BEWITCHED AND BOTHERED
A/N: Faith and Wesley have taken over (or are about to,) even as another force takes over in Sunnydale. And, where does that leave Buffy and the Scoobies?
Just a quick word concerning Rack. He is part demon in this; I just thought it would be good for the story. Sorry if he is a little OOC.
Very AU in this chapter. There is a little bit of blood play in this chapter, but not too graphic.
This is kinda a "tying up loose ends" kind of chapter, so if that's not your cup o' tea, then I'll see you in the next chapter. Reviews, pretty please? Sorry about the wait.
Previously: The vampire pulled back, sitting on the roof as he lit a cigarette and inhaled. He'd find a way to get Faith alone and vulnerable, and then…all Hell would break loose.
Buffy was deposited at the Sunnydale boundary that evening. She looked at the town she now called home and considered the decision she had made. Buffy hoped that she had made the right choice.
**Time 'll tell,** she thought as she opened a manhole cover and let herself back into the sewers so that no one could detect her. When she hit the water, Buffy smiled confidently and headed toward her house.
Rack prepared for his next customer, making sure his store of magic dust was laced with the proper intoxicant. He had to hand it to himself: D'Ambrosia was a sweet deal, what with all of the customers he had. He thought about the house he would purchase near the dimensional gateway in the first level of Hell and sat back, blowing smoke rings out of his ears.
He had attracted so many witches and warlocks that he had to turn some away recently, like that loser Michael Madison. Rack still saw his tear stained face as he pleaded for another shot; another dose of magic, this one more satisfying than the first.
"C'mon, Rack!" Michael had said less than one week ago. "I need some for me, for my little girl. I promise I'll pay you back."
The drug dealing demon had looked at him without pity or compassion and had said in a biting tone, "Aww, Mikey. You're breaking my heart." Rack handed him something that resembled a hooka.
"This is the purest form of D'Ambrosia that is around," Rack confided. "It's also got the highest buzz you could ever get from one dose. This'll put you into magic heaven. You only need a little."
Michael's eyes glazed over as he snatched the pipe from Rack's outstretched hand. "I promise, you won't regret this," Mike said.
Rack's eyes held pure evil in them. Michael was too enraptured by the pipe to see his expression.
"I know I won't," the half demon mystic drug dealer said softly. Michael left with his ill gotten gold.
Rack counted the portions of souls he'd collected—just a little to escape detection—and smiled. Soon, he would collect allof them, each and every one, for his superiors. That was bound to earn him a promotion from a seventh level demon to the first level.
The doorbell rang suddenly. Rack checked his timepiece and he frowned. It was too early for his next customer. Curious, the part-demon opened the door.
"You…" he said, astonished.
And then he fell, as the one who'd blindsided him walked inside his house.
Giles pulled up in front of his flat with Joyce, who was looking way too calm as though she were trying to hide her nervousness. He got out of his car, knowing time was of the essence for finding the other Slayer if she was there.
"Would you like a spot of tea or perhaps something stronger?" He offered. Joyce declined, saying that she was all right.
**Besides,** she thought, **I'm not going to give you a chance to poison me or something.**
The Watcher went into his kitchen and put a kettle on for himself. While he did so, outside in his mini Coop, Richard Tennant blew on his fingers as he felt a chill rising.
He called Curtis and reported his findings. Hearing his superior Watcher's voice over the car phone, Tennant shook his head, saying, "No, sir. He hasna moved. There's also no sign of the Slayer or her friends."
Still at the school, Curtis instructed, "Very well. Continue to monitor Mr. Giles, then if he tries anything or you see the Summers girl, report to me immediately!"
"It will be done," Tennant assured Curtis, hanging up the phone.
In another part of the school in the Principal's office, a Watcher brooded, wondering what to do with the Snyder chap. He was becoming quite tiresome, with his desire to want to stay.
"Just what are you planning to do now that the police are gone?" Roy Snyder asked, his eyes peering with suspicion. Something, he told himself, was off with these men wearing black. They didn't look like any doctors he knew.
