Part V: Mommy's Little Monster

Spike and Red got to the Cathedral do Fortaleza early. They spent the day in the city's sewers, watching from storm drains to see if the Watchers were laying a trap, Red hissing and complaining that the daylight hurt her eyes.

It was very possible that Buffy had tracked them down to slay Spike and lay Willow to rest.

But the time came, and only the one Watcher showed up, a short little thing, even shorter than Red, wearing a drab brown skirt suit that couldn't have made her more out of place in Fortaleza if she tried. She stood with her back to the great cathedral doors, positioning herself so that she'd only have to take two steps to flee to its relative safety.

Smart of the chit. Most vampires wouldn't willingly give chase into a cathedral. Too much holy water and the like about.

They left the sewers a block away from the cathedral. Wouldn't do to ruin their air of mystery by crawling out of a gutter right in front of a Watcher. Then they split up, communicating silently through their bond. Red approached the Watcher head on, her doll tucked into the crook of her arm, and Spike snuck around to the side, staying out of sight, ready to rush to Red's aid at a moment's notice.

For all the good he could do against a human.

But still, they wanted to know what it was the Council wanted, and whether they should fight or flee. For that, he supposed they would actually have to talk to the Watcher.

"You wanted Senhora Sagramento, and here she is, dancing on a moonbeam," Red called to the Watcher in English, barmy talk in full swing. She tilted her head to the side and smiled a little girl smile.

The Watcher jumped, and Spike could hear her heart start to pound.

"You came. I mean, yes. Of course you came."

In an instant Red was behind the woman, gently moving her hair to one side, pink tongue darting out to slide down the Watcher's neck. "Mmm, tastes good. Wanna play?"

The Watcher stiffened and revealed she was wearing one of those tin pendants that were supposed to invoke Red's protection. Santa Senhora Sagramento. Spike had to stifle a laugh. Did the Watchers think there was more to the pendants than Red's sense of whimsy? She would love that.

"I have a message from the Council. A proposition."

Red started humming a tune Spike recognized as Mommy's Little Monster, idly stroking the Watcher's cheek. The scent of the chit's fear was coming off her in waves. Spike closed his eyes as he breathed in, momentarily shifting into his game face and then back again.

"W-where's A Belo Morte? This concerns him as well."

"He is always with me," Red answered, releasing the Watcher to spin around in a circle, a manic grin on her face. "What's your name?" she asked suddenly.

"K-katie," the woman was shocked into answering.

Red laughed. "Katie. I was called Katie once."

The Watcher looked delighted at the tidbit of information. Spike had to stifle a laugh. He could just see the entry in the Watcher Diaries now:

Senhora Sagramento

Slight of stature, red hair, a bit mad. Was known as Katie in life. Can be repelled by a pendant carved with her image, but only if the wearer is pure of heart.

Bloody Watchers never got anything right.

Spike chose that moment to make his appearance, moving so fast that to the Watcher it would seem like he appeared from thin air. He wrapped his arms around Red, pulling her back against his chest and resting his chin on her shoulder. "What's this, princess? Playing with your food?"

The Watcher's heart skipped a beat when she saw Spike.

"A Belo Morte," she breathed, staring at them with something akin to awe.

Spike ignored her, leaning down to draw Red into a kiss.

"You mustn't forget Rose," Red held up her doll, mischief glinting in her eyes. "She wants a kiss too."

Spike glared at her, silently promising that he would get back at her for this, but he raised the doll to his lips and kissed its porcelain face.

Then he leveled his gaze on Katie the Watcher.

"What do you want?"

Katie blinked, looking half hypnotized. And they hadn't even done anything to her! The Watchers needed stricter recruiting guidelines. This chit looked like she'd been reading too much Anne Rice, or what was that new one, the one that had all the teenagers thinking they were sparkly ponces?

Twilight.

"What do you want?" Spike repeated.

The Watcher jumped. "The Council is amassing a small force of elite demons. The United States government has imprisoned the Slayer in an underground facility…"

Katie went on to explain to them that it was in their best interests to help the Slayer and destroy the facility, as the Initiative was a danger to them all.

