To Saving the World


by Saber ShadowKitten



Prologue




Journal of William Longstreet, 7 July 1999

Been called up by the big guns for some bloody reason. Probably to give me a new assignment, seeing as how the Sunnydale one is now complete. That Mayor bloke was a bloody nuisance, but the Slayer and her chums managed to defeat him, with a little hidden help from yours truly. Luckily, he wasn't an Antediluvian Cult member planning on laying waste to the world as they tend to try and do. Just some schmuck with too much time on his hands. I'd hate for Gehenna to come about because of that sod.

So far this summer, I've come across each of the major clans of the Kindred, which is strange. I suppose spending June on a college campus as large as ISU, a vampire is bound to run into others.

I met up first with a Brujah. He was easy to spot, leading a pack of mortals and other Brujah on some anarchical protest. The term "rabble rouser" had to come from some place. What was funny was that this Brujah was hanging around with a Gangrel. She was cute, if you go for the wild, animalistic look with the temperament to match.

Ran into a Tremere while I was flirting with dinner. He was doing some sort of mumbo jumbo sorcery over the computer. Typical Warlock. I ended up having to eat elsewhere.

Met up with a Malkavian while I was roaming the campus a week back. He gave me that weird look I use to get from Dru when she was talking with her dolls. Don't like those Lunatics. The Nosferatu, either, with their disfigured faces. They are just too bloody creepy.

And, of course, I ran into many Ventrue on Greek Row. Those Blue Bloods sure do know how to throw a party, despite their thinking that they are better than the rest. But, without some clan to take charge, the Camarilla would fall apart, then where would we be? A lot of vampires running around without any structure, like the Independents. That could get annoying real fast.

I'm glad that Toreadors aren't running the show. I can't imagine a bunch of artsy fartsy pansies sitting around talking about the latest fashion or what not rather than what needs to be done. I may be a Toreador by blood line, but I know where to draw the line. It helped that I was instructed to be in the Sabbat sect once Angelus disappeared. Footloose and fancy free, I was, with no limitations of the Masquerade, no reason I had to hide the fact that I was Kindred, a vampire.

End Entry

Transcribed by Maria Valasquez, 7/7/99

"Thank you, Maria." *Snap.*


*****


"You've done well, William."

"It's my bloody job to do well," Spike snorted, rolling the compliment off of him like a bad vibe. He tapped his finger on the edge of his chair, his black polished nail making a click, click, click in the semi-dark conference room.

"Tell me of your report from Sunnydale," Christoph instructed, templing his fingers together at the opposite end of the table. The elder vampire, with his long blond hair and perfect features, was reminiscent of a Norse god. A Ventrue and the leader of the one of the many Gehenna Cults was not one to be kept waiting, especially on the importance of preventing Gehenna, the apocalypse.

"Three attempts," Spike said. "First through a big blue smurf, better known as The Judge."

"I trust that he was dispatched?" Christoph inquired.

"The Sabbat Slayer and her chums made mincemeat of him," he replied. "I really had to put on a bloody act while he was being assembled when I wanted to keep him separated for obvious reasons. Cor, that pissed me off. Being stuck in that bleedin' wheelchair didn't help matters, either."

"The things one does for love," Christoph surmised. "I am glad it did not cost your position. I would have been displeased, especially since we had so few good Kindred Cult members in the Sabbat sect. However, do go on."

Spike continued without a second thought. "Second, Acathala. That bloody Ravnos curse on Angelus broke. At first, I thought he was back to his good old, guilt-free, Toreador self; then he started to loose his fucking marbles and I knew those Rom bastard Kindred had to be Antediluvian. I made a deal with the Slayer, the world didn't go to hell and the big rock was destroyed by the Slayer's Watcher."

"And what of Angelus?"

"Re-cursed," Spike answered. "He's back to being a ‘Banker' again. That whole guilt thing has got to be a bloody nuisance. But on the whole, he's normal. Well, as normal as the wanker ever was to begin with. As long as he doesn't get a happy, the Ravnos curse won't be broken again. I'd hate to have to kill the git; he is my sire and was, for a long time, my friend."

"But you will if it comes down to preventing Gehenna." It was a statement, not a question.

