The Shylock Dynasty

By Weasy

RATING: PG-13 could touch on R in later places.

DISCLAIMER: The characters aren't mine neither is anything in Ireland, which is straight from my trip there, but I don't own.

DISTRIBUTION: Sempiternal Beloved, ; Chains of Velvet, ; and the other usual suspects if anyone else wants it just tell me where it's going.

SUMMARY: AU B/A, In a world where the Scooby gang were normal people, but the events of the Buffyverse did unfold… which leads to some occult consequences in their already complicated lives.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: Kind of a post IWRY fic, but only in a really weird way. Basically everything in the Buffyverse did happen, but some random extra was the slayer, so the Scoobies didn't know anything about it. There a couple of OCs here especially at the beinning.

Vaguely inspired by The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare and The Sixth Sense.

Okay, so there was this whole thing where I was going to finish Pulse before I did anything else… but, well, I couldn't help it! I've been working on this for a year, and I've final got all the plot sorted, so I just had to start posting straight away.

Hope you enjoy.


Fox Rock, Dublin, 31st May 1972

Antonio breathed in a ragged breath as he tore down the street, his feet slapping on the pavement in long strides as he speed toward his home, his face with wet with tears and his bare feet were bleeding, leaving red footprints behind him.

His ragged state did not slow his strides. He had to get home, had to stop the mistake he'd made being echoed again. A few hours before he'd been at the park with his wife celebrating his newest successful venture, their six month old son was tucked up with a babysitter at their house. He'd never liked horses, but his father'd made a fortune on them, a lucky bet or two, and then training them, so Antonio went into the family business as soon he was old enough, his father was dead now… and it meant so much to his mother that he had taken over. But he was a terrible businessman… they'd been loosing money thick and fast until Antonio'd met Shaky…

Running across the street at the corner, Antonio barely saw the car as it swerved to avoid him, slamming into the wall on the otherside of the crossroad instead, didn't hear the driver tumbling out of his car, swearing at Antonio as he kept on running down the street.

His mother, Isabella, had become more and more ill as her beloved husband's company failed in the hands of their eldest son. His home life was terrible, Grace, his wife had been pregnant and threatening to leave him, when Shaky told him what he wanted it seemed like the only option, the only way to keep his family together, and now he was going to pay.

He'd reached the drive now, and even as his feet crunched on the gravel, sinking into the stones and slowing him down he struggled toward the door, every inch of the long sloping driveway feeling like a mile. He could see the fire, the column of smoke rising from the building, in the background he registered the sound of wailing sirens, and it occurred to him that they would be slowed by the traffic accident he'd caused - which was now blocking the street down the road.

He could smell burning flesh.

Finally reaching the door, he slammed his elbow against it, but the door didn't budge even a little and Antonio rummaged through his pockets for the key, hands shaking, as he shoved the key in the lock, barely noticing how his hands where burnt from the heated metal of the lock and door handle. Pushing open the door smoke billowed around him and into the street, punching his way through it he struggled up the stairs groping blindly for the handrail.

Shaky had promised him success and he had delivered, stock value in the company had quadrupled, sales where surmounting all previous records, and it seemed every racehorse they produced was a winner. He'd been generous, given Antonio a year to fulfil his part of the bargain.

Except Antonio had forgotten, and now Shaky would take his payment from the flesh of Antonio's child, instead of the money Antonio had promised to pay.

The smoke was less dense downstairs, and the fire seemed less violent, burning in isolated patches across the landing instead of all over. Quickly finding his son's room, Antonio was inside in a moment.

Falling to his knees as the smoke started to overcome him, Antonio looked up to see the creature he had come to despise leaning over his son's crib. The babysitter was lying on the floor a foot from Antonio, blood pooling from a wound on the back of her head. Shaky turned to face Antonio and Antonio really saw his face for the first time, red furrowed skin, with not a nose, but two long slits instead, what in the shadows they always met in, Antonio had assumed to be a beard was actually an extension of Shaky's jaw so that, like now, his jaw could dislocate and open much wider - like a snake's. Shaky's black eyes bored into Antonio's.

"Please! Please… I'll do anything!" He begged crawling on his knees past the dead girl to the monster's feet. "Please don't take my son!"

"But you promised." Shaky said in a twisted imitation of a child's voice. Dropping away from Shaky Antonio felt fear shoot through his veins.

