Even if Saving You Sends Me to Heaven
A New Man
Not many people can say that they've been to a Vampire Slayer's birthday party. I, on the other hand, can. The night of Buffy's nineteenth birthday party, I and a group of her friends hid in a dark rec room, waiting until Willow brought her and Riley, her boyfriend, to the surprise party.
Light poured into the room as three figures filed into the room. I grinned as the light was switched on revealing Willow, Riley, and a Buffy in a battle stance. I could see the shock register in her green eyes as she released that this was her party.
"Surprise!" everyone but me screamed. I had never been to a surprise party, so I was still a little foggy on how they worked.
The blond quickly hid her stake behind her back as a blush settled on her cheeks. Willow, Xander, Anya, Giles and I were all in the same general area. Us being her group of best friends, she looked towards us first.
Willow was beaming, pleased her plan worked out so well. "Guess you won't be killing anything tonight, after all," she said to her friend.
Buffy gave her a wolfish grin. "Don't be so sure."
With that, Buffy addressed the rest of the room. She thanked everyone and then everyone broke up to mini conversations. I didn't really know anyone, not being a college student, so I stuck to the Scooby group.
Giles, Xander and Anya were with me. We were just kinda standing awkwardly while Giles and I munched on cake.
"Yeah, this is a lively space. It's like the activity room we had at public school," Giles says to start some conversation."
"I'm bored," Anya informed Xander. "Let's eat."
"Anya, we've talked about this," Xander chided softly.
Anya frowned and turned to Giles. "I'm sorry, that was rude. Please continue your story. Hopefully it involves treacle and a headmaster."
Giles sighed. "Go and eat."
Anya beamed and pulled Xander with her, the boy shooting Giles an apologetic look before running off with his girlfriend. Giles sighed and sunk into a chair away from everyone. I came and sat down next to him.
"Are you okay?" I asked.
"Yes, I am fine. I just must be... tired."
"Mhmm," I said skeptically. I was going to press more, but Willow decided to join us them. She brought him another piece of cake.
"Giles! Hi. Are you having a good time?" the witch asked.
" . There's, uh, a lot of new faces here, aren't there?"
"Yeah. Mostly kids from the dorm. A couple of Riley's friends," Willow agreed.
"All I see are a bunch of dumb college boys. Oh, wait! Speak of the commando devil..."
Buffy and Riley looking all lovey-dovey. For a moment, I almost felt jealous. I knew that I wouldn't ever get a chance to go on a date, have a boyfriend, fall in love... I mean, I almost never think about it, but those rare times I did always stung a bit.
Buffy chirped a happy, "Hi, Giles."
"Buffy! Happy Birthday," the brit wished.
Buffy hugged him. "Thank you," she whispered lovingly.
"Nineteen. It's hard to believe, isn't it?" he smiled fondly.
"There's somebody here I want you to meet," Buffy grinned, pulling a strong, dark-haired boy from behind her. "Uh, this is Riley Finn... my boyfriend," she introduced.
Riley offered a pleasant white grin. "It's very nice to meet you, Mr. Giles. Did you help plan this? It was quite a surprise."
"The first of many. Uh, been . . . dating long?" Giles asked awkwardly.
"Giles was the librarian at my high school," Buffy told her boyfriend.
"Ah, I've seen the library. It's gone down hill since you left," Riley said.
Giles gave a soft laughter. "Yes. I-I-I'm embarrassed to say that I actually miss it at times."
"So, you're retired?"
Giles frowned a little at that. "I'm sorry?"
"Or... you're working somewhere else now?"
"Well, not, uh... sort of between projects, uh, right now, uh, it's a personal-"
"Oh! Oh, look. Giles has no cake," Buffy pointed out.
"Oh, here. Here, I'll get you a piece," Riley offered sweetly. He turned immediately and made a beeline for the refreshment table.
Buffy frowned, trying to ease the tension. "Oh, he's just nervous. But this is so nice. Having everyone together for my birthday. Of course, you could smash in all my toes with a hammer and it will still be the bestest Buffy Birthday Bash in a big long while."
"Why's that?" I asked.
Buffy laughed. "I'm the Slayer all year round. Demons don't forget on my birthday."
