A Sire's Aegis
Disclaimer: Buffy and sundry are the brainchilder of Joss Whedon. I just like to play with them.
Author Note: This is a quasi-sequel to A Sire's Privilege
Stumbling through the desolate parts of Sunnydale, Spike growled in frustration. I look like a drunken wastrel from turn of the century London—weak, pathetic, desperate. Which, I guess, I am. Sobbingly, Spike realized he had little choice in actions. Slayer is the only one who might be of assistance in this hellhole.
Sniffing the air for the innocence of scent that marked this particular Slayer, Spike ambled toward the college sector of town.
But even as he thought such, Spike found himself yearning for the company of another. The very masculine, very firm form of his sire would provide so much more than any amount of coverage that the slayer could provide for his poorly state. Angel, even Angelus, would be a purveyor of protection that his recent ordeal screamed out for. Even as Spike continued to seek out the slayer, he could naught but think he could scent his sire. No. No, Angel shouldn't be here. He left Sunnyhell for brighter prospects… didn't he?
Even as the obviously imagined scent kept slamming into his senses, Spike continued to follow the trail of the one predator he knew for certain was in town: Buffy Summers.
Uncertain as to why this vision felt one-sided, Angel skulked about in the all night coffee shop waiting for his soul mate's inevitable pass through. He couldn't help but scoff as the holiday spirit was thrown about in the small town. One must wonder why these pathetic colonials think that a feast of conquer was something to celebrate. Shivering, Angel realized his thoughts were not quite sanguine for who he was in this time, a bit too close to those of his demon half. Need to find one of the Scoobies, see what this evil is and skedaddle. Too much time in this town and I may need to feed on one of these pathetic beings! Grimacing at his suddenly dark musing, Angel spied one of those who would be informed: Willow.
Barely suppressing the rising growl, Angel lunged forward to cover the redhead's mouth, muting her cries of indignation. "You've turned evil again!"
"I'm not evil." Angel somehow managed a non-threatening reply whilst thinking that he may as well be evil again. My thoughts haven't, exactly, been the most altruistic today. Mentally shaking himself, Angel continued. "I'm here to help Buffy." At least that was my original intent; maybe I'm here for something else.
Willow's eyes went from fearful to concern. "What's going on?"
"My friend had a vision about Buffy that hinted at the possibility of there being ... danger-" Angel trailed off as he spied someone he had not thought to see.
Riley smiled at the varied revelations that Buffy expounded to him about Thanksgiving past. She is so gorgeous when she starts babbling.
"… It'll be just-Shit!" Buffy interrupted herself, eyes widening as she spied something behind Riley.
Riley froze at the exclamation. "What's wrong?" He frowned as Buffy rummaged swiftly through her purse. She pulled something out, and shoved Riley behind her.
"Today is not the day to mess with me, Spike! I've other things to deal with and unless you like the idea of dust, I suggest you walk on!" Buffy growled.
Although Riley was curious about who could bring the petite blonde into a confrontational mood so fast, he couldn't help but notice the very intimidating male that was walking towards him from the coffee shop. Who is this? I'm so not in the mood to fight. Buffy is here, and this could get messy.
"Uhhh, Buffy? Is this guy a friend of yours?" Riley asked as he tried to pull her sideways. She sure digs her heels in.
Buffy ignored Riley's questions as Spike advanced. "What's wrong, Spike? Harmony dump you?"
Spike glowered at the insipid bitch and growled, "Don't you wish it were that simple, Slayer." The petite blond stepped further into her protective stance, wary of the vampire before her.
Riley choked as the dark haired man's eyes smoldered at Buffy's barb. "Uh, Buffy!"
"What! Riley?" Buffy ground out. Distracted from her bitch-fest with Spike, she turned. Her face immediately morphed into a mask of incredulity. "Angel? What are you doing here?"
"Obviously wasting my time." Angel answered as he halted a scant three feet from the nearly complete trio.
What in the world? Riley stood confused by the bizarre interaction between the dark haired male and his current female fascination. Mentally shaking himself at the current situation, Riley glanced beyond his temptress and paled. Hostile Seventeen! What kind of vampire ventures into a heavily populated area when this depleted?
"Stay where you are!" Taking charge, Riley shoved Buffy behind himself, away from the threat he knew and toward the threat he could not determine. "Come any closer and I will be forced to bring you down." The vampiric visage morphed into place as the known hostile remained undeterred by Riley's command. "Back off, Crackerjack! I have no desire to tango tonight." The blond vampire continued to advance. Shit! What do I do? There are civilians present.
"You asked for it!" Riley sprang forward, toppling the pale being. A cry ripped through the air as the blond attempted to defend. Events hazed for a moment as Riley felt himself propelled across the street.
"Riley!" Buffy cried as she ran to her prospective boyfriend. "Are you alright?"
Shocked by his sudden impact with the pavement, Riley watched as the one Buffy identified as Angel approached Hostile Seventeen. "Stay away from him! He is dangerous!" Must keep the civilians safe!
"As a rule, vampires are dangerous, Riley," Buffy scoffed. Huh? Riley's neck was temporarily afflicted with whiplash as he looked towards his female companion.
"How do you-?"
Buffy sighed. "Slayer, the Chosen One. Vampire boogie man. Yada yada." With strength that belied her size, Riley was swiftly hefted to his feet.
