Thanks to Brutal 2003, J. Jennings, Tanydwr, The Uber Geek, Nighthawk, and Bunny Butler for the reviews. I always appreciate the feedback, good or bad.
Brutal 2003: Hadn't thought about that. Could be a possibility, except that wasn't that really just a trap to implant her with Jasmine?
Tanydwr: Not sure about Rachel becoming a Slayer, although she certainly has the personality for it.
The Uber Geek: I have actually thought about both your ideas. To me The First and Crayak seem almost exactly the same, but the Ellimist seems to like meddling more than the PTB. As for Dawn/Animorph, I was thinking Marco was the logical choice, as he is basically a younger Xander, who Dawn has a crush on already. But if you have different ideas, I'd love to hear them.
Bunny-Butler: Actually I have a way to make that work, just not in this story
Anyway, that's all I have to say so on with the story!
"Okay, here's how it's going to work." Jake said, eyeing Giles, Willow and Xander with his command face on. "You are all under 72 hour guard. One of us will be present with you at all times. If you have to go to the bathroom one of us will stand with out back turned to the open door, yes I said open door. The three of you will have to sleep in the same area so we can take shifts watching you."
"Isn't this just a tad extreme?" Giles asked.
"Intense paranoia is one of the things that has kept us alive this long." Marco countered.
"You have to understand that if word of this gets out to the Yeerks, we will be dead or worse so fast it will make your head spin." Jake added. "And then that's it for planet Earth, right now we're the first and only line of defense. So yes we will be extreme."
"I understand." Giles said resignedly.
"Buffy you can visit all you want, but while you're here we guard you too." Jake said, turning to the Slayer. "And like I said, no one but you knows about this. Not your boyfriend, or your sister or your mom. Make up a cover story, whatever."
"I don't like this." Buffy said. "You're holding all the cards."
"I'm not asking you to like it I'm asking you to go along with it for three days." Jake snapped.
"What reason do we have to trust you?" Xander asked. "So Buffy helps you acquire some powerful demons, great. She risks her life, we get treated like hostages and what do we get out of the deal?"
"You get taken into the fold." Jake replied.
"What?" Xander asked.
"We'll bring you up to date on how deep the Yeerk infiltration goes, how to recognize their infestation sites and how to identify Controllers." Cassie explained. "We'll teach you how to avoid them, how to avoid getting infested."
"That's it?" Xander asked. "Doesn't sound like a great deal."
"You get to sit on the sidelines in a battle that involves all of humanity." Marco said. "There is no one else on the planet, on the PLANET, who has been given this opportunity."
Everyone else on the planet is involved whether they like it or not. Tobias added. You're being given more than anyone else, a choice.
Giles smiled diplomatically. "And it's not that we don't appreciate it, but seeking out powerful demons is a dangerous practice and-"
"Trust me we will take every precaution we can and we'll follow Buffy's orders." Jake interrupted. "You have my word."
Giles nodded. "Those were my real concerns."
"We know that Buffy is the expert in this field so we'll follow whatever she says without question." Jake replied. "One more thing, is there any oatmeal in the house?"
"Erm, I think so." Giles replied, perplexed. "Why?"
"Throw it outside." Jake ordered. "All of it."
"What could we possibly do with oatmeal?" Willow asked nervously.
Oatmeal has chemicals that can keep a Yeerk alive indefinitely. Ax explained. However prolonged use can cause insanity.
Jake and Giles moved into the kitchen and started browsing through all the shelves. Jake noted that the house had several crosses, and within a couple of the cupboards he found not cooking supplies but stakes, axes, and other such weapons. The two of them quickly grabbed all the oatmeal out of the shelves and gathered them into a trash bag, then Jake dumped it out the back window into the backyard. The two walked back into the living room. "Ax?" Jake asked. "Keep track. 72 hours starts now."
Yes Prince Jake. Ax replied.
"What's with the whole prince thing?" Buffy asked with an amused smile.
"Andalite leaders are called princes, and since Jake is our leader…" Cassie trailed off and Marco snickered.
"Well I have to get going. What should I tell everyone?" Buffy asked.
"Tell them we're quarantined." Willow said. "It's perfect, no one will wonder where we are and no one will want to come visit us."
