Series: Second Chances
Author: Princess Joyce
Warnings: Character Death
Special thanks to lilred-07 for the new summary.
A/N: Thanks for all the suggestions, concerning Jenny Calendar. My muse actually led me in a direction that I hadn't thought of going. This thing is long. 28 pages in Word. I don't have a beta, and the longer the chapter is, the more mistakes there will be. Just warning you. Hope you enjoy it…Passion
"Passion. It lies in all of us. Sleeping... ...waiting... And though unwanted... ...unbidden... it will stir... ...open its jaws, and howl. It speaks to us... guides us... Passion rules us all. And we obey. What other choice do we have?"
Buffy stirred slightly and blinked open her eyes at the feel of the warm morning sunshine coming through the window. She gave a lazy stretch then looked over at her alarm clock to see if she had time doze for a few more minutes.
A blank envelope sitting on her nightstand table blocked her view of the clock. Curious she sat up, and reached for it.
"Please be from Spike," she muttered, even as a cold chill ran through her when her fingertips touched it.
Inside she found a pencil sketch of herself sleeping. Someone had sat right here on her bed, and sketched her picture.
"Please be from Spike," she said over and over again as she rushed to get ready for school.
He was sleeping when she arrived. Dead to the world, literally. His bare chest was still and no breath escaped his nose or mouth. Any sane person would be horrified at coming across him like this, so why was it that all she could think about was whether or not he was completely naked under that sheet?
She pushed at his shoulder.
Still no response. Buffy frowned and looked at his clock. She only an hour before her first class started. Perhaps she would just have to wait until after school to show him the picture.
She sighed and turned to go when a thought occurred to her. He had seen her naked last week. It was only fair that she should get to see him. And if he didn't know about it, all the better.
Buffy bit back a grin and quickly pulled the sheet off of him before she lost her nerve.
He was magnificent. Like a Greek god sculpted out of marble. One look between his legs told her that he was having a very nice dream.
"That's cheating, Slayer. I only got a quick peek," he said.
Buffy jumped and threw the sheet back over him.
Spike opened his eyes and smirked at the now blushing slayer. Buffy averted her eyes as he stretched and sat up, letting the sheet fall dangerously low in his lap.
The vampire laughed at her and looked over at his clock.
"Are you playing hooky today, Luv? Not that I'm complaining, but I thought that poufy principal of yours had it out for you."
"He does, and I'm not going to miss school, I just needed to come by ask you a question first," she explained.
He raised his eyebrows.
"Tell me that you have taken up sketching as a hobby and decided to leave me a little gift by my bed last night?"
Spike just looked at her, confused.
Buffy sat on the bed and handed the picture to him. He let loose some colorful swear words and got out bed, completely disregarding that fact that was naked.
She watched as he dressed trying to focus on him, and not the horrible new turn her life had taken.
"He was in my room," Buffy said, in lieu of a greeting to her watcher, Xander, and Cordelia in the library a little later.
"HER ROOM! Watcher! What the hell?" Spike shouted from right behind her.
Everyone but Buffy looked at Spike in shock.
"How did you get here?" Xander demanded.
Spike looked at him.
"Very carefully," he said, running his hand over a spot on this face that was very red.
"Can we focus here? He was in my room!" Buffy said again, throwing Angelus' sketch on the table.
"Who?" Giles asked, leaning forward to get a closer look.
"Angel. He was in my room last night," Buffy repeated yet again.
Spike opened his mouth, but Buffy shook her head. The vampire growled in his throat and started pacing.
"Are you sure?" The watcher asked.
"Positive. When I woke up, I found a picture he'd left me on my pillow," she said, indicating the sketch.
"A visit from the pointed-tooth fairy," Xander quipped.
Spike stomped over to him, looking angry, but then gave him a nasty grin.
"That's good. I'm going to use that one next time I see him," Spike told him, gleefully.
"Knock yourself out," Xander said, nervously.
"Wait, I thought vampires couldn't come in unless you invited them in," Cordelia said.
"Yes, but, uh, once you've invited them in, thereafter they're, they're always welcome," Giles explained.
"Y'know, I think there may be a valuable lesson for you gals here about inviting strange men into your bedrooms," Xander said.
Spike nodded then looked back at Xander.
"Oh, God! I invited him in my car once. That means he can come into my car whenever he wants!" Cordelia moaned.
Spike blinked at looked at the girl sitting next to Xander. She was very pretty, but obviously did not have much in the way of brains.
"Yep, you're doomed to havin' to give him and his vamp pals a lift whenever they feel like it. And those guys never chip in for gas."
Spike snorted and Xander looked rather pleased with himself.
Cordelia looked away, disgusted.
"Giles, there has to be some sort of spell to reverse the invitation, right? Like a barrier, a no shoes, no pulse, no service kind of thing?" Buffy asked
"Yeah, that works for a car, too?" Cordelia chimed.
"Yes, well, I-I-I could check on my..."