"You can have the money… I just need time. Please not my son." He begged again, his words coming over his tongue so fast he could barely wrap his tongue around the worlds. Smoke billowed in his lungs, so that it puffed out of his mouth when he spoke, and he rocked forward gently, lack of oxygen slowly taking his consciousness.

Shaky laughed, and the sound echoed in Antonio's ears. Helpless, barley able to lift himself from the floor, Antonio slipped to the floor as he listened his baby son screaming in pain and confusion.

Pulling him up by the collar, Shaky put his mouth to Antonio's ear. "I will have my pound of flesh." Shaky whispered.

Then it all went black.

oOo

Twenty Seven Years Later

Fox Rock, Dublin, 23rd November 1999

Kaitlyn scrambled to her feet as her father threw a silver platter at the wall behind her. Spike was at his feet in a moment, shielding her from her father's rage. "Daddy!" She whispered unable to understand his absolute fury… she knew he would be angry with her, as he was often angry with his two eldest children, but he had never been like this with her before.

"Don't call me Daddy!" He hissed. "You - stupid – little – whore!" he yelled throwing the salt shaker in her direction.

"Antonio…" She heard her mother whimper.

"Mr. O'Connor-" Spike tried.

Her father just turned on him instead, "Don't you Mr O'Connor me!" He screeched, "you came in here, wanting a place in my business, all airs and politeness, and all the time you where planning-" He drew in a deep breath "-TO IMPREGNATE MY EIGHTEEN YEAR OLD DAUGHTER!"

Spike winced at the sheer volume of yelling in his face.

"We weren't exactly planning this Daddy." Kaitlyn implored. "Can't we just talk about this?"

"There's nothing to say." Her mother said stiffly. "You'll just have to get rid of it."

Kaitlyn's hand pressed against her still flat belly protectively. Dropping her eyes, she felt the reassuring weight of Spike's hand in hers. "I can't." She whispered.

"Why ever not?" Her mother demanded.

"It's my baby… I just. I can't, okay?"

"We talked about this and decided even if we are young, and even if this baby wasn't planned, we're going to be a family." Spike said resolutely, his eyes a direct challenge to his girlfriend's parents officious nature.

"Then you won't be part of ours." Antonio said coldly.

oOo

Sunnydale, California, 23rd November 1999

Buffy stretched languidly on the bed, propped up on his elbow beside her. Angel watched her lazily while one of his hands gently massaged the skin on her stomach with practiced ease. Turning to face her lover she smiled at him.

"I can't believe you're really here."

"Me neither… it seems like so long since I last saw you."

"Five months and nineteen days." Buffy echoed.

"I'm sorry… for leaving you. Especially for leaving you just so I could go and do some stupid law degree I never wanted to do in the first place."

"You're back now… and you're not doing the degree anymore. It might have taken you awhile to realise it, but you came round to my way of thinking in the end and for that alone, I will always forgive you."

"Yep. Liam Angelus O'Connor is a new man, and I'm never doing what my father says just because he said it again." Twisting to face her more, Angel lowered his lips to her, and planted a soft and full, but far too brief for Buffy's liking, kiss against her lips. "Y'know, I suspect your forgiveness may in fact rest upon the fact you love me, more than any of those other reasons."

"That may be a factor." Buffy agreed, shifting position Angel pinned her on the bed. "Plus… I really don't care about your father's opinion."

"Are you sure you've forgiven me yet… I'm perfectly willing to do some more convincing." He whispered against the skin of her neck before planting a soft kiss behind her ear. "I love you." He breathed again.

Smiling against his lips, she skimmed her hands over the tattoo on his back. "I love you." She agreed.

"Hey guys!" A yell interrupted their sensual bliss, and groaning in disappointment, Angel rolled off Buffy and sighed heavily.

"What?" He yelled back.

"Angel, I don't want come in there if you're doing it, but your sister's on the phone from Ireland… she sounds really upset." Doyle told them through the door.

Sitting up, Angel ran one hand through his hair and got to his feet.

"Tell her he's coming." Buffy yelled, glancing back at Buffy, Angel pouted. "Go on," she told him. "You've got forever to be with me, but your sister needs you now."

Pulling on the pants he'd discarded earlier the day he leant down and pressed a kiss to Buffy's forehead before he left. "Back in a minute."

TBC…

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