"A-a-actually, Willow a-a-and Xander did all the planning. I'm not sure I would have gone with the surprise party. You know, you have enough things jumping out at you in the dark."
"Professor Walsh says that adrenaline is like exercise but without the exorbitant gym fees," Buffy said proudly.
Giles looked taken aback. "Very whitty."
"You should meet her! She's absolutely the smartest person I've ever met."
"Perhaps we should have invited Professor Walsh to the party?" Giles said slowly.
"Oh, no. I mean, she's like forty. She's got better things to do than hang out with a bunch of kids," Buffy laughed.
See didn't see it, but I did. Giles clearly felt upset by hear words. It was then that Riley showed up with the cake and passed it to the man with a polite, "Here you go, sir."
Sadness was hidden behind the man's eyes. Something was bothering him. "Giles," I said, "It's getting late. Why don't we head out?"
"Yes, yes. Good idea," the Watcher agreed, putting away the rest of his cake and following me out of the party. I walked with him to his car, but leaned on his door so he couldn't get away.
"Okay, spill," I demanded.
"I-I don't know what you're on about."
"Don't you lie to me," I said firmly. "Something was bothering you in there. You're going to tell me or I'm going home with you to drive you crazy there."
He sighed and cleaned his glasses. "Alright. I just feel a bit... well, useless. I'm older than anyone that I spend my time with and I just feel... unneeded."
I frowned. "Giles, Buffy and all of the Scoobies love you. You can just see it. I mean, you guys have been working together for years. You're a family. Personally, I'm jealous of you in that respect. I don't have anyone."
"But you and Spike seem so... close."
I shrugged. "There are days. I've always been his best friend, yes... but I've never had a family."
"Oh, well, I suppose you're one of us, now," the man tried to comfort.
I couldn't help but smile. "Really? Even though I come packaged with the most annoying vampire ever?"
He laughed and I allowed him to get in his car. "Yes, Rhuen. Even if. You're a very good friend. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Bye, Giles," I called before whipping my wings out and heading to the Harris home. I went through the back door to the basement to find a bleached blond looking around the room for something to toss in his mostly empty bag.
Xander and Anya watched, one with contempt and the other with curiosity.
"You own nothing," Xander snapped impatiently. "This shouldn't be taking so long."
"Hang on. Let a fella get organized," Spike argued around the cigaret in his mouth. The vampire wandered around the room a bit longer before spotting a radio and picking it up.
Xander wasn't having that. "That's my radio!"
"And you're what?" Spike asked sarcastically, "Shocked and disappointed? I'm evil!"
"Rhuen! Make your pet vampire behave and put my things back!"
I skillfully ignored him and let Anya take control of the conversation.
"So, what kind of place are you looking for?" she asked.
"I don't know. Maybe a crypt. Some place, you know, dark and dank. But not as dark and dank as this."
"Heh. It's pretty depressing, isn't it?" she agreed.
"I've known corpses with a fresher smell. In fact, I've been one," Spike snarked while flicking his cigaret away.
"That's it! Let's go," Xander hissed. He marched towards Spike like he was going to toss him out, but I got in the middle.
"Simmer down, tater-tot. We'll be gone soon enough," I informed him.
"Wait," Anya called before plucking the cord from a wall that connected to a lamp. She them brought it over to Spike. "I want to give you something for your new place."
"That's my lamp," Xander said shrilly. He snatched it away from her like a child and returned it to where it was.
"A gift is traditional," Anya said knowingly. "I've read about it."
"That's among friends. With bitter enemies we don't give them my lamp," Xander retorted.
Spike smirked, secretly touched by the ex demon's attempt at kindness. "It's not gonna have electricity anyway. It's a crypt, remember?"
"Well, we're going to have to fix it it up," I said. "I mean, you'll need at least a fridge and running water. And if you don't have a TV, you'll drive me nuts."
"You've got a point," Spike agreed.
"So, you're moving in with him?" Anya asked. "Sounds like a great opportunity," she whispered to me.
"Maybe," I said. "I have another place if needed."
"Although you're more than welcome to hang up your halo with me. More welcome than the pillock over there," Spike offered, flicking a hand lazily at Xander.
"Out!" Xander growled. "Before I get the Slayer over here to kick you out!"