Spike and Red shared a glance.

"Why us?" Spike pressed.

"You are… very effective killers, but not without conscience. We know about all the children you've helped. The Council feels that if we must rely on demons, then they should at least be somewhat good."

So the Council didn't know that Senhora Sagramento and A Belo Morte were one and the same as the two vamps that had a lot of history with this particular Slayer. Or if they did, they weren't telling.

Red raised her fingers in front of Katie's face and snapped, her eyes flooding black. Katie's mouth slacked open slightly as she fell into a trance.

"Your chip," Red said to Spike. "If we can find the Initiative's plans for it, I might finally be able to disable it or get it out."

Spike had only broached the subject of his chip with Red once, right after she'd finished her magic lessons. She'd told him that until she could see what it was, ticking away in his head, it was too dangerous for her to try to do anything about it.

He looked into the blank eyes of the Watcher. "Looks like we're going back to Sunnyhell."

-l-

Buffy sat at a table in the Magic Box, going over maps with Giles. She'd escaped from the Initiative compound just a week before, with the help of Riley. Once he'd realized that the Initiative was going to go after anyone with any kind of power, even someone who was human, Riley had turned on them, purposefully leaving Buffy's cell door unlocked the night he was on guard duty. He was the Scooby Gang's spy now, bringing news of orders and whatever plans he could sneak out of the facility about defense systems and layout.

He was the one who had led her through the maze of halls in the compound and smuggled her out of the holding area where she'd been kept for what Giles told her was only a month, but had felt like a year. She'd seen so much while she was there. Some of the demons in the cages were bloodthirsty evil things deserving of slayage, but others… others had been like her, just normal people, no matter what they looked like. And still others had been somewhere in between.

She thought of the teenage vampire girl that had been housed in the cell next to hers. There they were, Slayer and vampire. But kept in that prison for the supernatural, they had formed an alliance. They looked out for each other.

It had been eye opening.

Though not as much as the revelation that she was part demon herself, according to the Initiative scientists. They'd talked over her like she couldn't understand them, and eventually she had given up trying to reason with them and just started listening, trying to figure out a way to escape. That's when she heard them talking about how she had a demon genome thingy on some chromosome that had been activated by some… other thingy, and that that explained her strength and endurance and basically all the other Slayer stuff. It made her wonder if all Slayers were just from a bloodline of humans that had bred with demons a bajillion years ago.

She tried not dwell on it, but it was always there, just under her thoughts.

She put a hand to her temple. There was something else that was always there. Her chip. The Initiative had chipped her. She could still hurt demons, still be the Slayer, but against humans she was powerless. She hadn't realized how often she interfered in purely human fights until the third time she had crumpled into a ball, a scream of anguish torn from her throat after she pulled some frat boy off a girl who didn't want to dance with him.

It was going to make the Initiative a lot harder to fight.

She almost felt bad for taunting Spike when he was chipped.

Almost.

"I'm not sure about this plan, Giles," Buffy said for the hundredth time. "Are you sure we can trust the Council? And this whole bringing in demons to help us fight thing…"

Giles nodded, slowly taking his glasses off his face and beginning to polish them. "I have my own misgivings, Buffy, but with your, erm… current affliction, we will need the help to fight the Initiative. It is unlikely that we would find many humans willing to take on such an endeavor, let alone equipped to do so. And the Council is being careful in whom they choose to recruit. I have been assured that most of the demons will surely perish in the conflict, and those that survive shouldn't prove much of a problem to you."

"Well they would say that, wouldn't they? I mean, they probably don't care if one of the demon squad ends up killing me, so long as we still take out the Initiative. I mean, that's probably really the plan, why they're sending demons instead of Watchers. We take out the Initiative, and then it's bloodbath city."

Giles squeezed her hand. He had his Ripper look on his face when he said, "I promise you I won't let that happen."

Buffy sighed and squeezed his hand back.