"Hello!" Xander called out, jumping up from his chair.
They all turned to see two students enter the library.
"Excuse me, but have you ever heard of knocking?" He asked, a bit snottily.
"We're supposed to get some books. On Stalin," the boy said looking at the stacks.
"Does this look like a Barnes & Noble?" Xander asked, pointing at him.
"This is a school library, Xander," Giles scolded quietly as he stepped forward to assist the students.
"Since when?" Xander demanded in mock outrage.
"Uh, y-yes, yes, uh, third row. Historical biographies," Giles said, pointing at the stacks.
The group quickly and quietly made their way into Giles' office, shutting and locking the door.
"So Angel has decided to step up his harassment of you?" Giles asked Buffy after they settled into the cramped space.
"By sneaking in her room and leaving stuff at night? Why doesn't he just slit her throat or strangle her while she's sleeping or cut her heart out?" Cordelia asked.
"What? I'm trying to help," she defended.
"Yes. Uh, uh, look, it's-it's classic battle strategy to throw one's opponent off his game. He-he-he's just trying to provoke you. Uh, to taunt you, to, to goad you into, uh, some mishap of some sort," Giles explained.
"The nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah approach to battle?" Xander asked.
"Yes, Xander, once more you've managed to boil a complex thought down to its simplest possible form," Giles said, annoyed.
"He's right, Buffy. Angelus always enjoyed messing with his victims before he ate them. Darla was always yelling at him about not playing with his food," Spike said, smiling at some gruesome memory.
"Giles, Angel once told me that when he was obsessed with Drusilla, the first thing h-he did was to kill her family," Buffy said, turning very pale.
"Your mom," Xander said, concerned.
"I know. I'm gonna have to tell her something. The truth?"
"No. You-you-you-you can't do that," Giles warned.
"Yeah. The more people who know the secret, the more it cheapens it for the rest of us," Xander quipped.
Spike looked like he wanted to say something, but decided not to.
"But I've gotta tell her something. I've gotta do something. Giles, Angel has an all-access pass to my house, and I'm not always there when my mother is. I can't protect her."
"I told you I will find a-a spell," Giles said, flustered.
"What about until you find a spell?" She insisted.
"Until then, you and your mother are welcome to ride around with me in my car," Cordelia chimed in.
"Your watcher will find a spell Buffy. I know. You use it rather frequently," he said, irritably as he remembered the occasion that she had used it against him.
Buffy gave him a thoughtful look.
"I used it against you?" She asked, confused.
"Well Slayer, it wasn't always sunshine and daisies with us, luv," Spike teased, not about to explain.
Giles put a hand on Buffy's shoulder to regain her attention.
"Buffy, I-I understand your concern, but it's imperative that you keep a level head through all this."
Buffy frowned and crossed her arms.
"That's easy for you to say. You don't have Angel lurking in your bedroom at night."
"I know how hard this is for you…" Giles began, but stopped when Buffy gave him a look.
"All right, I don't. But as the Slayer, you don't have the luxury of being a slave to your, your passions. You mustn't let Angel get to you. No matter how provocative his behavior may become," he finished.
Buffy mulled over what he had said.
"So what you're basically saying is, 'just ignore him, and maybe he'll go away'?"
"Yes. Precisely," Giles said, relieved that she had understood.
"Hey, how come Buffy doesn't get a snotty 'once again you boil it down to the simplest form' thing?" Xander demanded.
Giles and Buffy both looked over at him.
Giles just shook his head.
"You all should get to class. Spike, since it appears you are stuck here for the day would you mind helping me search for the spell?"
Spike nodded, kissed Buffy on the forehead and headed back out to the stacks to begin.
"Keep him out of trouble," Buffy warned then walked out with Xander and Cordelia.
Giles raised an eyebrow at her then left the office to join Spike. He was easy to find.
"NO SPIKE! No smoking near the books!"
"It's not here," Spike said a little while later.
Giles looked up from the book he was searching through.
"What do you mean? You couldn't have possibly searched through everything…"
"I didn't have to. I know the spell is in a book about this big with a dark green cover," he explained.
Giles gave him an exasperated look.
"Just because it is in that book, doesn't mean that it's not in another…" he trailed off as he remembered something.
"Jen, er, Miss Calendar has a book that resembles your description," Giles said, taking off glasses and pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Calendar? Calendar, Calendar. Oh, the gypsy girl," Spike said triumphantly, then frowned.
"Yes, y-you know her?"
Spike just shrugged and looked away.
"Spike, is Jenny… I mean, when you know us in t-the future, is she with me, er us?"
Spike looked back at him, but remained silent.
"You're right, I shouldn't have asked," the librarian said getting to his feet.
Spike still didn't say anything.
"Well, first period should be letting out in a minute. I will try to catch her during the class change."
The vampire nodded and went back to pursuing the stacks.
"What are you looking for now?" Giles asked him.
"If you want to stay ahead of Angel, I'm the best one to help," he said, pulling out a book on ancient demons.