Spike rolled his eyes and pulled on his duster. "Don't know why she didn't come. Say good-bye, shed a few tears."
For some reason, this statement bothered me. Probably because I knew a little of the fake disappointment that rang in Spike's words had some truth to them. Deep down, I knew he and the Slayer had some odd connection. One that would one day be explored. How much so, I didn't know yet. All I knew was that their destinies were intwined.
"Well, she has an appointment with somebody who's actually still scary!" Xander said, dragging me from the thoughts.
I was getting tired of all the verbal abuse Spike was going through. With a nasty glare for Xander, I zipped up Spike's bag and pulled the vampire out with me, spitting out a short, "See you later, Anyanka."
I slammed the door behind me as I dragged my vampire by the sleeve of into the night. We were a few steps out when he sputtered, "Uh, Rhuen, you can let go now."
I blushed, embarrassed by my temper. "Sorry, Spike," I said, letting go of his prized duster.
"S'alright, pet. Now, why don't we check out some crypts?"
I nodded and we headed off, walking towards the nearest cemetery. The silence was comfortable, but Spike had something on his mind.
"You know, maybe we should find somewhere a bit more... I don't know... posh? I mean, how many angels live in crypts?"
"Well, actually, a few Guardians will stay with the bodies of their charges for a few days after they die. Some will just form a bond with them that can't easily be broken."
"But only a few people know about their angels, right?"
"Exactly. It's hard when emotions are one-sided. Still, they happen sometimes."
"I wonder if you'd stick around a few days if I bit it. No pun intended, of course."
I rolled my eyes. "I guess I'm lucky that I won't ever know. You're the only vampire with a Guardian, Spike. Our partnership should be ended before you dust."
We strolled through the path of tombstones and crypts looking around for anything that caught our eye that could be used for a home for Spike. I saw something a little off the path and tapped his shoulder before heading towards it.
A looming crypt that was heavily decorated with stone carvings was shown in the pale beams of moonlight. Something in me just knew that this was going to be it. It had character for a resting place of a dead person.
Spike followed behind me and stopped by my side, hands fixed to his hips. His dark eyebrow quirked. "Not bad, pet. Not bad at all."
"Why don't we peek inside before we decide, hmm?" I smiled and headed to the door. They opened nicely, without a squeak, even. The inside looked... well, just like you'd picture a crypt to look like. It was stone and iron, cobwebs galore.
I looked around. It was big. Very spacious, indeed. A large stone bier stood solidly by a stain glass window. The floor had a thick layer of dirt caking it, but all in all, nothing a broom couldn't take care of.
"Isn't this place a little familiar?" I asked. I knew I'd been here before, but it just wasn't ringing a bell with me.
"Yeah, we were here the other day," Spike confirmed. His hand dug around in his pocket for something until he fished out his zippo lighter and cigarets. He lit one up and took a drag. "Back when Red hexed the Slayer and me."
Ah, yes. Last time we had been here, Buffy and Spike had been busy snogging. I quirked an eyebrow at him. "So... I'm surprised that you remember what the room looked like. You were a little... busy... the last time we were here."
His blue eyes rolled. "Please don't even bring that horror story up, Rhuen. Just thinking about it..." he shivered. "Terrible."
I was oh so tempted to open our link and see what he was feeling. I think I would've, too, if he hadn't been able to feel me do it. Still, it would be wrong to invade his privacy over something so unimportant. I mean, it's not like he had feelings for the Slayer or anything.
"So, do you wanna keep house hunting or is this your new home?" I asked, strategically changing the subject.
"Past experience excluded, I like it here. It's posh for a crypt and with a little homey touches, it'd be fine."
I nodded. "Okay, here's what we'll do. You run out and legally get a few things to clean up with. Wipes, broom, pan, fabreeze, and anything else you want. I'll go see about getting some furniture. Sound good?"
"Other than the 'legally' part, yeah. Sounds fine."
"Spike, I mean it. Legally. Okay?"
He flicked away his spent cigaret and bobbed his head yes while turning on his heel and heading out. I sighed. That hard headed vampire was going to cause me a lot of trouble.