"So what oogie ally are we meeting today?" she asked after they'd both gone back to their reading for a few minutes. Every time a new demon trickled into town to join their growing force, they met in the Magic Box. None of them were stupid enough to show their strange bedfellows where they lived.

"Angel will be here tonight, and the Council has sent two vampires from South America." Giles consulted a sheet of paper sitting next to him. "One Senhora Sagramento and her companion Belo Morte. The Watcher assigned to recruit them sent a letter. She believes the woman to be more powerful, but there is a pendant you can wear to invoke her protection, so long as you have never abused a child."

Buffy blinked. "So they're not your standard vamps."

Giles read on, "Belo Morte is said to be beautiful enough to tempt an angel, and acts as Senhora Sagramento's lure and protector, bringing her victims and watching over her while she feeds."

"Well that's… great, I guess," Buffy said uncertainly. "Why'd they agree to help?"

Most of the demons who had shown up for the temporary truce with the Slayer had been promised something by the Council: money, asylum, magic, blood, vengeance, humanity, whatever promise the Council had to make.

"The letter doesn't say," Giles answered. "But they have a history of rescuing children from abusers. It may just be that the Initiative represents the kind of victims they prefer."

The bell over the door jangled and Buffy looked up, preparing to deal with the new pair of vamps. But it was just Xander and Anya. Buffy waved to them and took a deep breath. She needed to work out some tension.

"I'll be in the back room doing some training. Let me know when the cavalry gets here."

-l-

"You ready, luv?" Spike asked Red. He stared down at her with his intense blue eyes, and she leaned across the front seat of the Mustang to kiss him.

They'd taken their time leaving Fortaleza, Red performing a protection ritual to keep any other creatures of the night from moving into their villa while they were gone and creating a pair of upper level minions to look after the place.

Then they'd loaded the Mustang with weapons and cash and a duffle of clothes, and taken off. Spike still thought the whole thing might be a trick to lure them back to Sunnydale, so he wanted their car with them. And he insisted that they leave stores of cash and disposable cell phones in various bus lockers along their route, in case they were separated.

Willow found it touching, the precautions William was taking to make sure that they'd be able to find each other again. Red admired Spike's foresight, thinking this is why he'd become a master so young and stayed on top for so long.

"I'm ready. Let's go play," she smiled at Spike, clutching Rose in her arms. They had already agreed that she was going to keep up the crazy. It would just be too fun to mess with the Slayer and her friends, and if this was a trap, they'd need every advantage they could get.

But if they could find a way to disable Spike's chip, to make Red's sweet prince whole again, the risk would be worth it.

Red kissed Spike again, and then they got out of the car, Spike insisting on entering the Magic Box ahead of her. Already slipping into her role, Red stood docilely behind him, mostly hidden.

She could hear the heartbeats in the room speed up. One, two, three…. And a fourth, in the back room.

"Spike!" A voice Red recognized as belonging to Xander practically hissed, full of loathing.

"Spike, what are you doing here?" That was Giles, sounding reasonable despite the frantic thrum of his heart. His blood pressure had to be skyrocketing.

"Here to help with the bloody Initiative, aren't I?" Spike said. Red could tell by the way he said it that he was smirking.

"What makes you think we'd take your help?!" Xander was standing now. "And what can you even do?!"

Spike stayed calm. "If you don't want my help, why'd you send a Watcher to invite me?"

There was a pause.

Then Giles said, "Belo Morte?"

"In the flesh," Spike confirmed, irreverently saluting Giles with two fingers.

"Then that means Senhora Sagramento is…"

Red stepped out from behind Spike, looking up at him with a pout on her lips. "Spike, I want to go dancing."

She could hear Xander and Giles' hearts skip a beat and it was all she could do to keep a smile off her face. Spike was enjoying this as much as she was, she could feel it through their bond.

"We'll go dancing soon, princess," Spike told her, playing his part. He pulled her into his side, pressing a kiss to her forehead. "I promise. Brother just needs to talk to these people first."

Red looked at the humans in the room, as if just noticing them for the first time. "I remember them."