"Right, good, great." Buffy said, then she turned to leave. She stopped right before the door. "Ooh, what are you quarantined with?"
"Something nasty." Marco suggested. "Say Anthrax or something."
Rachel cast him a sideways glance. "Anthrax? Who the hell is going to believe that?"
"Okay Miss Perfect you think of something else that has an incubation period of a few days." Marco shot back. "The only other one I can think of is Ebola."
"How about influenza?" Cassie suggested.
"Isn't that just the flu?" Willow asked.
"Yeah but it sounds serious and it is contagious." Cassie replied
"It does sound a little more feasible than Anthrax or Ebola." Giles added.
"Fine, influenza." Buffy nodded. "See you guys tomorrow." She turned and walked out the door.
I'm gonna grab a bite. Tobias said. I'll be back in a little while. Tobias flapped out the open window and into the afternoon sky.
"When he says grab a bite, does he mean what I think?" Willow asked, paling slightly.
Jake nodded. "He lives like a hawk in every aspect."
"What am I missing?" Xander asked.
"Tobias eats mice." Marco said bluntly.
"Oh. Ewww." Xander grimaced.
Anya looked up as the bell on the door of the Magic Box jingled. "Welcome valued customer, oh, it's just you. Hi Buffy." She said disappointedly.
"Thanks for the enthusiastic welcome." Buffy said sarcastically. "I just came to tell you that you'll be in charge of the shop for a few days. Giles, Willow and Xander are quarantined with influenza."
Anya narrowed her eyes. "What? They all have it?"
Buffy shrugged. "I guess. Maybe they ate something bad."
"Well will Xander be all right?" Anya asked. "Can I see him?"
"No that's why they're quarantined. They're all at Giles house and they can come out after three days." Buffy said. "If you really want to talk to him you can call him, but all three of them are kind of bedridden."
"Why wouldn't they all just go home?" Anya asked suspiciously.
"I guess they didn't want to risk giving it to their families." Buffy said exasperatedly. "Jeez, I thought you'd be happy. You're in charge for the next three days."
Anya seemed to brighten a bit at that. "Okay fine, I'll call Xander later tonight. Now get out, unless you're going to buy something."
Buffy turned and walked out the door, rolling her eyes at the ex-demon's behaviour.
Marco flopped onto the couch. "How can you not even have a computer?" he complained. "What is this, the nineteenth century?"
"You'd think it looking at his car." Xander muttered.
"The Citroen is perfectly serviceable." Giles replied exasperatedly. "Americans." He muttered.
Before anyone could say another word the door flew open and a figure covered in a large blanket ran through. Spike through the blanket off and shut the door. "Sorry to just barge in Watcher, but I was hoping you might, you might…" Spike trailed off as he looked at the group assembled in front of him.
"Ax." Jake said seriously. Ax immediately bounded over the chair in front of him and snapped his tail blade to just an inch away from Spike's throat.
"Hey, easy mate." Spike said, raising his hands. "No need to be chopping heads here."
Giles sighed. "That's Spike, he's no threat."
"No threat?" Marco sputtered. "He could be a Controller!"
"I know for a fact he isn't." Giles replied.
"How can you possibly be sure?" Jake asked.
"He can't be a Controller because he's a vampire." Giles finished.
"And a fangless one at that." Spike added. "Now can you please call off your centaur-type demon?"
I am no demon! Ax said indignantly.
"Right. Whatever you are, please get your tail away from my throat." Spike replied, then stopped. "Hey, how did you say that without a mouth?"
"Ax." Jake said reluctantly. Ax immediately withdrew his tail and let Spike pass. He sat down in one of the chairs in Giles' living room and looked around.
"So, what's going on?" He asked. "Why are there four kids with no shoes and a big centaur type thing in your house?"
"Spike?" Giles asked. "Would it be possible for you to just walk out the door right now and forget you saw any of this?"
"Mmm, don't think so." Spike replied. "See, if there's one thing I enjoy it's annoying the three of you, especially you Watcher. And I can tell that by doing the exact opposite of what you just asked, I can annoy you quite a bit."
"We can't let him leave anyway." Jake said. "He could still be a Controller."
