Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Since I have already stolen Drogyn and hopefully given him a better death than Joss did; you won't be all that surprised that I am playing with the Angel timeline. I'm just borrowing one more character. But I promise to give him back in the same condition I got him in.
Dialog taken from "No Place Like Home" by Doug Petrie. Dialog taken from Triangle, written by Jane Espenson
Many thanks to my beta No_Promises.
To say Wesley had been surprised to hear Lydia's voice on the phone was an understatement. But then to be talking to Joyce Summers and William the Bloody moments later was incomprehensible. After Wes had hung up with Joyce and Spike he had quickly called Lydia back. He wasn't the same man he had been when he first arrived in the states. Gone was the attitude that he knew everything. Wesley needed information and since Lydia had dragged him into this situation she could provide it.
It was a stunned ex-watcher that hung up the phone 20 minutes later. Lydia told him everything she knew about the situation Buffy was facing. The council employee also recanted her experiences in Sunnydale the week before. Spike, the vampire that had killed two slayers, was now chipped unable to harm humans, fighting along side Buffy and her friends. Plus he had a wish granted to protect him against violence from humans. A glance at his watch had him shaking off his musings to complete his errands before the meeting with Spike in Oxnard.
Spike waited in the parking lot of the convention center. The calls to the council and LA had taken almost an hour. He was glad they hadn't changed the security guards route since his last break in. Walking Joyce back to the cave had eaten up half hour. Making his way to the Slime Bowl and hotwiring a bike had taken up another half hour. He had arrived at 3:25, the watcher should be here any moment, but Spike was staying out of sight just in case. The roar of a motorcycle pierced the night air. Spike watched as a man got off the bike and after removing the helmet started looking around. Figuring this was the man he was supposed to meet Spike made his way over.
"Call me Wesley or Wes."
"Don't mean to be rude, but can we get on with this? Got a long drive an' the suns not to far off."
"Yes quite. Here is a phone, it's untraceable. So you can call me at any time."
"Might be hard to do. Holed up in a cave, doubt there's cell service under ground. Best make it a standing call in time."
"Let's say around noon?"
"Fine. It'll have to be one of the others though."
"Others? Just how many of the slayers people do you have with you?"
"Joyce, Glinda, demon girl, nibblet and the slayer."
"Right, Tara that's Willow's girl. Anya belongs to the whelp. The bit is Dawn, Buffy's sister and Joyce."
"How did you both manage to save so many?"
"I'm immune seems Anya is too. Bint was a vengeance demon for over a thousand years. Joyce, Buffy and Dawn were at the hospital. Joyce's been sickly, was havin' some tests. Tara got some of my blood in her when she was patching me up. Looks like it made her immune to Kaledena. We had the slayer and her mum take a little of my blood. Don't know how it works but figured it worked on Glinda should work on them too."
By now Wes was starting to put proper names to the nicknames Spike used. "Why didn't you give any to Dawn?"
"Didn't think it was safe. She's the key didn't want it messing up anything. Gave her the Dagon Sphere to hold, Kaledena can't get her hooks in ta' ya when you're holdin' it."
"That seems sensible. I'll start researching right away."
"Listen we got the info the council left. We need to figure out how to get rid of her. People are falling fast in town. When I was making my way through town to steal the bike saw some of her followers puttin' the mojo on others. Takes a lot of power to give your power away yeah?"
"Yes it does. That doesn't bode well; it means the risk of sending in reinforcements is high. They could easily fall prey to her."
"Got enough of our own people working against us don't need anymore. Giles, Red and the whelp are already under her control. They know enough about Buffy to cause some real problems."
"Angel might be of some assistance. It would appear that he should also be immune as you are."
Wes wasn't sure but he could have sworn Spike growled. "Uh huh, except for one thing watcher. What if the dozy bint figures out how to make Peaches' soul go on a walkabout? Then not only do we have Kaledena runnin' around but Angelus too." Shaking his head Spike started to walk back to his bike. "Best keep this to yourself. Can't see the poofter helpin' matters."
Wes walked quickly to catch up with Spike. "I don't understand how you can just toss aside the offer of Angel's assistance. You need all the fighters you can get."
"Not right now we don't. What we need now is information. What good would it do to have 'im come to town? Think he's gonna be happy holing up in some cave? Me I'm a demon through and through. Anya? She's human now with a human soul, but she was a vengeance demon for over 1100 years, still thinks like a demon too. Peaches? His soul, is a curse on a demon, it's unnatural. How secure is it? You mean to tell me you don't think a former PTB can't remove a curse?" Spike was sick of hearing about the mighty Angel, saver of puppies and Christmas. The big git would only make the situation worse with his broody hero complex. He had Buffy for that.
Wes tried to get Spike to see that his employer could be useful in Sunnydale right now. "Angel is a formidable fighter."
"Bloody 'ell! Take your arse outta your head for a minute. That bint tossed me around like a rag doll. A direct attack won't work. Her followers are human. Peaches going about killing humans again?" "You keep this to yourself watcher. If the slayer wants him she'll tell you herself." With that Spike put the cell phone in his duster pocket, hopped on the bike and roared off.
Spike knew he was taking a risk bringing the bike back to the cave, but the chat with the watcher took longer than expected and the sun was rising fast. Cutting the engine he pushed the bike as fast as he could without attracting attention towards the opening of the cave system. What he didn't know was that he was being followed. "Nice set up Spike."