Giles simply nodded at him, then headed toward the computer classroom.
Buffy walked into the library with her lunch bag and headed for the table that Spike was occupying.
"Where's Giles?" She asked, plopping down next to him and opening her Diet Coke can.
Spike looked up from his book and yawned.
"He went to a magic shop to get some stuff for the spell," he said, stretching.
"Aw, poor Spike. You should be sleeping now," she teased, pulling out her sandwich.
"You have no idea how tempted I am to go curl up in the floor behind those shelves," he admitted pointing to the stacks in the very back of the library.
"I won't tell," she said with a wink.
"Not that I'm not happy you are here, but I can't help but wonder why you aren't having lunch with your friends," he said.
"I eat lunch with them every day. Xander and Cordelia, Willow and Oz and Buffy... I guess I'm tired of being the fifth wheel. Also, Willow just can't seem to shut up about how Ms. Calendar asked her to teach class tomorrow…"
Buffy trailed off when Spike yawned again.
She just smiled at him and continued to eat.
He gave her an apologetic look.
"I'm not sure how useful I'll be, patrolling tonight," he said.
Buffy thought about that for a minute.
"Maybe we should stay in tonight. You could come to dinner and help me tell my mom about Angel without actually telling her anything," Buffy said enthusiastically.
Spike gave her an annoyed look and she sighed.
"Well, it was worth a try," she said and offered him one of her potato chips.
He grabbed her wrist and pulled her hand to his mouth. Slowly, he at the chip and licked the salt from her fingers.
"If you want me, I'm there," he promised.
Buffy reluctantly pulled her hand back and took another drink. Her heart was pounding, and she felt very hot.
"No, it will probably be easier if you aren't. I meant that about staying in tonight though. I don't want to worry," she said, seriously.
He leaned forward and gave her chaste kiss.
Odd how that one sweet kiss set her heart racing even more than the heavy passionate ones they usually shared did…
Buffy picked at her food as she tried to decide what exactly she should say. Joyce was frowning at her in mom-ly concern.
"Okay. What's wrong?" Her mom demanded, finally.
"It's nothing," Buffy said, looking down at her plate.
Why was it so hard to talk to her mom? Probably because she would have to lie.
"Come on. You can tell me anything. I've read all the parenting books. You cannot surprise me," Joyce said, firmly.
'Yes, but I doubt having the Slayer as your daughter was covered,' she thought to herself.
Buffy put down her fork, and looked over at her mother.
"Do you remember that guy Angel?" She asked.
"Angel, the, um... the college boy who was tutoring you in history? Don't tell me you broke up with Spike?" Joyce asked.
Buffy shook her head.
"No Mom, Spike and I are fine. It's just. Well, before I started seeing Spike, I was sort of dating Angel. He hasn't been around for a while, but he's back now. And he's really unhappy about Spike and me. He's, uh well…"
"Don't tell me. He's changed. He's not the same guy you fell for?" Her mom asked with a small smile.
"In a nutshell. A-anyway, um... since he got back, he's been kinda following me around. He's having trouble letting go."
"Buffy, has he done anything..." Joyce asked, concerned.
"No! No, it's not like that. He's just been hanging around... a lot. Just sending me notes, that kind of thing. I just don't wanna see him right now. I mean, if he shows up, I'll talk to him. Just... don't invite him in."
"Thanks for having me over, Buffy. Especially on a school night and all," Willow said a few hours later as she sat next to Buffy on her bed.
The two girls were armed to the teeth with garlic, holy water, stakes and crosses.
"No problem. Hey, sorry about your fish," Buffy said.
Angelus had gone into Willow's bedroom, taken all of the fish out of her aquarium, and strung them together on a thread. Willow had found them in an envelope he left for her, and decided a sleepover at Buffy's was needed.
"Oh, it's okay. We hadn't really had time to bond yet. Although for the first time I'm glad my parents didn't let me have a puppy."
"Every time something like this happens, my first instinct is to run to Spike. But I can't keep doing that," Buffy admitted, sadly.
"Why not? I'm sure he'd come if you call," Willow said.
For the first time since she met Spike, Willow realized that she would be more than happy to have him there. One more thing between them and Angelus.
"He would, but I think I've been too much of a burden on him lately. I ran to him this morning, and he followed me to school. Did you know he spent all day looking up demons he knows we will have to deal with in the next few years? He should have been at home sleeping, but instead he was he was doing what he could to help. I had to make him promise that he would stay in and get some sleep tonight…"
"He definitely wouldn't get any sleep here," she said, eyeing the window to Buffy's room nervously.
"Nope. Besides, I am the Slayer. I need to know that I can handle these situations without him, even if I don't have to."
They sat in silence for a moment.
"I never would have believed that Angel could change so much. He is completely different from the guy I knew."
"Well, sort of, except..." Willow began.
"You're still the only thing he thinks about."