"Are you injured, William?" The dark haired man, Angel, spoke softly to the downed vampire.
A ragged gasp in a British lilt returned, "Just my head; and my pride." Two centuries strong arms gently lifted the barely hundred year old from the pained pavement sprawl. A grimace printed itself across the blond vampire's face. A sob hitched in his chest as a hand caressed his cheek. Stormy blue eyes met brown.
"When did you last feed?" An Irish tone eked out with a concerned note. "You are much too pale, William."
A shudder racked the slender frame. "Three, four days. So hungry." Spike whimpered in his sire's embrace.
"Hush! Drink." Angel deliberately bared his neck to the childe before him.
Riley stood entranced by the actions taking place before him. Tender touches and whispered conversations led to the darker male stretching his neck, baring it before the vampire.
Seeing this potentially fatal action, Riley launched himself at the blond vampire, once more sending Spike sprawling. A predatory growl issued from behind him. One strong hand wrapped about the nape of Riley's neck before air appeared between his feet and the blacktop below.
The alien features that marked the demonic face of a vampire peered at the decorated soldier from the previously believed civilian. Gasping for breath, Riley struggled for release from the powerful grip.
"Try that again, boy, and I will drain you!" Yellow eyes glinted with an evilness Riley had never before seen.
"Angel!" Riley had forgotten. Buffy was here. Wait. Didn't she say she was the vampire boogie man?
A sneer ripped its way across the demonic face before the human visage returned. A grunt issued forth as Riley was thrown back across the road. Now I know what hit me earlier.
The darker vampire assisted the other to his feet once more. "Drink!" The blond face metamorphosed a split second before pearly white fangs sunk into the proffered neck. An agonizing minute passed as Riley watched in rapt horror at the display. Slender fingers wrapped around his right bicep, once again reminding Riley that Buffy was present. What is wrong with me?
"You really have a death wish, you know that?" Buffy spoke, exasperated.
"Says the woman who is the 'boogieman,'" Riley scoffed back. Dragging himself back to his feet for the second time in as many minutes, he couldn't help but wonder. "If you are the 'slayer' for vampires, why aren't they running and or gone?"
"Personal." Buffy remained aloof.
Answers not forthcoming, Riley turned back to the two man – vampire spectacle.
Hostile Seventeen stood wrapped in the arms of Angel What kind of name is that for a guy anyway?, latched to his neck like a limpet. Or perhaps a leech.
The vampire barely known as Angel held the blond form tight, stroking his hand down the back of his head. His lips moved in near silence.
"My poor childe. Why would you starve yourself thus?" Angel comforted Spike as he drank.
Spike sighed as he pulled back from his sire's neck. "I'm defenseless. I cannot attack anyone without causing myself pain."
Angel frowned at the pain that permeated the younger form. "How did this come to be?"
Spike half-choked as he relayed the events that led to his current unfortunate circumstances.
Riley fought the urge to gloat as the blond vampire recounted the capture and subsequent events.
"You're one of them, aren't you?" The quiet, accusatory question froze Riley's blood. Turning, Riley swore that his blood had shattered in his veins as he saw the look in Buffy's eyes.
"The stench he gives off is admission enough." The dark vampire had moved to within arm's reach. "The fear, the scent of demon blood. Death would be a preferred state to this helplessness you have forced upon my childe." The hissing quality that accompanied the release of fangs tinged the latter end of Angel's statement. Riley swallowed a reflexive gulp as spied the yellowed eyes.
"Angel!" Riley gasped in relief as those yellow orbs focused on the petite blond.
"What?" Glaring, the face returned to its relaxed format.
Sighing, with a moue pressed upon her face, Buffy asked the question she half-dreaded. "What are you doing here? I thought you were staying in LA."
"A vision. But as you are so wrapped up in your little world of feasts and fancy, I must surmise that you have all well in hand." Angel stood, sarcasm heavy in his very human expression.
Riley blinked at the barb-laden conversation. What have I stepped into? "Vision?"
Growling, Angel snapped. "Look, cro-mag. This conversation is obviously beyond you and your simple views. Buffy, I leave you to your small universe. Enjoy fighting the Chumash spirit warrior, as, inevitably, he will seek you out as the strongest warrior in the area. Now, I shall do as I am obligated as a sire, and protect my childe from those that wish to enfeeble him."
Silently, Angel turned on his heel and wrapped himself about Spike's form, before purposefully striding towards, presumably, his very California vehicle.
"Okay, what was that about?" Riley, confused, turned to the singular source of information he could see. "Why would neutering a vampire be so bad?"
A frustrated scowl lit Buffy as she turned to the clueless jock-type. "Ponder on this, oh ye of the camo and night goggles. Rip off your arms, cripple your legs, how would you defend yourself? Even the black knight still had his teeth. Now you've forced a very strong, smart vampire into protecting another. A vampire that, on my most focused, prepared, of days, I cannot defeat without massive distractions. Add to that, he was here to warn me about something. But because of whoever you work with, for, on, he left. I'd pray that whatever isn't as bad as all that." Turning, Buffy left the confused Initiative agent.
Blinking at the lack of a straight answer, Riley asked the ether. "Wait. She's the one from that night with the flare?"