The voice coming from behind Spike startled the vampire so much that he dropped the bike. Spinning around with a knife drawn Spike recognized the person speaking just before the knife was buried in Clem's throat. Running a hand over his tired face Spike led Clem into the main room and sat down wearily on the couch. "Clem what are you doing here? And how'd you find me?"
"Something big is going down. All the demons are running scared. I was on my way over here to see if anyone had moved into the caves yet. A group of vamps kicked me out mine. What are you doing here? You had a sweet setup with the crypt."
The sound of voices woke Buffy. She got out of bed and grabbed a weapon from the bag lying on the floor and crept silently towards the main room. Poking her head around the corner she saw Spike talking to a floppy skinned demon.
"Come on out slayer, Clem here is harmless."
Clem jumped a bit when Spike said the slayer was here. Giving the girl a strained smile he backed up a step.
"Spike this is supposed to be a hide out. As in no one knows where we are?"
"Oh don't worry! Nobody saw Spike. I was just looking for a new place and saw him." At Buffy's dubious look Clem tried to reassure her again. "Really, there wasn't anyone around. All the demons in town are in hiding. That's why I was over here. I got kicked out of my place by some vamps. There's a really scary woman in town. She has all the tight skins killing demons. I made sure there weren't any humans around. They don't seem to care lately what kind of demon you are it's all kill, kill, kill. Larry, the Bracken, works the night shift at the ER? He was killed last night by a bunch of humans as he was coming off of work. It's not safe out there anymore for us demons."
Clem sat down next to Spike taking a bag of Bugles out of the bag on his shoulder he began to eat as he continued to talk. "I told him to take some time off and not go to work. But he has a family to feed, said he needed the money. A couple of Yarbnie demons died the other night. You won't find a more peaceful demon on the planet. Except me of course." Clem gave the slayer a bright smile.
"Relax slayer, Clem is on a non-human diet. I wouldn't leave him alone with the family pet, but you and yours are safe from him."
Buffy waved Spike over. "Is it safe to talk in front of him?"
"Slayer I'm tired. Clem's no threat to anyone. Lets get everyone out here, I'll tell what I know and then I'm goin' to get some kip." Turning to the floppy skinned demon on the couch, "Clem you can stay. But you know what'll happen if you turn on us."
"Oh, sure Spike! Hey are you guys gonna fight that woman? It's what you do right slayer? I mean I know you kill demons. But there's something wrong out there."
"Yeah Clem, slayer's gonna get it all straightened out."
Buffy went to wake the rest of the group. After a few minutes, Dawn came out stumbling and complaining about being up so early. Tara and Anya joined them a few minutes later. Joyce was the last to arrive, rubbing her head in pain as another migraine took hold. Spike quickly recapped his conversation with Wes. As much as he didn't want to mention his grandsire, he told her about refusing Angel's help right now. Handing Buffy the phone he told her to call the only number programmed into it at noon. With an abrupt good night, Spike went off to find a place to sleep. With Spike's departure an uncomfortable silence descended. It was broken when Clem pulled a Ring Ding out of his bag. Dawn seeing the chocolate treat asked him if he had another. The two were soon talking animatedly about boy bands, and snack foods.
A hiss from Joyce brought Buffy to her side. "Mom? What's wrong?"
"My head really hurts. Plus I was supposed to go back to have this machine taken off today, the battery is almost dead."
"We can't. I don't know if Kaledena has anyone working in the hospital, we can't take the chance. Do you think we can take it off?"
"I suppose you're right. Going to the hospital is too risky." Carefully looking at all the leads coming out the portable machine Joyce began to disconnect them one by one.
A little before noon, Buffy made her way towards the opening of the tunnel. She hoped the cell phone would work without her having to actually go outside. Dialing the preprogrammed number she waited for Wes to answer.
"Wes? It's Buffy."
"Hold on one moment." Buffy could hear muted sounds and after a few minutes Wes was back on the line. "Buffy, are you alright?"
"Tired, cranky and really tired of living in a cave, but other than that we're fine."
"Did Spike tell you what we discussed?"
"Yeah he did. Any research you can dig up on how to get rid of her would be great. We've got nothing. Everything the council left talks about who she was before she was banished. Or about how they banished her back then. Nothing about how to use the key."
"I have started looking for any materials that might help. I do feel it necessary to ask you myself. Do you want me to send Angel to you? Spike refused his help."
Buffy cut Wes off, she would love to see Angel again, but right now would not be a good time. "No, if we need help later when it's time for the ritual maybe. But right now? There really isn't any fighting to do. We need book smarts not muscle."
"It's your decision, but if you change your mind just let me know. Would you like me to inform him of the situation at least?"
"Wes if he knew he'd come flying into town and that would be bad. We got some info today, Kaledena is having all the humans she controls kill any demons they come across. He'd be dust 10 minutes after he got here."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, Anya told us Kaledena hates demons because she can't control them. A friend of Spike's told us that she has hunting parties out looking for demons. I can't risk Angel coming here and getting caught in one of their raiding parties." The sound of pebbles skittering across the ground alerted Buffy to a presence behind her. Turning she saw Spike standing a few feet behind her. "What'd you want Spike?"
"Your mum, she took off the equipment the docs had her in and she's lying on the couch with a bad headache. Might be a good idea to get her out of town. Send her to the watcher in LA, she'll be safe and the docs there aren't mojo'd."
Buffy thought about it for a few minutes. The idea of getting her mother out of town and safe was attractive; she wished she could send Dawn too. "Wes let me call you back."