Angelus growled and staked yet another incompetent minion. Drusilla reached out and caught some of the dust on her finger then stuck it into her mouth.
"He was my last one," she told him with a pout.
The dark haired vampire bared his teeth at her, but she just grinned.
"We'll make more," he said, dismissively.
"You keep saying that, but you won't do it!" She whined.
Angelus turned away from her and glared at the wall, cursing the sunlight that kept him trapped with her.
"I told you Dru, I can't just turn anyone… They have to be special. It has to mean something, or they'll end up like these empty-headed fools that we've been stuck with for weeks!"
Drusilla was looking up at the ceiling, ignoring him. She suddenly let out a moan of pain.
Angelus sighed in irritation.
"What is it now?"
Drusilla tumbled out of the wheelchair and began to writhe on the floor.
"The air. It worries. Someone... an old enemy is seeking help... help to destroy our family. Ohhhh..."
She had his attention now.
"Well, good morning, ladies. And what did you two do last night?" Xander inquired the next morning as a sleepy Buffy and Willow made their way to the school.
"We had kind of a 'pajama party sleepover with weapons' thing," Willow told him, looking through some of the papers in her notebook as she walked.
"Oh. And I don't suppose either of you had the presence of mind to locate a camera to capture the moment," He said in a mock-stern voice.
The girls ignored him.
" I have to go. I have a class to teach in about five minutes, and I have to arrive early to glare disapprovingly at the stragglers," Willow said happily, but then spotted Ms. Calendar walking in the door and frowned.
"Oh, darn. She's here. Five hours of lesson planning yesterday down the drain..." she mumbled and walked off.
"You know what? I'll see you in class," Buffy said to Xander and hurried to catch up with the computer teacher.
"Hey," she said when she caught her.
"Hi," Jenny said, cautiously.
Buffy looked at Jenny a moment, then averted her eyes.
"Uh, is there something that... Did you want something?" Jenny asked, when Buffy remained silent.
"Look... I know you feel badly about what happened, and I just wanted to say..." She trailed off and looked up at the teacher.
Jenny looked at her expectantly.
"Good. Keep it up."
"Don't worry, I will," Jenny said, sincerely.
Buffy sighed and held up her hand.
"Oh, wait. Um... He misses you. He doesn't say anything, I mean, but I know he does. And I don't want him to be lonely. I don't want anyone to."
"Buffy, you know that if I have a chance to make this up..." She began, but Buffy interrupted her.
"We're... good here. Let's just leave it."
"Why is he here again?" Cordelia asked impatiently as Willow and Buffy set up to perform the spell that would keep Angel out of Willow's house.
Spike opened his mouth, but Buffy put a hand over it.
"To test it. We want to make sure that it works," she said impatiently.
"We didn't test my car!"
She was ignored.
Willow finished nailing a cross to her bedroom wall and quickly pulled a curtain over it to hide it.
"I'm gonna have a hard time explaining this to my dad," she muttered, frowning.
"You really think it'll bother him?" Buffy asked.
She knew that Willow and her family were Jewish, but it wasn't something that came up a lot.
"Ira Rosenberg's only daughter nailing crucifixes to her bedroom wall? I have to go over to Xander's house just to watch 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' every year."
"I see your point."
"Although it is worthwhile to see him do the Snoopy Dance," the redhead grinned.
"Now that, I really need to see."
"Willow, are you aware that there are no fish in your aquarium?" Cordelia said looking at her with distaste.
Willow frowned and whined.
Spike sent Buffy a questioning look, but she just waved a hand impatiently.
"You know, Cordelia, we've already done your car. Call it a night if you want," Buffy suggested, trying not to glare at the girl.
"Right. Thanks. And you know I'd do the same for you if you had a social life," the brunette said and left.
"Wow, that Anya chick is a breath of fresh air compared to that bitch," Spike said.
"Who?" Buffy asked.
Spike sighed and shrugged.
They made Spike stand outside, then Willow cast the spell and revoked his invitation. It worked, so she repeated the process for Angelus.
"Next we'll do…" Buffy trailed off when she noticed Willow staring at Spike who was still outside the door waiting for them to finish.
The redhead looked at Buffy, the turned back to vampire, who was now staring back at her, curiously.
"Spike, you are invited in," Willow said, her voice only slightly unsteady.
The vampire looked truly astonished and he hesitantly stepped over the threshold.
To Willow, it seemed such a little thing, but Buffy pulled her into a tight hug unable to hide her happiness. Even Spike couldn't keep a pleased smile off of his face as he lifted their bag of magic supplies.
An envelope fell to the floor and Willow quickly picked it up.
"It's for you," she whispered, handing it to Buffy.
Buffy unfolded the paper and saw a pencil sketch of her mother sleeping.
Joyce Summers sighed in relief as she pulled into her drive way. Eight hours on her feet at the museum and another hour at the grocery store had her wiped out. She really was exhausted, and she still had to make dinner before she could relax.