He would be reprimanded almightily by the school board, to say the least, if they weren't who they said they were. Snyder would have loved to be rid of the plague that was Buffy Summers and have a nice, normal school (at least, a slightly more normal school), but he also wanted not to damage his reputation in Sunnydale in the bargain.
One of the Watchers addressed Snyder, telling him, "We'll be taking Miss Summers off your hands when she arrives. She is a dangerous young lady and she must be contained."
Snyder sneered, "And, what about her mother and Mr. Giles? This could go very bad for the school if word of Miss Summers' escape and her unbalanced nature got out. Someone might tip off the press, and then, where would we be? You may have convinced the police that you have everything under control, but you still haven't convinced me."
"We thought you would accept proof of our authority and give Miss Summers over to us. Believe me, Mr. Snyder, it's the best way," the Watcher told the Principal.
"Somehow, I suddenly don't believe you," Snyder said, crossing his arms.
"What would it take to convince you?" the man asked. "Look at it this way…".
Snyder countered with an, "I'm listening."
The Watcher continued, his voice becoming more seductive: "think of it, Mr. Snyder. You rid the school of this…irritant, and the students can go back to their boring, plebian lives, courtesy of your assistance. Now, I think that, plus…shall we say…" he withdrew a hundred US dollars "…a small reward for locating a dangerous presence like Miss Summers is proof enough of our veracity?"
Snyder smiled avariciously. It wasn't as though he made tons of dollars. And, these fellows looked innocuous enough. The Principal motioned to the man, showing the camera with a tilt of his head. The man nodded, casually putting the money into a wallet. Out of sight of the camera, the Watcher pretended to pick up the wallet and give it back to Snyder. He looked at the Watcher with a smug grin.
"What do you want me to do?" the Principal asked eagerly.
The Watcher instructed, "Go home. You've done enough, letting us have free reign here until we retrieve the Summers girl. We'll contact you if we require anything further." Principal Snyder grinned and took off, walking outside with a confident look on his face.
It was only as he pulled up in front of his house that he realized that he hadn't actually taken the bribe from the gentleman.
Oh, well, he consoled himself, there are other rewards to be had, like expulsion for the Summers girl, and possibly juvenile hall. His grin a mile wide, Snyder entered his house triumphantly.
Cordelia pulled up in front of Giles' home with Willow, Wesley, Oz, Xander, and Faith squeezed inside of her tiny car.
"Maybe we should've taken the van," Willow suggested.
"Now, you tell us," Xander complained. Resting atop everyone's lap was Oz, since the whole back seat was taken.
"I've been inside mini coops bigger than this, C," Faith griped from the back of the sporty, red car. She pressed closer to Xander, earning a inner snarl from Cordelia as she felt jealousy grip her.
"Now, Faith, this was necessary," Wesley cautioned, turning slightly to regard her, "to avoid detection of our vehicle. It is more advantageous to surprise our foes than to announce our presence."
"You don't have dibs on sayin' anything, Wes," Faith returned. "You got the front seat. Besides, it's not like we got anything like the mystery machine or nothing special on it."
Cordelia couldn't take any more bickering or trouncing of her car, and she snapped, "It's my fault I drove the only backup car in the area? Besides, why don't you guys…I dunno, get the equivalent of a Slayer mobile or something for these situations?"
"That's what paid guys like Giles are for," Xander quipped.
"Um, guys," Willow asked, raising her hand. "That's not really the issue, here. How are we gonna tell Giles, and Buffy if we find her, the news about them being…you know…?"
Oz stroked Willow's hand to provide moral support but didn't say anything.
Xander said, "We don't." His dark eyes fell on Faith as he responded, "We let the odd couple here tell them."
Wesley turned back to the front. Presently, Cordelia pulled up in front of Giles' place. "Believe me, I share your sentiment, but as harsh as it may seem, we're just following orders," he said, his voice logical and detached.