"Wills?" Xander said, so softly that she would have missed it if she hadn't been a vampire. There was so much raw pain in his face that Red wiggled her toes inside her boots. Oh, the fun she could have with him…

Moving further into the room, Red smiled brightly and started to sing in an eerie, off key voice, "Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you? We've got some work to do now…"

Red swayed, and Xander swayed with her, and it occurred to her how easy it would be to drain him and turn him, making him into a puppy she could play with forever. She hadn't even used any of her powers on him, and he already looked mesmerized.

Anya started to edge closer to Xander. She was the only one who hadn't exhibited any big reaction when Red and Spike had entered the shop, but now she was nervous on Xander's behalf.

Red could hear Spike growl, so low the humans couldn't hear it.

She loved it when he got possessive. Made her feel wanted.

She turned back to Spike. "Puppy's heart goes pitter patter. Can I keep him?"

She watched Spike struggle with himself. On some level, he knew she was seriously asking if he would be upset if she turned Xander. She could almost hear his thoughts: On the one hand, having Xander around to torment forever would be fun, but on the other, Spike didn't like to share any more than Red did.

He eventually answered, "Remember what we talked about in the car, luv. What are the rules while we're in Sunnydale?" He raised a brow.

That translated to, Maybe. We'll see what happens after I get this bloody chip out.

Pouting again, Red sighed, clutching her doll to her chest. "No biting without permission."

Returning her gaze to Xander, she tilted her head. "May I bite you? Just a little taste?" she asked in a childlike voice.

"No!" Anya said immediately, pulling Xander back. That seemed to snap him out of his stupor. "Ah, uh, no thanks, Will!" he sputtered, scrambling away from her.

Red made a show of looking disappointed, and then twirled through the room toward Giles. She could sense Spike moving behind her, prepared to come to her defense if her little game turned deadly.

"May I bite you?" Red asked Giles, batting her eyes at him and doing her best to look cute and harmless.

Five things seemed to happen all at once.

Giles opened his mouth to sputter an answer, but before he could get it out, Buffy was there, having just come from the back room. Without waiting for explanations, she grabbed Red and pulled her away from Giles, slamming her against a shelf. There was a clatter as a row of bottled oils fell to the floor.

When Spike saw the Slayer reaching for a stake, he saw red. He swooped in and wrapped his arms around Buffy's neck, squeezing hard, choking her and pulling her off of Red. His chip fired before he could snap the bones in the Slayer's neck, and he screamed as pain tore through his head, collapsing to the ground with his hands fisted in his hair. Freed from the Slayer's hold, Red whirled on Buffy, in full vamp face, and sent the Slayer flying with a vicious scissor kick. Then she took up a protective stance over Spike's huddled form, the edges of her irises circled in black as she prepared to call upon her magic.

Lastly, Angel burst through the door. He hovered a moment, conflicted, but when Buffy got up and Spike stayed down, Angel went to join his childer, standing next to Red.

Red looked up at Angel. "Granddaddy?"

He nodded, and Red took that to mean that he was on their side, if only for the moment. He would guard them. She let the magic gathering around her dissipate.

Kneeling, Red pulled Spike into her arms. She could feel echoes of the pain in his head through their bond, and in that moment she wished with all of her demon and the remnants of her human self that she could take it all away.

"My sweet prince," she murmured, rocking him gently, massaging his temples with one hand.

Then she felt it, a prickle on the back of her neck. A dark trill down her spine, a sweet song of the night pounding through her blood.

Her sire approached.

Drusilla breezed through the door of the Magic Box, pale, perfect, ethereal. She looked like some dark queen of faeries, and Red found herself wondering if William had ever read Shakespeare to her – for she was Mab, she was Titania, she was the Wyrd Sisters on the heath…

Dimly Red noticed Angel holding up a hand to keep Buffy at bay, but the rest of her attention was focused on her sire. Drusilla took one look at Red and Spike, and went to them at once. "My sweet darlings. My little Spike needs his Mummy," she crooned, kneeling and shifting Spike from Red's lap to hers, offering her throat to the blond vampire.