"As I told the Slayer, I like this world. Why do you think I became involved in the Cult to begin with?" Spike said. "Third was the Mayor of Sunnyhell, of all people. Helped the Slayer and her merry men stop the ascension, though they don't know that. Now, I bloody well doubt you dragged me all the way up here just for a report, so let's get on with the show already."

"You are correct, William," Christoph said. "First, I must confirm that you and your Toreador lover are no longer together. Is this true?"

"Yes," Spike answered, somewhat sullenly. Torturing Drusilla hadn't worked, and he couldn't give up the secret that the reason he teamed up with the Slayer was because of his ties with the Gehenna Cult. Finally, he called it quits and left her in the hands of a capable, and equally insane, Malkavian.

"Very good. Then your involvement with the Sabbat is at an end. I have need of you in the Camarilla - the closer to the conclave, the better," Christoph told him.

Spike sighed and dug out a cigarette. "Any particular Domain?"

"It has come to my attention that Angelus has been asked to be Primogen for the Toreador clan in Los Angeles. If you trust him, then try to get into that Domain. But do not tell him of your ties with us, for if the Ravnos curse goes into effect, it could result in dire consequences for the Kindred and mortals alike," Christoph said.

"Yeah, yeah, I know the bloody drill," Spike said. "It's not going to be easy, not after all these years in the Sabbat."

"I have complete faith in you, William," the elder Ventrue replied. "Which is why there is a second part of your new directive, aside from having a Cult member in a position of influence in the Camarilla."

"Do tell," Spike said.

"The Omega Virus," Christoph told him.

The cigarette almost dropped from his mouth. "Fuck," he swore, his mind turning over this new bit of information. The Omega Virus was specifically created by the Antediluvian Cult to wipe out the Kindred and assist in bringing about Gehenna. It had to enter the bloodstream somehow, then was similar to mortal AIDS. It destroyed a vampire from within.

"It has been spreading within the Domains, which is why your sire has been asked to be Primogen. We fear that there may be an Antediluvian in that conclave. The Prince fears for all those under his control," Christoph explained.

"What's the blighter's name?" Spike asked, trying to formulate a plan.

"Xavier DuPrey," he replied.

Spike looked surprised. "Xavier's the Prince? No wonder Angel's been asked to be Primogen by the Toreador in the area. Cor, it should be a bloody snap to get into the conclave in his Domain."

"I take it you know of the Prince?"

"Oh yeah, Xavier, me and Angel go way back, to before Dru was with us," he said. "We had a lot of fun in London together."

"Excellent," Christoph said. "I will expect you to report as soon as you retain a position and then on any information regarding the Antediluvian situation."

Spike stood, knowing a dismissal when he heard one. "Right. Well, be seein' you," he said, giving the elder vampire a jaunty salute, then left.

Twenty minutes later he threw himself into a chair at the motel he was staying at, his mind in awhirl. If there was a mole of sorts in Xavier's conclave, what's to stop there from being one in every conclave in each Domain? And if that was the case, the apocalypse could be closer than he liked. He needed to get to Los Angeles and do what he pledged to do when he joined the Gehenna Cult.

Save the world.



Part One




"Spike, what are you doing here?" Angel snarled at the peroxide blond vampire leaning against the doorway to his temporary home.

"Now, is that a way to greet your old mate?" Spike asked, taking a drag off of his cigarette. Angel glared at him. "Let's walk."

Angel narrowed his eyes, then nodded, falling into step next to his childe. They walked in silence for several blocks before he asked, "What's going on, Spike?"

"I hear Xavier's Prince here," Spike replied. "And that you've been chosen Primogen for the Toreador clan in the city."

"What of it?" Angel asked.

"Let me be your Whip," he said.

Angel looked at him in surprise. "You want to what?"

"You heard me, you sod," Spike scowled.

"Why the hell would you want that? What would Drusilla think, your going back under the Camarilla? And what makes you think I would trust you as my assistant?"

"I haven't been in the bloody Sabbat for over a year," he replied. "Drusilla is shacking up with a Malkavian, good riddance, and you an' me were mates once. I thought with Xavier, me an' you in the conclave, it'd be like the good old days."