After Oz climbed out, Faith emerged, commenting as she viewed the tiny place, "Nice digs. Not too flashy. I could get used to a place like this."
Xander muttered, "What makes you think you'll be staying?" Faith's cold, brown eyes found the boy's and they narrowed with suspicion.
"What was that?" she asked him.
Willow gripped Xander's arm and looked at him, her silent voice a plea not to aggravate Faith. "Nothing," she said hurriedly. The redheaded girl walked up to the door and knocked. There was no answer.
"Giles…" she called. The door swung open, and Willow swallowed.
Stating the obvious, Cordelia said, "Okaaayyy, not a good sign."
Faith pronounced, "Guys, there was a vamp here." Wesley regarded her.
"Are you sure?" He queried. The group walked inside to a home that was completely in a state of disarray. Pictures were askew; bottles of liquor were either broken on the floor or littering the place; the rug was disturbed, and the phone was off the hook.
Faith answered Wesley as she scrutinized Giles' home. "Yeah," she said. "Tingles are racin' up my spine. He was very old, very strong. Others were here, too, but they were fledgies." But her Watcher focused on the older vampire.
"A Master Vampire?" he asked. Faith jerked her head in a nod.
"Angel?" Willow whispered to her friends. "Or Spike?"
"Spike's in a wheelchair," Oz put in. Wesley caught the exchange. He saw Joyce's purse on the floor and picked it up.
"If he was still in a wheelchair…" Wesley said. He observed Faith, who was flipping through a discarded book.
"Oh! Giles would know, or Buffy…" Willow said, also wondering, if Buffy knew, or Giles, why didn't they tell us about Spike?
"We need to find one or both before they do," Xander responded. The group didn't need to ask who he was referring to.
"It looks like a prime opportunity to test your training," Wesley told Faith.
She smiled. Here was the chance of a lifetime to take out not just a vamp, but a supreme vamp.
Giles woke up in what looked like a section of the factory where Angelus, Spike and Drusilla were. The wall was damp and musty, and it had water running down large, brown stones. The Watcher could smell rust all around him, though he didn't feel any water falling on him. Looking upward, Giles saw that he was chained to a wall. He tried in vain to flex his wrists so that he could pull his fingers though the chains, but he couldn't.
Huffing in frustration, Giles looked around for Buffy's mother. When he didn't see her at all in the room, he began to panic.
"Joyce!" He called. "Where are you? What's going on?"
From out of the shadows, smoke issued forth, followed by a familiar figure wearing his human visage.
"Spike," Giles said with disgust. "What are you doing here?"
The British vampire blew smoke in his face as he said, "'m here to collect on a debt that needs to be repaid." He indicated Giles, telling him, "you…for either Slayer. Makes no difference to me."
Giles bounced back the words, "And, what makes you think there is a second Slayer?"
Spike came closer, snarling, "Oh, I saw her, Rupes! Dark hair, small frame, pretty morsel…a might taller than Miss Tiny Summers. So don't waste my time 'n yours denyin' it!"
Giles didn't betray any emotions when he said, "If there is one, what do you want either one for, Spike?"
The Watcher could smell the vampire's nicotine laced breath as Spike responded, "Not tellin' you a blessed thing, mate."
Giles looked worried. His mind raced as he speculated. Spike could've gotten a meal from anyone in town, so he probably needed a Slayer for some ritual. Whatever the head vampire's plans were, Giles knew the outcome would be grim if Buffy or the other Slayer got waylaid by him. There was another thing: just what had the vampire done with Buffy's mother?
"Where is Mrs. Summers, you evil, disgusting…" Giles spat.
Spike shook his golden head back and forth, saying, "Now, now, Rupes. No name callin' or I'll have to teach you some respect." The vampire thought a moment, then brought forth the demon. Closing the distance between them, he lightly stubbed his cigarette in Giles' hand, pulling it away a moment later. The Watcher winced with pain, but didn't cry out.
Fixing him with a malicious grin, Spike whispered in the Watcher's ear, "I'm sure you'll see things differently when I drain you dry."