No. Ax said. A Yeerk cannot survive for long inside a dead being.
"What the bloody hell are you all talking about?" Spike asked.
Jake turned very serious and looked at Giles. "Look, I'm in a bit of a bind here." He said. "First of all, I'm a little surprised that you of all people would let a vampire into your house, and secondly how do I know he can be trusted?"
"He can't." Xander said.
"Then we need to make sure he can't talk." Said Rachel.
"Great idea!" Xander said happily. "Ax, you can go ahead and kill him now."
"Hey hey, let's not get all geared up for a game of kill the Spike!" Spike said. "I can be trusted."
"No you can't." Willow said.
"Fine maybe I can't." Spike said. "But we can cut a deal. Remember when I helped Giles? He paid me and I helped him, I kept my word."
"Why pay him when we can just kill him?" Xander pointed out. "I'll get a stake."
"Just try it whelp." Spike growled.
"Or you'll what? Run away?" Xander mocked.
"That's quite enough." Giles said, rubbing his glasses.
Jake turned to Spike. "Spike, we need your word that nothing you hear in this room goes beyond the walls."
Spike looked and Jake and laughed. "You're what, fifteen? Who are you to be giving commands?"
"Spike you'd do well to listen to him." Giles replied. "He make not look dangerous, but I assure you he can follow through on any threat he makes."
Spike sighed. "All right cross my undead heart. Nothing I hear will be repeated to anyone outside this room."
"Except Buffy." Willow added. "She knows."
"She knows what?" Spike asked exasperatedly. "Enough with the bloody cloak and dagger already, just tell me what is going on!"
"Fine, here are the facts." Jake replied. "Aliens exist. Ax is one, called an Andalite. But the Andalites aren't the problem. The problem is the Yeerks, a race of slug-like creatures that are in the process of invading our planet. Yeerks are parasites; they crawl into your head through your ear and take over your brain. You become their slave. They've already done this to more than a dozen different alien races and are here in force. My friends and I are the only ones on the whole planet who fight them. We have the ability to morph into any animal we touch a power that Ax's brother gave us before he died."
Spike looked back at Jake. "Serious?"
"So the rumours are true!" Spike said.
"Rumours?" Cassie asked.
"There have been rumours in the demon community over the last few months." Spike replied. "Pretty vague, just rumours something big was going down and no one knew who or what was doing it. Just stuff about underground caverns and demons that no one had ever seen before."
"You didn't tell us?" Xander asked.
Spike waved a hand dismissively. "You ever hear the kind of rumours that float around a bar full of drunk demons? This is like a ghost story, an urban legend. Besides, you're forgetting that I don't really like you that much."
"Likewise." Xander replied.
"Demons have bars?" Marco asked. "This opens my eyes to a whole new level of bar jokes."
Jake looked at Spike seriously. "Look, Spike, I need you to keep your word. I don't know what your deal is with humans but you need to not interfere here. If we get found out it's bad for all of us, even you."
"Relax mate, I'm on your side. See, I have this chip in my head that makes sure I can't hurt humans." Spike explained. "But demons and aliens, those I can still hurt. If it means I can get into a good fight once and a while, I'll keep my mouth shut. You have my word."
Xander snorted. "For whatever that's worth."
Maggie Walsh walked into her office at the Initiative to find her pentagon liaison waiting for her. "Charles." She said, "I thought you weren't here until tomorrow."
Charles Hartley smiled back in return. "Hey Maggie. My flight got cancelled so I took an earlier one. Hey, I brought you a little gift." Charles lifted a small box onto the desk and motioned for Maggie to come over. She did and peered inside, seeing nothing but yellow sludge. "What is it?" She asked.
Charles grabbed her head and forced it down. She struggled and yelped as she felt something cold and slimy touch, and then start to enter, her ear. Slowly she stopped struggling and then Charles released her. Sub Visser fifty four stood up and smiled at her accomplice. "Excellent job, Essak five three four. The Visser will be pleased."
End chap 5
Hope you guys liked the chapter. I wasn't quite sure what to do with Spike but I think this worked well. Anyway, I would love to hear any feedback good or bad so thanks for reading and please leave a review!