An hour later and a trip to the thrift shop behind me, I had lugged back a coffee table, two recliners, a few candles and a beat up TV and refrigerator. I went to my bank and got some money out of my account. I managed to buy a power box I could plug the TV and fridge into.
By the time I had all that set up, Spike was getting back from the store. His jaw about dropped when he saw all my work. "Rhuen, how did you manage-"
"It looks better now. It needs a sweep and a dust over, but I think you can manage that."
Spike was silent, a scary first. I watched as he explored the room, opening the fridge to find blood stored there. "What, no liquor?"
I gave him a dirty look. "You know I won't support the drinking or the smoking. You want that stuff, you'll go get yourself. I got you started on the blood. That's all."
He shrugged before flipping on the TV somewhat surprised that it worked. "Why'd you get a telly in here?"
"I knew you'd drive me crazy if you couldn't watch Passions."
He grinned. "I would've, wouldn't I?" He switched the TV off and flopped into one of the recliners. "Comfy," he said wistfully.
"Glad you like it," I smiled. "Okay, well you have a good night. I'm headed out."
He frowned and followed me to the door. "And where do you think you're going?"
I took a deep breath to answer him when something both stopped us in our tracks. A Fyarl demon with a blanket wrapped around it's massive body lumbered around the cemetery. It looked miserable, which was odd to me. Fyarl don't usually have a wide range of emotions and they don't carry blankets.
Spike grinned and fell into a predatory strut behind the demon. "Well. What do I spy with my little eye?" The demon stopped walking, it's back still to us. "A demon. That would be... oh, right... the things I can kill," Spike growled hungrily.
"Spike?" I said. "I don't-"
"Spike. Wonderful. A perfect end to a perfect day," the demon said in a familiar british accent, prominent enough to come though the demon language.
Spike's face fell. "Giles?" he asked.
As if he didn't hear us, the demon turned around, fists up in a very human way. "Go on, then. Let's get on with the fighting-" he paused. "You understand me?"
"Of course I understand you," Spike said. I nodded as well. I had learned many different languages over the years. Fyarl was one of them.
The demon- Giles?- paused. "I'm speaking English?"
"No, you're speaking Fyarl.," Spike explained. "I happen to speak Fyarl. And... by the way, why the hell are you suddenly a Fyarl demon? You just come over all demony this morning?"
Spike took a step backed, a little wigged out. He pulled his cigarets out and lit one up. His eyes stayed on Giles, trying to come to terms with what was going on.
Giles shook his giant head. "As a matter of fact, I did. Thanks to Ethan Rayne. You have to help me find him. He must undo this and then he needs a... good being killed."
Spike snorted. "And I'm just supposed to help you out of the evilness of my heart?"
"Spike! We're going to help him," I said.
"Why should I? He's a git to me," Spike growled. "And I don't like him."
"Money. I could pay you money," Giles bribed.
Spike's eyebrow raised. He carelessly tossed the stub of his smokes. "Oh, I like money. How much?"
"A h-hundred dollars," Giles stuttered.
"A hundred dollars? You'll have to do a lot better than that. Two-hundred."
"Spike!" I hissed, trying to get him to behave. I elbowed him, annoyed.
"Fine," Giles agreed.
"Right, then," Spike agreed, seeming startled.
"Right, then," the other brit confirmed.
"So what's first? I run and tell the Slayer what you've gotten yourself into?" the vampire chuckled.
"No," Giles snapped. "When I find Ethan I can clear all this up without Buffy ever having to find out that anything happened to me at all."
"So who's this Ethan person?" I asked.
Ethan used to be a friend of Giles'. That is, until they had a scuff over some demon drugs back in the say and became bitter enemies. So now, they had gotten into their most recent scuffle.
And here I sat with a Fyarl demon and a vampire in the back seat of a really really old tin can on wheels called and Citroen. The vehicle gave out a nasty sound.
"If you can't find third gear, don't try for third gear!" Giles said from shotgun.
"I'm doing my best. I don't know if I'm driving this thing or wearing it," Spike hissed back.
"It's perfectly serviceable."
Spike laughed. "Funny hearing a Fyarl demon say "serviceable." Had a couple of them working for me once. They're more like "Like to crush. Crush now?" Strong though. You won't meet a jar you can't open for the rest of your life."