She climbed out of the jeep, grabbing the grocery bag out of the seat next to her, and turned toward the house, shutting the door with her foot. A vaguely familiar looking young man, who seemed to appear out of nowhere, startled her.
"Mrs. Summers, I need to talk to you," Angelus said.
He seemed polite, but one look in those empty brown eyes of his had Joyce shuddering uneasily.
"You're Angel," she said, in her firm, mom, voice.
"Did Buffy tell you about us?" He asked.
"She told me she wants you to leave her alone," Joyce said, refusing to make eye contact again.
"I-I can't. I can't do that," he said as she quickly dodged passed him, hurrying up the walk to the door of the house.
"You're scaring her," Joyce said, feeling a bit scared herself.
"You have to help me. Joyce...I need, I need to be with her. Y-you can convince her. You have to convince her."
Her instinctive protectiveness toward her daughter came through to push back her fear, and she turned to face him with threatening eyes.
"Look, I'm telling you to leave her alone," she warned, enunciating each word.
"You have to talk to her for me, Joyce. Tell her I need her," his face was no longer that of a heartbroken teenager, but rather an amused predator, playing with it's prey.
"Please, look, I-I just wanna get inside, okay?" She said, not waiting for a response
She let go of her grocery bag with one hand and rummaged in her purse for her keys, but she couldn't keep her grip on the bag, and it fell. Several oranges rolled out and around. Angelus righted the bag and scrambled to pick a few of the oranges up.
"You don't understand, Joyce. I'll die without Buffy. She'll die without me."
"Are you threatening her?
"Please... Why is she doing this to me?"
"I'm calling the police now."
She decided to forget the grocery bag and went to the door. Once there she fumbled with her keys, trying to find the right one. Angelus came up next to her. She finally got the key in the door.
"I haven't been able to sleep since the night we made love."
Joyce looked up at him in surprise, unable to believe that Buffy would sleep with such an unstable man.
"I need her. I know you understand."
"Just leave us alone," Joyce said, opening the door and rushing inside.
He tried to follow, but came up against an invisible barrier. Buffy, Spike, and Willow came down the stairs. Willow read a Latin verse from a book.
"'Hicce verbis consensus rescissus est.'"
Buffy walked up to the door; Spike was slightly behind her, making faces at the other vampire.
"Sorry, Angel. Changed the locks," she said, slamming the door in his face.
Jenny Calendar sat behind her classroom computer, totally absorbed in her project. It wasn't until Jenny had seen Buffy's face the day after Angel had lost his soul that she realized what a fool she'd been. She should have told Buffy or at least Rupert what was going on when they first met.
There was a happy blip on the computer and she was excited to see that it was attempting to translate the text. If she could get this to work, she could give Angel is his soul back. Jenny knew that nothing short of that would win Buffy's forgiveness, and as long as the Slayer was upset with her, Rupert would never except her into his life the way she wanted to be.
"Come on, come on..." she muttered.
The hourglass suddenly disappeared and a translation scrolled up next to the original text.
"That's it! It's gonna work! This... will work…" She said, excitedly.
Jenny quickly saved the text and popped out a yellow floppy disk, setting it aside by some books near the edge of her desk. Next she hurried over to the printer where a hard copy was printing. She couldn't wait to show Rupert.
She felt him, the moment he appeared at the classroom door.
"Angel... How did you get in here?" She asked, slowly inching away from him.
"I was invited. The sign in front of the school... 'Formatia trans sicere educatorum,'" he said with a mischievous smirk.
"'Enter all ye who seek knowledge,'" Jenny translated the Latin with a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach.
Angelus laughed and started toward her.
"What can I say? I'm a knowledge seeker."
"Angel, I-I-I've got good news," she said, hoping to stall him. What else could she do?
"I heard. You went shopping at the local boogedy-boogedy store. The Orb of Thesulah. If memory serves, this is supposed to summon a person's soul... from the ether... store it until it can be transferred," he said picking the orb up off of her desk.
Jenny didn't say anything, readying herself to bolt through the door at any moment.
"The Orb began to glow as he looked into it. He glanced up at Jenny for an instant.
"You know what I hate most about these things?"
Jenny screamed as he heaved it into the chalkboard behind her. It shattered into hundreds of pieces and a lot of dust.
Angelus smiled a truly evil smile.
"They're so damn fragile. Must be that shoddy gypsy craftsmanship, huh?"
Jenny started inching her way toward the door as Angelus reached over to the PC and turned the monitor so he could see it.
"I never cease to be amazed by how much the world has changed in just two and a half centuries," he comments as he studies the screen.
Jenny reached the door and tried to open it, but soon found the he had somehow locked it. Her eyes flicked back to Angelus as he turned the monitor back around.
"It's a miracle to me. You, you put the secrets to restoring my soul in here..."
He shoved the computer off her of desk and onto the floor. It broke, and the monitor shattered, sparked and started to burn. Angelus tore the printout from the printer.