Spike hesitated. Red could sense his ambivalence about their sire, about the way she'd left him, could feel the warring hurt and desire in the back of her mind where their connection dwelled, but in the end practicality won out. He shifted into game face and sunk his fangs into Drusilla's neck, drinking deep of the sire's blood that would keep his head from ringing for days.

Red tried to act as if she was unaffected, but it was a hard fought battle, and ultimately, she was still a very young vampire. The scent of Drusilla's blood making her squirm, she whimpered and said, "Mummy?"

Drusilla held out her wrist. "Don't be jealous of your brother, my little Red. Such a good, sweet princess, watching over her brother like Mummy asked."

Red vamped out and bit down, losing herself in the ecstasy of drinking from her sire.

And so there they sat, Red and Spike drinking from Drusilla like two children feeding at their mother's breast, and Angel standing guard over all of them looking like he would murder anyone that so much as looked at them funny.

"So… the reason I'm not staking anyone is…?" Buffy broke the silence.

-l-

Angel thought it best that his childer were separated from the humans while explanations were given. As soon as Spike could stand, Angel ushered all of them towards the back room, telling them to stay put and that he'd come get them once everything was sorted out.

"Granddaddy, my dolly!" Willow cried out, sounding for all the world like a real little girl talking to a more wholesome sort of grandfather.

His heart breaking, Angel retrieved the porcelain doll and gave it to the redhead, then sent her through the door with Spike and Dru. Then he took a deep breath that he didn't really need, but made him feel better anyway, and turned to face the room, planting himself squarely in front of the training room door.

He wasn't sure if he was protecting the vampires from the people or the people from the vampires.

"Who is going to pay for these?" Anya asked crossly, indicating the broken bottles of oil. Angel was about to placate her, but Buffy interrupted them.

"What are they doing here, Angel?"

He almost flinched at the anger in her voice. The simmering rage.

"I didn't know that Spike and Willow would be here," he answered softly. "As for Dru, she showed up in L.A. yesterday, saying that she had to come with me because Spike would need her. I thought it was best not to leave her to her own devices."

What Drusilla had actually said was that her darlings would need her to mend their soiled capes, but he figured Buffy didn't need the specifics.

"I may be able to shed some light," Giles began, revealing that Spike and Willow were actually two of the vampires the Council had recruited for the battle against the Initiative, albeit under different names.

"So Wills is Senora San Francisco?" Buffy asked, blessedly distracted from exacting vengeance on Dru for turning Willow in the first place. If it had been Spike, Angel would have killed the boy himself, but Dru… Dru couldn't help what she was. What Angelus had made her into. He would fight her readily enough when she was an active threat, but when the damage had already been done, it was hard to silence the voice inside that screamed she was his responsibility, his childe.

"Senhora Sagramento," Giles corrected. "And if the stories of her exploits in South America are to be believed, she is very, very advanced for her age."

"Well, she always has been," Xander joked weakly.

"What? Oh, yes… quite," Giles muttered, perusing a sheaf of papers he'd picked up from a table. Angel strained his eyes, but even with vampire sight he couldn't read the pages from across the room.

"I mean that she exhibits great power for a vampire of one year. And much greater self-control and capacity for emotion than your usual fledgling." Giles thumbed through the pages, stopping when he found what he wanted. "Yes, see. The Watchers who have been documenting her have estimated that she is at least forty."

"Spike was the same way," Angel surprised himself by saying. Suddenly all eyes were on him. He felt compelled to continue. "That was why Angelus… why I pushed him to become what he is. There was more humanity left in him than the rest of us, and Angelus saw it as a weakness. And a threat."

"Fascinating," Giles seemed to have forgotten that the vampires they were discussing were just in the other room and that one of them had once been a Scooby. "Perhaps it has something do to with Drusilla. She sired both of them, did she not?"

Angel could hear Spike growling. "To hear her tell it, she made them for each other."

"Ok wait," Xander interrupted, an incredulous look on his face. "If Wills is Senhora Sacriwhatever, does that mean that Spike is the guy who's supposedly so beautiful that it tempts angels? I mean. That's a laugh!"