"I never figured you much for government, Spike," Angel commented snidely. "Running for office?"

"Well, you know me. Always full of surprises," Spike said. He flicked his cigarette away, then shoved his hands in his pockets. "Listen, mate, I'm bloody serious about this. Chalk it up to being lonely or whatever you want, but let me do this."

Angel studied him as they paused on a busy street corner, waiting for the light to change. "Have you kept in contact with any of the clan here?" he asked.

"Most of them," Spike answered, glancing up at his sire.

"If no one protests...too much, I think we can give it a shot," he said. "I'm meeting with Xavier in about an hour. Bet he'd be interested to see you."

Spike nodded and they continued their way back towards Angel's place. Inwardly, the vampire was relieved. He was in, as soon as he got the go ahead from the Prince. Luckily, he wasn't lying when he said he'd kept in touch with the clan in the city. And he knew most of them wouldn't care, most Toreadors didn't want to involve themselves in clan politics anyway. Too much business and not enough culture.

"How's the Slayer?" Spike asked, starting up a new conversation. "I hear that there was a big party on graduation, of all days. Must have been a ball." More like a rave, since he was there to see it first hand, but he wasn't going to say that.

"Since when do you care about Buffy?" Angel said.

"I don't - just making polite chit-chat," he replied.

"Buffy's fine," Angel answered. "She's at her father's for the summer here in LA."

"I take it you two lovebirds are still doing the ‘friends' thing," Spike said.

"No, we gave up on that soon after you left," he replied. "We have a relationship, of sorts." Angel frowned. "With lots of frustration."

"I'd imagine so," Spike commented. "Bloody Ravnos."

"Couldn't agree with you more," Angel replied.


*****


"Will!" Xavier greeted jovially as he met them in the foyer to his large mansion. The tall Frenchman gave Spike a big hug and kissed both cheeks. He was Angel's height, though slender, with shoulder length dark hair, dark eyes and chiseled pale complexion. If both Spike and Angel had been combined into one vampire, he would look like Xavier DuPrey. "It's been too long, my friend."

"That is has, Xavier," Spike replied. He looked pointedly around the entryway. "Looks like you've done well for yourself."

Xavier laughed, his hair falling behind his shoulders as he threw his head back. "You could say that, Will. So, come in, come in. Tell me about you. Staying in trouble, I presume."

"Always," Spike said. "Did you hear I've turned over a new leaf? Time to get back in the thick of things and all that rot."

"Will, the day you turn over a new leaf is they day you help the Sabbat Slayer save the world," Xavier joked.

Angel barked out a laugh as Spike's ears actually turned red from embarrassment. "Yeah, well, it happens," the blonde vampire replied.

Xavier arched a dark brow at his two guests. "Angelus, what are you laughing at?"

"Spike did help Buffy prevent the world from going to hell," Angel told his old friend. "Bashed me over the head with a crowbar. Remind me to get back at you for that, Spike."

"Bite me, poof ball," Spike shot at Angel. His sire only chuckled. "Listen, Xav, the great hairdini here says I can be his Whip if you give the go ahead."

"I can't do that, Will," Xavier shook his head.

Spike frowned, a hurt feeling forming in the middle of his stomach. "Why the bloody hell not?"

"Because I want Angelus to be my Seneschal," he replied. Angel blinked in surprise as Xavier looked over at him. "I need someone I know and can trust in my corner, Angel."

"Of course, Xavier," Angel told him. "I'd be honored to by your Seneschal."

"That means you, dear William, can choose to be Primogen for the Toreador clan if you so desire," Xavier said to Spike. "You are the next oldest in the area, you are my friend and Angelus' and I'd wager that the rest of the clan in this area could care less. After all, they wanted Angie to be Primogen."

"Up yours, Xav," Angel said.

Spike's mind was reeling. **This is bloody perfect. I couldn't have wished myself into a better position within the conclave. I'll have to put up with a bit more politicking than I'd wanted, but my job is more important to piss this opportunity away,** he thought. "I'll do it, s'long as there's no objection from the peanut gallery."

"Wonderful," Xavier said, throwing his arm around Spike's leather-clad shoulder. "We'll get right on it. I'll have Maurice show you to your suite in the north wing. Angie, baby, I have one for you, too, in that wing." He led the two vampires further into the mansion. "Just think, the Three Musketeers together again."