"…it comes out here," he finished looking at the paper.
"'The Ritual of Restoration.' Wow. This, this brings back memories."
He started to tear the printout in half.
"Wait. That's your..." Jenny started.
"Oh, my cure?" He asked as he finished tearing the papers up.
"No, thanks. Been there, done that, and deja vu just isn't what it used to be."
He walked over to the broken computer, which had caught on fire.
"My... Isn't this my lucky day. The computer..." he said, and held the ripped papers over the flames.
"…and the pages. Looks like I get to kill two birds with one stone."
He crouched over the fire as if to warm himself as Jenny slowly started toward the back door. Angelus looked back up at her, his face melting into the vampire visage.
"And teacher makes three."
Giles stepped up to Buffy's front door and knocked. Willow answered.
"Willow, good evening," he said, stepping inside the door.
"Hi. Come on in," she said, shutting the door behind her.
"Watcher," Spike acknowledged him briefly before turning back to the television.
The vampire had made himself at home, sprawled on the Summer's couch munching on Joyce's freshly baked cookies.
"Here's the book," Willow said, handing the spell book over.
"Right. I guess I should do my apartment tonight. The ritual go all right?" He asked.
"Oh, yeah. It went fine. Well, it went fine until Angel showed up and told Buffy's mom that he and Buffy had... Well, you know, that they had... you know. You do know, right?" Willow asked, flustered.
"Oh, yes. Yes. Sorry," he said, as the reason for the girl's unease became apparent.
"Oh, good, 'cause I just realized that being a librarian and all, you maybe didn't know," the redhead said, relieved.
A snort of laughter came from the vampire on the couch. Giles glared at him and moved with Willow back to the front of the house.
"Thank you. I got it," he said, dryly.
"You would have been proud of her, though. She totally kept her cool," Willow said with a smile.
There was an awkward moment of silence.
"Okay, well, I'll tell Buffy you stopped by," she said opening the door for him.
Giles glance up the stairs.
"Would you, um... Perhaps I should intervene on, on Buffy's behalf w-w-with her mother. Um, maybe... say something?"
"Sure! Like, what would you say?"
"W... Uh..." Giles had no idea.
Willow opened the door wider and gestured for him to leave.
"You will tell Buffy I dropped by?"
"You bet," Willow promised quickly shutting the door behind him.
Buffy sat on her bed as her mom paced the room.
"That stuff with the Latin and the herbs, uh, he's just real superstitious," Buffy said, cringing out how ridiculous that sounded.
Joyce abruptly stopped pacing and sat on the bed.
"Oh," she said as if she just couldn't process everything.
"We just thought if..." Buffy began/
"Was he the first? No, wait. I don't wanna know. I don't think I want to." She jumped up and started pacing again
Buffy was almost relived that he mom was focusing on the 'sex' thing and not the magic.
"Yeah. He was the first. I mean, the only," she said, quickly.
Joyce stopped pacing again to look her daughter in the eye.
"He's older than you."
"I know," Buffy said, looking down. She had no idea…
"Too old, Buffy. And he's obviously not very stable. I really wish..." she sat down again.
"I just thought you would show more judgment."
"He wasn't like this before."
"Are you in love with him?" Joyce asked, bracing herself for the answer.
"I was," Buffy admitted.
And it was true. She had loved Angel very much. He was he first real love, and she would never forget that. But even if he hadn't lost his soul, Buffy knew that it would have ended.
"Were you careful?"
Her mom's awkward question pulled her out of her musings.
"Mom, this is no time..." She began. But how could she explain to her mother that Angel couldn't make babies or carry diseases.
"Don't 'Mom' me, Buffy. You don't get to get out of this. You had sex with a boy you didn't even see fit to tell me you were dating," Joyce said, jumping to her feet again.
"I made a mistake."
"Yeah, well, don't just say that to shut me up, because I think you really did."
Would there be no end to her punishment for sleeping with Angel?
"I know that! But I-I can't tell you everything," Buffy said, her voice shaking slightly.
"How about anything? Buffy, you can shut me out of your life, I am pretty much used to that. But don't expect me to ever stop caring about you, because it's never gonna happen. I love you more than anything in the world."
Joyce sat back down on the bed.
"That would be your cue to, uh, roll your eyes and tell me I'm grossing you out."
"You're not," Buffy said, keeping her face turned away so that her mother wouldn't see the tears in her eyes. Never had she wanted to tell her mother the truth more than she did at this moment.
"What about Spike?" Her mom asked after a few minutes.
"Spike loves me, Mom. And I care about him a lot. But he has made it clear that we will wait until I am ready."
Joyce nodded and closed her eyes again.
"Sleeping with Angel made me realize that I'm not ready. And Mom, Spike is nothing like Angel. H-He's a lot younger, and definitely more stable…"
"I know. I like Spike a lot, Buffy. And I'm glad that he is so patient with you. But he is still a guy, and as you are now well aware guys can change… I just want you to keep me a little more informed of what's going on with you. You might be surprised by how much I can actually help you."