A low sound of a growl emitted from the passenger seat. I gave Giles a wide eye'd look. "What was that? Did you growl?"
"No. Listen, about this Fyarl demon. Do-do I have special powers? Like setting things on fire with my sizzling eye beams?"
"Well, you got the mucous thing," Spike sighed.
"What? Mucous?" Giles asked, puzzled.
"Paralyzing mucous. Shoots out through the nose. Sets on fast. Hard as a rock. Pretty good in a fight."
"Are you making this up?"
A sly grin set on the vampire's face. "Maybe."
"He actually isn't," I confirmed.
"But hey, you feel a sneeze coming on, you warn me," Spike ordered.
"Turn here," Giles directed, slamming his arm against the door for emphasis. Spike jerked the wheel left and I fell back in the seat, cursing them both.
"Down shift! Down shift!" Giles screeched.
"Calm down, will you?" Spike spat back.
"I'm not sure I can," Giles admitted. "I feel like I'm changing."
"Fine with me. So long as you pay me. Rhuen, love, you alrigh' back there?"
"Peachy," I glared.
Giles examined his claws. "I really like this feeling. Sort of mindless need to destroy. This anger and rage."
"Good times. Go with it," Spike encouraged. I kicked the back of his seat, telling him to shut up.
"No," Giles refused.
"Oh, it's fun," Spike ranted. "I can't do it, do it for me. Now let yourself go."
Giles refused to look at us. His eyes watched the people and cars outside his window. "I refuse to become a monster because I look like a monster. I have a soul. I have a conscience. I am a human being. Oh, stop the car!" he shouted.
Spike hit the breaks, jerking me again. Giles scrambled out of the car and creeped up on some woman. He clawed the air behind her and roared like a terrible beast.
The woman let out a mighty scream and then took off running in her little heels. Giles chased her a few yards before turning back to the car and hopping back in. "Right. Let's go, then."
"What the hell was that?" I asked.
"Oh, that? Nothing. Just a bit of fun."
Spike grinned. "I knew you had some fun in you, ol' Rupes!"
I rolled my eyes. Boys would be boys, demon or human. "So what exactly are we doing?"
"Ethan and I were at a bar last night. He gave the waitress his number. We'll head there and get it from her."
I snorted. "If she kept it. I wouldn't have. Guys are creeps."
Both males turned around to give me a sharp look.
"So how long until we get there?" I changed the subject.
I didn't need to ask because Spike had just pulled into a parking lot.
"We're here, ducks. Will you be joining me?"
I shrugged, climbing out. "I could stretch my legs. I don't like cars. Too crowded. Next time, I'll just fly over you."
"I'm coming in as well," Giles said, starting to get out.
"Not looking like that, you're not," I disagreed.
"How will you know which waitress it was if I don't?"
I sighed and grabbed onto his wrist, connecting myself to him. Then, I pushed my way into his mind. It was foggy and animal instincts circled around in a haze at the forefront, but the image of a woman with dark hair and chocolate eyes came to me. Excused from using angel magic, I pulled out of his mind.
"I got it," I said. Spike grinned at Giles' confused face as I followed him inside. I felt a little dizzy, but not bad enough that I had to worry. Spike and I headed to the bar, him following my lead to where the woman worked, cleaning the counter.
We sat down in front of her, making our presence known. She eyed us, sighed, and pulled out a pad. "What'll you have?" she asked.
"A shot of anything for me and... Rhuen? You want anything?"
I shook my head. I wasn't a drinker. "Pass."
"One shot it is," the lady said. She got Spike his order while he talked.
"So, I was looking for someone. I heard they were here the other night," he said as she sat his drink in front of him.
"You'll have to do better than that," she said dryly.
Spike threw back his shot like it was nothing.
"Two of them. English like me. But older, less attractive. One of them gave you his number," Spike drawled.
"I threw it out. I mean, I took one look and saw that he was staying at that rat trap. No thanks."
"Which rat trap?" I quizzed.
"The one by the highway. The Sunnydale Motor Inn."
Spike gave her his smile. That flirty one that met his eyes in a warm way. "Thank you." He handed her enough to cover the bill and a nice little tip before getting up to leave.
The woman watched him walk out before looking to me. "Now his number? I'd take that."