"Not with the Musketeer talk again," Angel complained. "I thought I'd finally beat that out of you."

"I get to be Porthos this time," Spike said, their voices fading as they left the great hall. "He always got the good wine and women."



Part Two




The suite that made up Spike's quarters was the size of a small apartment. It had a living room, kitchenette with table and chairs, two bedrooms and a bathroom that interconnected them. Seeing as he didn't have a lot of things, it was easy to move right into the mansion.

He'd been there for two weeks now, having been accepted by the clan in the area as Primogen. It helped that those he had kept in contact with were the more respected members of the Toreador clan, such as club owners and art dealers. Plus, none of them wanted the job and were grateful to pass it onto him. If it wasn't his new assignment for the Gehenna Cult, he wouldn't want the job, either.

He was lucky as to not have had his first conclave meeting yet with the other Primogen and Xavier, but not so lucky as to all the general wants and complaints he'd received. Angel had laughed at him when the first batch of faxes came in, glad to have passed the job onto someone else, as well. Of course, no one realized how difficult it was going to be for him to read all the messages and he wasn't about to let on that fact, either.

"Doesn't anyone use the fucking phone anymore?" Spike cursed as he stabbed at the keys on the laptop. Email was the new ‘fashionable' communique and his sire had cheerfully provided him with a computer and cell phone for easy access. Ever since then he'd been trying, mostly in vain, to operate the thing, not including the time it took for him to read the contents of the email and peck out a reply. With a growl, he slammed the top shut and pushed away from the table, his chair making a loud squeak on the marble tile. He looked down at the multiple scratch marks on the floor because of this oft repeated action and swore again. "Xavier is going to have my bloody head."

Grabbing his pack of smokes off the table, he stuck them in the front pocket of his green t-shirt, then put the laptop and cell phone, both still on, in the travel case and slung it over his shoulder. Perhaps he could bash Angel over the head with it several times, then take a quick trip north to beat on Christoph for giving him the assignment. Mostly, though, he knew if he didn't bring it with him, he'd never get anything done and his whole assignment would go to hell. Although that prospect wasn't looking too bad right now.

Exiting his suite, he almost ran into one of the vampires whom he wished to do bodily harm. "Angel, you old fart," Spike greeted. "Just the wanker I wanted to kill."

"Spike, grow up," Angel retorted, pushing past his childe and heading out of the wing.

Spike trailed behind him, his curiosity peaked as to what was the older vampire's hurry. "Where you off to, mate?"

"If you must know, I'm going to meet Buffy," Angel replied over his shoulder.

"Sounds like a load of fun," he said. "Wouldn't mind a bit of violence right about now. Mind if I tag along?"

Angel paused and looked at Spike, wondering what was going on in his head. "Since when are you so hard up for entertainment you'd choose to go with me?"

"Can't a bloke do something without there being a grand scheme behind it?" Spike replied. "I'm bored and frustrated and you're always good for a few laughs."

"Fine, come on," Angel sighed. "But we're not stopping on the way for snacks."


*****


Twenty minutes later found the two vampires weaving their way through a crowd of patrons at a club reminiscent of the Bronze. "Behave," Angel warned Spike, who was on his third cigarette since the walk over, as they approached the table where Buffy was seated. He grabbed the smoke from the blond's mouth and tossed it to the ground, stamping it out beneath his foot.

Spike scowled at Angel, but before he could reply they'd arrived. "Hi Angel and...Spike," Buffy said the second name with a mixture of confusion and distaste. She gave Angel an ‘explain now or find yourself being vacuumed' look.

"He has a desire to be beaten. Severely," Angel told her with a smirk to his companion.

"Oh really," Buffy said, arching her brow at Spike.

Spike's scowl deepened and dug in his pocket for the pack of cigarettes. He jerked the pack and one popped up, and he pulled it into his mouth. Buffy, however, had other ideas about his lighting up and she snatched it from him and broke it in half. "Hey!"

"No smoking around me," she told him. "And behave."

"Why does everyone think I'm not going to be good?" Spike asked. Buffy and Angel just looked at him. "Fine. I promise I'll behave. Happy?"