"I promise," the Slayer said with a small smile.
Joyce took a deep breath and let it out.
"Oh, well... I guess that was the talk," she said lightly.
"So how'd it go?" Buffy asked cautiously.
They looked at each other.
"I don't know. It was my first," Joyce said with a slight laugh.
Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love... the clarity of hatred... and the ecstasy of grief.
Buffy and Spike were curled up on the couch listening to Willow, who was relating a funny story about her confrontation the weekend before with a group of girls she had thought were Oz groupies.
The slayer snuggled back into the vampire's chest, feeling a contentment she hadn't in a while. It felt so good to have her boyfriend and best friend in the same room, truly enjoying the others company. Now if she could just get Xander too…
The ringing of the phone broke off that thought.
"I got it," she called to her mom, who was in the kitchen cooking dinner, as she hopped up from the couch and headed for the dinning room.
"Hello… Giles, hey! We did the, the thing… It worked. What?"
Spike could feel the distress his slayer was in even though she was in the other room. He exchanged a look with Willow, and the two of them went after Buffy.
She had a look on her face of utter devastation.
Spike asked no questions, just pulled her into his arms. He wanted nothing more than to take her pain away. Willow grabbed the phone from Buffy's lifeless hand and held it to her ear.
Buffy was holding very tightly to Spike, but her eyes stayed dried.
"What? No!" Willow hung up the phone. She turned to face Buffy and Spike, but burst into tears before she could say anything.
Joyce came running into the room when she heard Willow crying. Seeing Spike comforting Buffy, she pulled Willow to her in a hug. Her eyes met Spike's questioningly, but the vampire just shrugged. Then suddenly he blinked as the realization of what had happened hit him. He hugged Buffy tighter, and the Slayer finally started to cry.
Spike looked out the window to see Angelus watching the scene and grinning maliciously. If it hadn't been for Buffy's tight grip on him, he would have run outside and punched that expression off of the bastard's face.
Xander pushed the door to Giles' apartment open and ducked under the yellow crime scene tape.
Buffy, Spike, Willow and Cordelia follow.
Xander walked over to the desk and looked around.
"I guess Giles had a big night planned tonight," he said, noting the candles and rose petals.
Buffy picked up a sketch of Jenny that was lying on the floor.
"Giles didn't set this up. Angel did. This is the wrapping for the gift," she said handing the sketch to Xander.
"Oh, man. Poor Giles," the boy said, shaking his head at the picture.
Willow walked over to see Giles' nearly empty weapons chest.
"Look, all his weapons are gone," she said.
"But I thought he kept his weapons at the library," Cordelia said.
"No, those are his, uh, everyday weapons. These were his good weapons. The ones he, uh, breaks out when company comes to visit," Xander answered her.
Buffy went upstairs, looked around and came back down, shaking her head.
"So he's not here," Willow said.
"Well, then where is he?" Cordelia asked.
"He'll go to wherever Angel is," looking at Spike.
The vampire had been uncharacteristically quiet since they'd left her house.
"That means the factory, right?" Willow asked.
"So Giles is gonna try to kill Angel then?" Cordelia asked.
"Well, its about time somebody did," Xander said, glaring at both Spike and Buffy who turned away.
"Xander!" Willow scolded.
"I'm sorry, but let's not forget that I hated Angel long before you guys jumped on the bandwagon…" Xander began.
"Except for Spike," Xander said, rolling his eyes and continuing his rant.
"So I think I deserve a little something for not saying 'I told you so' long before now. And if Giles wants to go after the, uh, fiend that murdered his girlfriend, I say, 'Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!'"
Xander looked each one of them in the eye, silently daring them to contradict him.
"You're right," Buffy said.
Willow and Cordelia looked up at Buffy. Spike continued his silent contemplation of the group.
"Thank you," Xander said, not as surprised as Willow and Cordelia that Buffy agreed with him. He knew he was right.
"There's only one thing wrong with Giles' little revenge scenario," the Slayer said.
"And what's that?" Xander asked, his tone made it clear that he was ready for an argument if that was what was needed to get her to face the facts.
"It's gonna get him killed."
Buffy and Spike arrived at the burning warehouse just in time to see Giles getting his ass kicked by Angelus.
The Slayer quickly jumped into the fight, while Spike pulled the watcher out of harms way.
As soon as Giles realized who was holding him, he pushed him away.
"What?" Spike asked just before the watched socked him in the nose, drawing blood.
"You knew!" Giles shouted, "You knew this would happen! You knew he would kill her, and you did nothing!"
The watcher swung at him again, but Spike calmly caught his arm to stop him.
The blonde vampire didn't try to fight back, he just did his best to keep Giles from hurting himself. Spike respected Giles from when he knew the man before, and the fact that his actions, or non-actions rather, had hurt made Spike feel… guilty.
He had been told before he was sent back that he wouldn't have a soul. So, why did he care that he had let Giles down? Why did it…hurt?