So beautiful that he tempts angels?

Closing his eyes, Angel found that he didn't find it funny at all.

-l-

Spike paced the length of the room, grinding his teeth together. He really bloody needed to hit something. Out in the shop, he could hear the poof airing all the family's dirty laundry, and if that wasn't bad enough, Drusilla sat in the corner with Red giggling and fawning all over her, drunk on sire's blood, that head of crimson hair sprawled across Dru's lap.

He growled to himself, his hands curling into fists.

Red sat up. He could feel her reaching out to him through the bond, but he quickly withdrew from the connection. She'd probably leave with Drusilla when this was all over (he knew all too well the pull of the sire, the unquestioning love, oh yes, all too well), and he bloody well wasn't going with them, so he might as well start getting used to not feeling her. And to the taste of pig's blood.

"But nothing, Angel! She did this, she made Willow into that thing, and she's not here for the truce!" he could clearly hear the Slayer, arguing in favor of staking Dru. Angel's soothing tones followed.

Spike groaned, gnashing his teeth and pulling out a fag. It broke in two in his hands. He was still hurt by Dru's leaving, her cheating, her… her everything, but he'd be damned again if he just sat there quietly and watched her be staked. Red was watching him with that look on her face that meant she was going to get what she wanted. Called it her Resolve Face. Good. She was paying attention to what was being said by the bloody Scoobies. She'd be ready to protect Dru.

Growing impatient with waiting around for the fight to start, Spike whirled, his duster flapping behind him. He went over to a punching bag hanging from the ceiling by a chain, presumably there for the Slayer, and started taking out his frustrations. He kicked, and it was Dru. He punched and it was Angelus. He broke into a flurry of blows and it was all of the Scoobies, and then he shifted, ripping the punching bag open with his teeth, and it was the fucking Initiative spilling blood of sand on his feet.

He felt a hand on his arm and he whirled, snarling. Red snarled back at him, ridges forming on her forehead as her fangs appeared. Spike moved to strike her, but she caught his hand, surprising him. She'd never been so rebellious before Dru waltzed back into their lives!

He chose to ignore the other times they had battled for dominance. He was set on this being Dru's fault.

"Now, now, children," Dru's voice stopped their fight before it could really begin. "You must play nice or Mummy will be cross."

Rising, the woman Spike had once worshipped as a goddess glided over to them, just as graceful as he remembered. He shivered, every vampiric instinct telling him to go to her, and every thought screaming that he would not go down that road again.

"Dance with me, princess?" Dru asked, extending her hand to Red.

"Yes, Mummy." Red let Spike's arm go and took Dru's hand, the pair of them falling into a waltz, though there was no music.

Spike watched for several long moments, his attention split between the two vampires dancing and the conversation taking place in the shop. If he hadn't been out of his mind with the pain inflicted by the chip, he'd have never let himself be herded into the back.

Red spun away from Dru, and Spike suddenly found himself pulled into their dance. He dragged his feet, but he went, justifying it by reminding himself that the Slayer was waiting just outside to stake all of them. It was best that he didn't tear into Dru and Red to show them who was boss until they were free and clear. After all, if the Slayer came in here to finish him off, there wasn't much he'd be able to do. He'd just have to hope someone would save him.

He gnashed his teeth again.

At a gesture from Drusilla, Red broke their circle, going to stand watch at the door. Spike wound up spinning round and round with Dru, her nails digging into his arms, just like old times.

Eventually, he couldn't help himself.

"Why?" he asked his sire, his lover, his mother. He spoke Portuguese, not wanting Peaches to overhear. Last time he had checked, that was one language Angel couldn't speak. But Dru had spent enough time in Brazil that she might have picked it up.

"It is just as I told you, my Spike," Drusilla answered him in the same language, looking up into his face with those bright eyes. "We remain friends. You are my little Spike. But when I look into your eyes, I can't see my reflection."

Spike understood what she was telling him. "But I do love you!" he protested. "Or, I did, before…"

Drusilla laughed, but there was no malice. "My poor, sweet Willy. Always the last to know. Don't worry. You will always have my heart. And I shan't take yours from you."