Horrified, Giles said, "I thought I was to be bait."
The golden haired vampire drew back, measuring Giles with his glowing, yellow eyes as he said, "Never said 'live bait', now did I?"
As Giles struggled to free himself, Spike's fangs descended toward his neck, before he heard a: "naughty, naughty boy, playing with the li'l worm." Of all the times Giles had wished for Drusilla and her family to be dust, the Watcher breathed a sigh of relief for her intrusion. Spike morphed back into his human guise, his blue orbs regarding his Sire.
"Sorry, Dru," he said.
Spike pulled away, slightly miffed that his fun had been disturbed. He looked back at Giles, saying, "I s'pose you were right, Watcher. Live bait does work best. That's why I know Goldilocks and her mates 'll come."
Dru predicted, nodding in agreement, "The pixies told me that soon the Slayer and the Witch will give Daddy the blood 'e needs, and the night sky will blot out the sunshine. We'll have a tea party...just for them."
Spike started to turn from Giles, but then bit into his neck, taking just a little taste of his blood. When he had his fill, Spike dabbed his finger with some of it for kicks.
"Not bad, Rupes ol mate," the male vampire said gleefully. "Maybe I'll have you for dessert after the Slayer and her Witch friend."
The Watcher slumped over, unconscious. Spike nabbed some more on his first finger, giving Drusilla a taste. She took a long, slow pull of the man's blood; then, both blond and brunette vampire looked at their hostage and smiled.
"Daddy..." she suddenly said, gazing at the room where Angelus lay.
Remembering her Sire, Dru let the sustenance drip into a mug; then, she took the cup to the vampire in the other room, not seeing Spike's smile vanish and his frown return.
Always goes back to him…he thought, watching her as she walked away.
Spike turned, and in a fit of pique, stormed out of the mansion.
Joyce woke up on her lawn by her house, feeling a slight headache. She felt her head for any bumps, and when she was satisfied that she was otherwise okay, Joyce opened her eyes a little wider. Feeling the cold, night air on her cheeks, she pushed herself up. Buffy's mother saw that her house didn't seem to be disturbed. She shook her curly head a few times to clear it and stumbled toward the house.
A moment later, Buffy came up the walkway, shouting, "Mom?" She took in her mother's disheveled appearance.
"Buffy..." was all Joyce could say at the moment.
Supporting her mother, Buffy let them both inside the house. After getting her mother in an upward position, Buffy fetched some water from the kitchen. "Mom, what's going on?" she asked, handing Joyce the water, their earlier rift between them temporarily forgotten.
Joyce sipped the water gratefully, saying, "Thanks." She was a little more agitated as she said, "Buffy! That crazy librarian told me some things...".
Buffy defended her Watcher, saying, "Mom, he's not crazy!"
But Joyce insisted, "But he is! He told me a nutty story about there being vampires and slayers in Sunnydale! I've heard of paranoid schizophrenia, but what he said goes right off the charts!"
The younger Summers gripped the older Summers' shoulders, saying, "Mom, I so don't have time to tell you everything, but Giles is the sanest man I know! What he told you is true!"
Joyce shook her head, saying, "Buffy...".
"It is! Mom, remember Parent's/Teacher's night...the one where I defended you and Mr. Snyder from those guys with the ugly faces?"
Joyce nodded, saying, "The PCP gang? The ones whose leader I clubbed with an axe?"
Buffy said, "Yeah, and did I tell you 'way to go' for doing that?" She forced herself to stay on topic as Joyce waited for her to finish her thought. "Well, those weren't druggies."
The words sank in, as Joyce processed the information. She didn't want to believe all of the things she'd seen, but her rational side was starting to crumble beneath the weight of mounting evidence. To add to that, the men wearing black had been murmuring things that she didn't understand; things about a Council of some kind, perhaps the same one Mr. Giles had spoken of during their talk, and a Slayer. Could her daughter be telling the truth? Dare she believe her at long last?