Giles was angry and hurting. That was the only real excuse he had for what he did next. Spike and Angelus were too strong for him to defeat now. But there was another… an evil vampiress in a wheelchair watching everything from behind a corner.
To Spike, everything happened in slow motion. Giles pulled away from him and grabbed a stake from his pile of weapons. The vampire prepared himself for Giles' attack, but it never came. Instead, the watcher turned and ran in the opposite direction. Spike was confused until he saw the gleam of the wheelchair in the light of the fire.
"Dru," he whispered, helplessly.
It was almost as if Giles had been taken over by something else as he rushed to Drusilla. He wheeled her chair out, so that Spike had a good view. Looking up once to make sure that Spike was watching Giles plunged the stake into her undead heart.
Watching the woman he had loved for years explode into a cloud of dust, hurt far more than he ever believed it would have. Spike knew it would probably come to this, but he didn't think it would be so soon. Part of him believed that she would leave and not return like last time. But then, he had been the one to take her away last time. It no longer mattered now.
Spike closed his eyes and turned away. He walked out of the burning building, his feet carrying him to Buffy's house. If he'd looked back, he would have seen Giles collapse as the smoke became too much for him. He wanted to believe that if he had seen that, he would have helped the man out. But it was too late to know for sure.
Buffy finally had the upper hand with Angelus, and was beating the crap out of him. Then, he started laughing at her.
"Are you gonna let your old man just burn?"
Giles was lying unconscious on the ground. The flames were getting dangerously close to him. Where was Spike?
Sighing in defeat, she allowed Angel to get away as she hurried to save her watcher.
"Why did you come here?! This wasn't your fight!" He demanded after he came around in the cool night air.
She punched him in the jaw, and he spun and fell to the pavement.
"Are you trying to get yourself killed?!" She demanded angrily, then started to cry.
She crouched down to hug him, and he started crying and hugging her back.
"You can't leave me. I can't do this without you."
Buffy returned home a few hours later. She had stopped by Spike's place first. She knew from the dust in the wheelchair that Drusilla was dead, but wasn't sure what exactly had happened. Giles had been less than forthcoming about that.
She was surprised to see the kitchen light on. What was her mom doing up this late?
"Mom, what…" she stopped dead in her tracks.
Spike was sitting at the kitchen table, a cup of untouched cocoa on the table. Joyce was standing in front of him and he had his arms wrapped around her waist, sobbing into her stomach.
Buffy's mom looked up at her sadly and stepped away so that the slayer could take her place.
"I'll be upstairs if you need me," Joyce whispered to her.
Her heart ached for both of them, but she knew what they needed was each other.
They didn't talk. Buffy just led Spike to the couch. They held each other and cried until they both fell into an exhausted sleep.
The next day was Saturday, but Joyce had to work early. It was almost down when she saw them. Sleeping in each other's arms, fully clothed. She smiled a small smile, thankful that her daughter had found him.
Joyce shrugged on her coat and grabbed her purse. She placed a hand on the door, but then stopped. She walked back to the living room and looked at the sleeping couple. The curtains on the windows behind them were wide open. For some reason, she just could not bring herself to leave for work without drawing the curtains firmly closed.
It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we'd know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow. Empty rooms, shuttered and dank... Without passion, we'd be truly dead.
Buffy watched, stoically as Giles knelt down and laid some flowers on Jenny's grave.
"In my years as... Watcher... I've buried... too many people. But Jenny was the first I've loved," Giles admitted in a harsh whisper.
Buffy looked up at him.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry I couldn't kill him for you...for her... when I had the chance."
"I wasn't ready. But I think I finally am. I can't hold on to the past anymore. Angel has gone. Nothing's ever gonna bring him back."
Willow waited on all of the students to take their seats before speaking.
"Hi. Principal Snyder asked me to fill in for Ms. Calendar... u-until the new computer science teacher arrives. So I'm just gonna stick to the lesson plan she left."
She walked around to the front of the desk and looked over the books and things that were there.
Willow put down her own books, and in the process nudged a few books aside a little. As a result the yellow disk that Jenny had set next to the books was pushed off of the edge. It fell between the desk and the small filing cabinet next to it. It hit the floor and spun around a few times before coming to rest leaning against the side of the cabinet.
It was a quiet and clear night. Angelus took a deep breath enjoying the scent of fresh grave. He was sitting on the headstone in one of the many Sunnydale cemeteries, just enjoying a night out.
It had been quiet without Dru around. Too quiet. Angel had been the loaner, not Angelus. Angelus had always had someone with him. He couldn't bring Darla back, but he could find someone new. And he had. Someone smart and pretty. Someone who could really mess with the Slayer and her entourage.
A pale arm suddenly shot out of the dirt of the grave in front of him. He smiled as she clawed her way out, yellow eyes taking in her surrounding.
"That's it. Come to Daddy, Jenny"
End part 9