"Thrilled," Buffy scoffed. "I know I'm going to regret this, but you can sit. But don't forget, I have a stake and know how to use it."

Spike took a seat and growled when the laptop chirped ‘You got mail' at him from inside the carry case. His sire gave him another smirk, getting comfortable next to his somewhat girlfriend. "Wanker," he said under his non-existent breath, setting the case on the table. Buffy gave him a curious glance and Angel leaned over to whisper in her ear, then the two got up to dance.

He opened up the case and laptop, brushing his thumb across the touchpad to take it out of standby. He looked at the number of new messages in the bottom left corner of the screen. There were two digits worth. "Cor, I am going to rip Christoph's eyeballs out and use them in my martini," he grumbled as he scrolled down the list of message subjects, seeing if anything shouted out to him. He was so engrossed in trying to decipher the words and muttering at the screen that he hadn't noticed anyone's approach until a startled gasp broke his concentration.

"Spike!"

Spike turned his head to see Willow standing behind him, hand to her chest in fright. "Hello, Willow," he greeted, then turned back to talking to the laptop. "Bloody hell, what do you mean ‘mail not de-' whatever? Why can't you pillocks just pick up the bleedin' phone and ring me?"

Visiting for the week with Buffy while her parents were in Europe, Willow had been at the bar getting a drink when Angel and Spike had arrived. Her eyes darted around the club and she saw the couple dancing. They waved at her and when she pointed at Spike, Buffy shrugged. "Spike, what are you doing here?"

"I'm using the fucking computer, what does it look like," he growled, not moving his eyes from the keyboard as he poked with a single finger at the letters. "I hate this bloody useless machine."

Willow couldn't help but laugh as the memory of Giles saying something similar to that came forth. Spike looked over his shoulder at her and she immediately stopped, a combination blush and pallor spreading over her skin. "I wasn't laughing at you, I was laughing at what you said. Not that what you said was funny, it just reminded me of what Giles said about the computer. Not that you remind me of Giles. You're a lot younger...wait, you're older, as in very old, as in a vampire, as in you could kill me right now and I think I'll stop before you do."

Spike stared at her with his ice blue eyes for a moment, then started to laugh, making Willow more nervous. "Don't worry, luv, I'm not going to kill you," he told her. "I promised to behave."

"Um, good," she replied. "I think I'll, uh, drink my drink now."

"You do that, pet," he said, turning back to the keyboard.

Willow stayed as far from him as she could get as she sat down. When he started cursing at the laptop again, her curiosity was peaked. Unable to help herself, she moved closer to look over his shoulder at the screen. "You only need to forward the message again," she said without thinking.

"Do what?" Spike asked, looking over at her.

She blushed. "Oh, um, just click on the forward message button and type in the address," she told him.

"You know how to use this bloody thing?" he said.

"Uh, y-yes?" Willow replied. "You could say that."

For the first time in his long life, his begged. It was pitiful, but he was at the end of his rope. "Will you please help me?" Spike asked. "Before I bloody well go insane. Please?"

Willow's eyes were huge. "You're asking me for help? Me?"

"You don't see anyone else standing here, do you?" he scoffed, then groaned. **Alienate the girl, why don't you,** he thought. "Yes, I am asking you for help."

"O-Ok," she agreed, pulling the laptop over in front of her. "Where do you want this to go?"

"I have no clue," Spike admitted. He gestured uselessly at the machine as he stood, then dug out a cigarette and put it in his mouth. "It was suppose to be a general message to the list or whatever you call it, telling them that their problems and what not will be dealt with as soon as I bloody well get to them."

"Do you want it to go to any of these people who sent you new messages?" Willow asked, her finger moving over the touchpad with practiced ease.

"Can you do that?" he replied, lighting the cigarette, then leaning over her shoulder.

"Of course," she said. "Now, where's your original message?"

"In that thing," he said, tapping the word ‘drafts' on the screen with his finger. "At least, I think it was in there. Bloody hell, why can't the gits just use the friggin' phone?"

She tried not to chuckle, but it came out anyway. "Sorry. Er, hmm. I need to ask - do you mind if I see the email or not?"

