walked toward his fridge.
"And another thing, are you daft? It's daytime. You know, that part of the day where the huge burning and glowing ball of gas is in the sky? That part of the 24-hour cycle I can toast like a marshmallow over an open flame? And last time I checked, I'm not flame retardant."
"I think you're being retarded for throwing such a hissy about going to a simple wedding."
Spike froze and stared at Buffy with a look of bewilderment on his face and head cocked slightly to the side. "Retard-ANT, slayer, NOT retard-ED. And do you even know the definition of either word?"
"Whatever. It's never stopped you before when you felt the need to come by and pester me during the day. Besides, I'll let you be my escort," she sing-songed the last bit, hitting below the belt with a bribe she knew he couldn't refuse.
He rolled his eyes with a sigh. "What time?" He sounded less than thrilled.
Buffy smiled. "One o'clock. And don't be late...and don't wear anything with holes, or blood or grunge on it...and look somewhat presentable."
Spike raised an eyebrow. "Well, gee, slayer, you want to stay and dress me?"
"Not on your life. I gotta go and get ready. We leave the house at one." She moved towards the crypt door but hesitated before opening it.
"And be on your best behavior...please?"
"Well, since you asked me so nicely...I can give it my best. Just as long as I get to make one jab at the boy. Is there anything else you want to add to my list of conditions?"
Buffy pondered as she opened the door. "I'll think about it...and leave Xander alone."Around noon, the sky began to darken in the Southwest and the air grew heavy with moisture. In the distance, rumbles of thunder rolled in, foretelling of the threatening spring storm. By twelve-thirty, large thunderheads erased the sun from the sky.
Three til one in the afternoon, the back door leading into the kitchen flew open, not by the hand of the person opening it, but by the strong arm of the storm's wind. The gust of air followed the vampire in, sending lightweight objects fluttering around the room then slowly cascading to the floor as the door was slammed shut behind him. Dawn yelped in surprise.
"Well, look what the storm blew in."
"Yeah, I really do know how to make a grand entrance." He chuckled as he slicked back his ruffled locks.
The first patters of rain hit the window as Buffy strolled in with Anya in tow. "I'm impressed, on time without a hair out of place. Didn't need your trusty blankie after all I see?"
"No, count yourself lucky. I hate feeling parched and sun baked. Not good for the complexion, that is. And what is her problem? She gone off her nut or what?" Spike asked, pointing at the overly ecstatic bride standing in the middle of the kitchen, giggling and squealing.
Anya clapped her hands as she jumped up and down. "It's raining, you dimwit. Come on, let's get the show on the road."
The three held back before following the overjoyed woman to the front door. "Gee, never seen anyone so excited about rain before." Buffy mumbled over her shoulder.
"Oh, something about a something or other's wives tale about rain and weddings and being doomed." Dawn waved her hand in the air.
"Ah, the Kremackt demons think it's ill luck to be married on a sunny day." Spike added with amiable casualness.
Buffy laughed softly. "Well, then I suppose this wedding will go off without a single hitch now that it's raining cats and dogs."
Spike clucked his tongue as he shook his head and Dawn patted her on the back as she replied, "Just remember, you said it, I didn't."
And the four of them ran between the drops of rain to the car waiting to pick them up.
thankyous to thechosen, shanshu, Natalie Elizabeth, scruffy66, Lil Loki Puck, kili-2, artemis astralstar, spikealicious and mistified.