Before Spike could reply, Dru pushed him toward Red. "Now dance with your sister," she finished, still speaking Portuguese. "I want to watch my darlings before I have to go."

"Go?" Red interrupted in English as Spike took her in his arms.

"It's not time yet for Mummy to come home to her children. The children must play, and they won't if Mummy is at home to watch them," Dru clarified her leave taking, in effect not clearing up anything at all.

Except for the fact that she was going to let Spike and Red have their space, and wasn't here to take the auburn haired vampiress with her.

Red looked up at Spike, her eyes turned to familiar pools of amber-green. Please, the look said, echoed by their bond. Brother, please.

That silent request was followed by an outpouring of love and affection for him from his sister and his sire. Red ran her hands over Spike's chest. Drusilla wrapped her arms around his waist, a soft purr in her throat.

As always, Spike could not deny them anything.

William, Willow, Will.

Drusilla.

-l-

"Ok, so we all agree then," Buffy said. She scanned everyone's faces. Giles and Xander nodded solemnly. Angel looked relieved, Buffy thought because he wouldn't have to pick between her and his… she guessed the vampires in the basement were like his kids. His kids that didn't turn out how he wanted, and stayed out all night and got bad grades and dressed skanky, but still his kids. She was trying really hard to understand, and she believed Angel when he told her that killing Drusilla wouldn't do anything but hurt Willow. Erm. Not-Willow.

Anya didn't care what they decided so long as someone paid for the stuff that had been damaged in the fight. Angel sighed and handed over his wallet.

"Ok then. They get to be part of the truce. Even Drusilla. If they don't bite anyone while they're here, I won't introduce them to Mr. Pointy."

She started to move to the back room.

"I'll do it, Buff," Xander stopped her. "If they see you first they might think they're about to get dusted."

Buffy figured Xander was just trying to keep anything else in the shop from breaking so he wouldn't have to listen to Anya complain about it, but she let him go ahead of her. She could tell the vamps weren't near enough to the door to try anything.

Angel looked up, saying, "Wait!" at the same time that Xander opened the door.

They found themselves treated to the sight of Spike, Willow, and Drusilla, all naked and writhing together in a big pile of weird sweaty vampire sex. Except. That wasn't sweat. That was blood.

Ick.

Buffy's mouth dropped open. Xander squeaked. Giles came over and said, "Good Lord!"

"See that thing the Spike is doing with his tongue?" Anya commented. "That's what I've been trying to get you to do."

Angel closed the door.

-l-

They waited thirty minutes, Anya torturing them all with increasingly detailed speculation about the vampire threesome going on in the back room, and then Angel silently opened the training room door and went in.

All was silent for a second, and then Anya said, "Do you think he went to join them?"

"Shut up, Anya," Buffy burst.

Usually when she was this tense, she'd go slay something or go train, but she wasn't allowed to slay anyone here and the damn vampires were having sex in her training room. Ugh, she'd need to flip that mat over.

Anya pouted, and Xander comforted her. Then the training room door opened, and the vampires seemed to pour out of it. Angel came first, his mouth pressed in a thin line. Next was Drusilla, a feline smile curving her lips. Then Willow, who was carrying a creepy porcelain doll, and lastly Spike, who hadn't bothered to button up his red shirt.

"Ew, Spike. Finished getting dressed, please," she growled at him.

He leered at her, taking out a cigarette and sliding it between his lips. "What's the matter Slayer, see something you like?"

There was a growl. Buffy was surprised when Spike looked at Angel. Angel usually didn't do the whole growly vampire thing.

"Sod off, Peaches," Spike said.

Buffy took a step forward, getting ready to threaten Spike like she used to, to remind him that he wasn't in charge here, but the way Willow moved to stand next to the blond vampire changed her mind. Willow wasn't chipped, and she was kind of nuts. She might not understand that Buffy wasn't really going to permanently hurt Spike, at least not right now, and then they'd fight and then what if Buffy had to stake her and –

The ground seemed to sway under her feet. She blinked, taking a deep breath.

