A/N: So here it is. The newest chapter of DDD. I know I've been gone for a while but I'm back and I promise I will finish this story if its the last thing I do. But lets hope its not. Haha. Anyway, this is a little rushed but I hope you like it. Reviews are GREAT motivators. So please leave one. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy or any of the characters. As much as I would like to have Angel or Spike all to myself they belng to Joss. This is just me playing around with his ideas.
Denial, Despair, and Desire
Chapter Thirty-Two: Toth
Buffy smiled as Xander, Anya, and Willow bantered back and forth. She and Willow had gone with the couple to apartment shop earlier and after seeing one they had called it quits and decided to go see Giles. Overall she was reasonably cheerful. Her and Xander were okay.
He'd came over and fixed up the windows as a free of charge apology, making her mom very happy. She'd made chocolate chip cookies as a motivator and Xander was practically bouncing off the walls. She was just glad to be getting along with Xander again. The only problem was Spike. If she kept harboring these thoughts about Spike she wasn't sure how long this peace treaty would last.
As for Riley well he still was giving her the cold shoulder, but she wasn't about to fold in this little 'who's right contest' nonsense, because even Xander said she had been right.
Giles bought the magic shop. I guess the square footage was the deal breaker. Aside from classes, training, and patrolling, she along with all the others had happily agreed to help him set up shop, knowing how happy it made him.
Buffy couldn't help but notice how excited the acquirement of the magic shop made him. It seemed like a void was missing since they had blown up the mayor and left the remnants of Sunnydale high behind. But now his free time was filled with his new hobby and investment. A given bonus being the fact that he has his very own slayer to protect him if there are any nasties that show up trying to kill him.
"Hey Giles." Buffy greeted as her and the others filed in through the magic shop's door.
"Buffy, your here. We have a bit of a problem." he replied, his voice saturated with embarrassment.
"What happen Giles?" Buffy asked him curiously, her head swiveling around to assess the place for damage.
"Well we had a visitor." Giles said bluntly just as the magic shop's door swung open once more, revealing a flustered Riley in its wake. Giles was in them middle of his explanation when the gang caught sight of him.
"He came in and I hit him. Like this ... and this ... and this…" he told them as he demonstrated by swinging the statue around. "Oh hello."
"That thing's pretty heavy." Riley said, gesturing toward the statue in Giles's hands.
"That's Oofdar. Goddess of childbirth. She's got some nice heft to her." Willow noted, giving Giles a soft encouraging smile.
"How badly did you hurt him?" Buffy asked seriously, her features knitted in concentration.
"Well, hurt, uh ... maybe not ... hurt." Giles stuttered adjusting his glasses and tilting his head as a faint tint colored his cheeks.
"Well, I-I'm sure he was startled." Willow reassured him turning her attention to the book in her hand.
"Uh, yes, yes, I'd imagine it gave him, uh, rather a turn." he agreed, standing up a bit straighter.
"He ran away, huh?" Buffy teased, a small smirk forming.
"Um, sort of more ... uh ... turned and swept out majestically, I suppose. He said I didn't concern him." Giles told her, dejectedly.
"So a mythic triumph over a completely indifferent foe?" she quipped playfully.
"Well, I'm not dead or unconscious, so I say bravo for me." Giles said defensively.
"Some good demons in this one. See if your guy's in here." Willow suggested, tossing a book to Giles who gracefully caught it in mid-air.
"So you bought the magic shop and you were attacked before it opened. Who's up for a swingin' chorus of the 'We told you so' symphony?" Xander sing-songed as he sifted through the shop's nearby shelves.
"Owning this place does seem kinda dangerous." Riley added helpfully.
"Toth." Giles said looking up from his book.
"What?" Riley uttered, befuddled.
"He called you a Toth. It's a British expression. It means, like, moron." Buffy told him with a laugh. Riley scowled at her but Giles shook his head.
"No, Toth is the name of the demon." Giles started before catching sight of Xander messing with a clear crystal orb.
"Be careful with that." he warned and Xander placed it back down and turned to the group to listen.
"Ancient demon. Very strong. Last survivor of the Tothric clan. It also says that for a demon he's unusually sophisticated."
"Sophisticated. So I should discuss men's fashions with him before I chop his head off?" Buffy suggested sarcastically.
"They're referring to the fact that he does not fight bare-handed. He uses tools, devices. Oh, he's also supposed to be very focused. And since he mentioned the slayer, I think we know what the focus is." Giles concluded.
"He mentioned Buffy? Where do we find him, and how hard can we kill him?" Riley rolled his shoulders and put on his macho face.
"Well, there's no mention of the types of places he might frequent, but …" Giles slammed the book shot and shot up from his seat.
"I have an idea. He had a very specific olfactory presence."
"Well, I guess we're off to the ol'factory. I hate that place." Xander complained mockingly, before meeting everyone's annoyed glances. "I'm joking, I know what it means. He smelled. Right?" Xander asked hesitantly, making sure he wasn't wrong.
"Some demon rituals involve anointing with oils. Was it sort of ... Sandalwoody?" Willow wondered, rifling through a drawer with smelly incense and candles.
"Um ... not even remotely. But he was very, um... Distinctive." Giles winces and the gang nods in understanding.
Buffy, Willow, Giles, Xander and Riley walk cautiously as they surveyed the area carefully.
"The city dump. Where smells go to relax and be themselves." Buffy quipped, toting her large battle ax over the shoulder.
"People say they're recycling. They're not recycling." Riley said sadly. Xander patted him on the shoulder comfortingly.
"I found a spell so you can't smell anything," Willow's smile faded and she shrugged. "But it does it by taking your nose off, so ... No."
The gang turned around, when they heard noises coming from behind them, to find Spike, Riley scowls and Buffy smiles. She hadn't seen him for a while, not since their unusual and awkward talk in her kitchen few nights ago. And no she's not being avoidy. Okay maybe, but only because she forgot how nice it was to see him.
"What are you doing here, Spike?" Riley grinded out through his teeth and Spike scoffed at him.
"Oh, there's a nice lady vampire who set up a charming tea room over the next pile of crap. What do you think I'm doing? I'm scavenging, ain't I?" he replied, holding up a small lamp to prove his point.
"Very pretty." Willow complimented and Spike nodded at her, turning around and throwing into a shopping cart full of junk.
Spike nods and turns to put the arm and the lamp in a shopping cart nearby.
"Spike, um ... we're looking for a demon, um... tall, robed, skin sort of hanging off. Deep voice?" Giles explained, trailing off and waiting for an answer.
"You mean a great tall robe-y thing like that one?" he asked, pointing past them. Everyone whipped around to see Toth standing atop a heap of trash. Toth raised his hand and fire shot toward them.
"Take cover!" Riley shouted and the scoobies scrambled.