She looked at Buffy and decided to trust her, for now. If her daughter was delusional, then she could and would deal with her when the time came. The Leader of the Gang did have an otherworldly, demonic look to him. Even in her wildest imaginings, she never saw that kind of look on a drug crazed face on television or in the papers.
"Oh, my God..." Joyce said, her face looking horrified at the startling realization.
Buffy let go of her mother, giving her a split second; then a determined look crossed her face. "Mom, tell me...how did you get back here? Where's Giles?" She wanted to know.
"I don't know," she said. "That PCP leader…vampire…took him. We were in Mr. Giles' home, and before he could show me something he'd said would prove the existence of vampires, a gang of them shouted to him to come out.
"Apparently, he recognized one of them, because he called him 'Spike'. Mr. Giles wasn't going to go outside, but then, one had a girl in his hands and he made to bite her unless Mr. Giles surrendered. I wanted to help him, but he went with them to save the girl."
"Then what happened?" Buffy asked.
Joyce said, "I went out a side window because I thought they wouldn't see me. When I thought the coast was clear, I started to run for help, but before I escaped, something grabbed me."
Spike, Buffy inwardly concluded.
Aloud, Buffy queried, "Did you see who it was? What about the girl?"
Her mother shook her head, saying, "I don't know! I didn't see anyone. All I know is: I woke up in front of the house. I don't know why whoever did that didn't just bring me inside."
"I do," Buffy said, remembering about vampires and their need to be invited into one's home. She didn't want to upset her mother about a vampire possibly coming into the house, so she said, "They probably wanted to avoid seeing me, if they were vampires. Usually, they're afraid of me."
Not knowing quite how to respond, Joyce simply said, "Oh." It was at that time that Buffy saw the note attached to her mother's right breast and she grabbed it.
Reading it, Buffy told her, "This is Spike's handwriting, I think." Her mother looked at the piece of paper, studying the elegant hand.
"Nice penmanship," she said. "You really should write more like this."
Turning away from her mother, Buffy rolled her eyes. She suddenly saw a flash of platinum hair, the only thing illuminated in the moon's light, and then a swish of something dark.
Seconds later, Spike bravely sauntered up, saying, "'ello, Slayer." His eyes fixed Joyce with, surprisingly, an affectionate gaze, which frightened her all the more.
"Missus," he greeted.
"Spike…" Buffy said, glaring at her enemy, while simultaneously, her mother uttered a, "what are you doing here with my daughter?"
The vampire flicked on his lighter, igniting a cigarette and letting the ashes drop to the ground as he responded, "Me an' the li'l cherub got business to discuss."
Richard Tennant drove to Buffy's house at the regular speed, eager to avoid detection. He had seen the vampire attack the woman he assumed was Joyce Summers, and he followed the revenant's path. He didn't much care about the other who'd been assaulted and captured. Richard didn't even care about the Summers woman.
Only Buffy Summers mattered. The Little Slayer, as some in his circle called her, was the one thing that his employer wanted above all else. He'd known that, sooner or later, the vampire would lead her to Richard, or she would come on her own.
After that, whatever anyone else did was of little consequence. Richard morphed into his true form, a half demon; half human with grey horns protruding out of his head. He checked his teeth, which were more like a vampire's fangs in his rear view mirror. Satisfied his smile was as charming as ever, Richard contacted his employer.
"Hello…" he said; then, in his own language, he told his boss, "na'k' to la a' larna Summers (no, I don't have the girl yet)…" he heard his superior; then, he said, "na kr'a'na ta la tar sha'ra (no, the Council doesn't suspect that I'm anything other than a fellow Watcher,) "sho, no'm be (I understand.)
In English, he said, "I'll contact you later when I have her. It won't be long now." He hung up his car phone.
"Soon, Buffy Summers," he said softly, "you'll see things differently. No one rejects my master and gets away with it." He activated the device he'd told Curtis Wentworth was a magic GPS system and waited, laughing a sinister chuckle.