"Buffy?" Giles said softly.

She shook her head at him.

"We're waiting for Riley," she told the assembled group. "He's supposed to be getting new intel tonight." Intel. That was a word she'd picked up while a prisoner of the Initiative. "But I'll fill you in on everything else while we wait."

-l-

The bloody Initiative were a bigger bunch of morons than he'd known, Spike thought as he listened to the Slayer's tale of being kidnapped and held prisoner in the facility. She'd hesitated to fight back against her attackers at first, because they were human. That had gotten her locked in a steel and glass cage for a month.

Got to be really fucking stupid to get the White Hats and the Big Bad brassed off at you at the same time. It wasn't the first time in history that the Slayer and the things she hunted would work together to stop a common enemy, and it wouldn't be the last. But Spike was still amazed the more he heard. And people said vampires were monsters. At least they were supposed to be.

"Oh, um, good Lord," a mumbled exclamation came from the Watcher, interrupting Buffy's monologue. Spike turned to see that Dru had gotten bored with listening to the Slayer and had crept up on old Rupes and plunked herself down in his lap. She smiled at him now, running her long nails lightly over his cheek. The Watcher was clearly nervous and not a little put out and doing his best to hold still, lest he provoke Dru into attacking him. Smart of him, really. Dru could be quite kittenish at times, drawn by movement and getting nasty if she felt threatened.

The Slayer started for them, but Peaches held up a hand to say he'd handle it. "Dru, come here," he said firmly in an authoritative tone that somehow lacked the command of the old days.

Dru ignored him.

"Such a pretty boy, with such sweet kisses. I can see the wolf in the lamb," she fussed over the Watcher, removing his glasses and running her fingers through his hair. "I have missed you."

Spike bit his lip to keep from laughing at the looks the humans were exchanging. Rupes' heart was starting to pound, an element of fear and a little bit of lust underlying his scent. Demon Girl looked mildly concerned, which for her was probably a wild declaration of affection. The moron's face was twisted in a mask of hatred that had to go beyond what Dru was doing at the moment. Looked like someone was still mad about Red's turning…

The Slayer looked ready to turn this little game into a brawl, but she wasn't quite there yet. Buffy knew that if she startled Dru, she could kill the Watcher far quicker than the Slayer could stop her.

Red moved over to Dru and the Watcher, sitting on the arm of the chair and joining Drusilla in petting the old git's hair. Clever of Red, that was, keeping up her charade of being nutters, but putting herself in a prime position to keep things from getting out of hand.

"Would you like a new daddy?" Dru asked Red, looking up at her with a smile.

Red leaned down, her lips brushing the Watcher's temple as she answered, "Giles has always been like a Daddy to me."

"Drusilla," Angel tried again.

Spike finally lost his battle with his laughter. They all looked at him, with the exception of Dru and Red, varying levels of hostility and annoyance plain on their faces. "Come off it, Poof. You're going to have to let the demon loose to get through to her, and we both know you won't do that in front of your pals here." He snorted, pulling out his lighter to light his fag, since the Watcher wasn't in any position to complain about the smoke at the moment.

"You know the terms of the truce, Spike," the Slayer started in, looking like she was working herself up into a good strop.

"Nobody's been bit, have they?" Spike cut her off. "Never said anything beyond that."

The Slayer blanched. Spike relished the expression. It was nice to be someone she had to take seriously again.

"Spike," Angel appealed to him.

Spike heaved a sigh, but it was mostly for show. "Bloody hell. She kills every minion just as soon as I've got them how I like them, and then we're not here a night before she's wantin' Xapper as a pet and the Watcher for a Daddy."

The moron squeaked and Demon Girl made some remark about not sharing, but Spike ignored them, taking a long drag on his fag before saying in a bored voice, "Come here, poppets. You're making the humans twitchy and Spike will never get his work done like this."

As one, Red and Dru left the Watcher alone and came to drape themselves around Spike.

He gave Peaches a smug look.

The bell on the shop door rang.

"Hey I got… what's going on?" Riley asked.