I shook my head. Humans were too easily infatuated. "Yeah, you'd hate his place. It's a bit dead," I told her before following my vampire out.
Spike was already in the car filling Giles in when I jumped in the back seat. "So off to the Motor Inn?" I asked.
Giles nodded. "Yes. Right. Off we go."
Spike turned the car on and pulled out of the lot. We were just down the road when a low rumbling sound came from Giles.
"How ya feeling, mate?" Spike asked. He sounded aloof, but under it, I could hear a note of concern.
Giles voice came out with a growl. "Like snapping necks until everyone is dead."
"Now that sounds like a Fyarl demon. Good for you," Spike congratulated.
Spike, stop. Okay? You're driving me nutty."
"Sorry, pet," he said, checking something out intently in the mirror. I turned around to see what was going on when a pair of bright headlights glared into my eyes. I turned around fast, my vision slightly impaired.
"Hey, picked up a tail," Spike informed us.
"Yes. Just a little one. It hurts when I sit," Giles said cluelessly.
"I mean someone is following us. Humvee. Military," Spike explained.
"Well speed up. Lose them," Giles said, a note of panic in his tone. Both of them were freaked out. Giles' heartbeat pounded in my head. I could feel total fear coming from Spike through out link.
"I've got it floored. Why'd you buy this car?" he snarked, masking his fear.
"Well do something. If they catch us, we'll both end up in a lab!"
"It's getting closer," I warned them.
Suddenly, another car came out of nowhere, right on top of us.
"And it's got a friend!"
"Damn!" Giles cussed. In an act of frustration, he slammed his arm against the door, resulting in the window shattering.
"Oh, sure! Dismantle the getaway car. That'll scare them," Spike said sarcastically.
"Then slow down and I'll jump out. They'll follow you."
Spike glared his way. "Hold on. These commandos. They're the same guys that are after me too.. Maybe I want you around to split their attention a bit?"
"I'll pay you another hundred dollars."
"You've got a deal. Rhuen, you get out, too. I'll take care of them."
"Spike, there is no way in hell I'm leaving this car without you so shut up," I informed him.
"Yeah, I thought that's what you were going to say."
He brought the car around the corner and Giles lept out. He rolled safely away from the road and Spike and I sped off. I climbed up in the front seat next to Spike.
"How are we going to lose them?" I asked. I hated cars and had no idea how this was going to work.
"I'm going to drive," Spike said. "Now would be a good time to pray. I'm sure yours are heard pretty well."
Spike made a sharp turn and fishtailed around the corner, making the font humvee lose control and spin out. The one behind it hand to stop to not hit.
Spike grinned, loving the thrill. "Just you just try and stop me, you stupid jar-"
Bam! Spike ran into a freaking wall.
"Smooth move, blood breath!"
We staggered out of the car, a little disoriented. Spike looked around at the heap of metal. "I can kill demons. I can crash cars... Things are looking up!"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," I snapped. "We need to get out of here. They're coming."
Spike nodded and we took off at a full run. Running right into gunfire. "Spike, get out of here. I'll hold them off!"
"No! I won't leave you!" he roared, his face vamping out.
"You can't fight them. The chip! Just go! I'll take care of it. I'll meet you at the crypt!" I said, shoving him away and running at the commandoes. A bullet clipped my arm. Another struck me in the leg.
My wings whipped out, instant protection from their weapons. I felt my nails elongate, steel weapons perfect for slashing.
I tore into them, destroying their weapons and beating them senseless to the point of unconsciousness. When they all laid on the ground, I whipped the sweat from my head and limped off, taking to the air.
By the time I'd flown to the crypt, the bullets had already been pushed out and the flesh had mended. Blood stained my skin and clothes, but I didn't care.
I crashed to the ground, rolling. I was exhausted to the point of falling out of the sky. I stumbled into the tomb, bracing myself on the door. Spike was inside, pacing, smoking.
He dropped it when he saw me and rushed over to my side. I was falling to the ground when cool, strong arms found me. They pulled me close and Spike was holding me.
"Oh, Rhuen. What happened?"
"I took care of them. I'm-I'm fine. I just need... need to rest," I mumbled.
"And rest you'll get," he said, laying me gently into a recliner and setting it back so I could lay.