"Why?"

"Well, when I click on it, the message will appear and if you don't want me to see it, I need to...not look," Willow explained.

Spike thought about that for a minute. The thing about working under the rules of the Camarilla stated that a vampire kept up the Masquerade no matter what and breaking that rule was punishable by death. Then again, the red head in front of him already knew all about the Kindred through her association with Buffy...and him...so he wouldn't be technically breaking any rules. Plus, he really wanted the help before he poked out his eyes. "You can look, pet. In fact, if you see any mistakes, feel free to fix them," he finally said. **Might as well get all the help I can.**

Willow nodded and pulled up the message.

All maters will be takin kar of in the order resevd.
Spike, Primogin Toreador

She frowned, glanced up at the vampire over her shoulder, then back at the screen. "Um, Spike. If I suggest something, will you eat me?"

"No," he chuckled. "Although I've never heard anyone asking me that before."

"Uh, well, how about this for a message instead: Ladies and Gentlemen," she said as she typed. "I have received your email and will be reviewing each one in the order they were received. I shall respond to each as time permits. Thank you. And then we put your name and then your title. You have a title?"

"Yeah," Spike replied offhand because his mind was focusing on what she'd just put together in a matter of seconds which took him a half-hour to do. And the speed she typed was phenomenal. Plus, her message sounded much better than his did.

"What's a Prim-o-gin?" Willow asked.

"What?" he asked, snapping back to reality.

"Prim-o-gin? And what about Toreador? Unless I shouldn't be asking you this. I shouldn't, should I. Oh boy, now I'm toast," she rambled nervously.

Spike chuckled again and took a seat, tapping the cherry on his cigarette onto the floor. This little red head was certainly amusing and inquisitive. He wondered if she was like this when he'd kidnaped her way back in November, but everything during that time was clouded because of his drunken haze. "Well, luv, a Primogen is sort of like a member of Parliament. I'm the representative of the Toreador clan for LA."

"Clan? As in a clan of vampires?"

"It isn't a clan of knitters," he replied.

"Does Buffy know about this clan?" Willow asked, her eyes wide as she looked at him.

"No, pet, she doesn't," Spike said. "And you aren't going to tell her, either. She doesn't need to go after those under the Camarilla, although she'd be hard pressed to find them."

"Why? And what's the Camarilla?"

"The Camarilla is a sect of vampires who follow the rules of the Masquerade," he explained. "Don't let mortals know vampires exist, don't kill unless necessary when you feed, keep your human mask on at all times in public, that sort of thing. Angel is a perfect example of a Kindred who lives by the rules, although with the Ravnos curse on him, he's a farmer rather than getting blood fresh."

"Angel's a farmer?" Willow said.

"Farmer. Banker. A vampire who drinks animal blood or from blood bags," Spike told her.

She nodded in understanding. "Ok, so Angel follows all these rules. Do you?"

"Now I do," he answered. "I didn't when I was in the Sabbat sect. That's the group of vampires that the Slayer goes after. The sect doesn't care if mortals know about them or not."

"What's your job as Primogen?" Willow inquired.

"Mostly getting email and faxes because no one will pick up the bloody phone," he grumbled. She giggled, then covered her mouth in fear and he smiled at her. "You can laugh, pet. I told you I'm not going to eat you."

"Sorry," she said. "Um, one more question. You said you're Primogen for the Toreador clan. How many clans are there?"

"Seven under the Camarilla, thirteen if you count the Independents and those exclusively in the Sabbat," Spike replied. His eyes darted around the club, looking for examples. "You see that scruffy looking bloke by the door?"

"The one with the shaggy hair?"

"That's the one, ducks. He's a Gangrel. They're very...wild. They're mostly bikers or gang bangers," he said. "That one over by the bar, the one with the suit and pinkie ring with the pentagram? That's a Tremere. They're sorcerers, wizards and the like. Annoying sods mostly."

"What about Angel?"

"He's a Toreador," Spike answered.

"Which is why you're one, too," Willow surmised.

"Right. And that wanker that's heading right for us is a Ventrue. Think rich snobbery and you'll have that clan pegged," he said.

"Will, are you telling tales?" Xavier asked as he walked up to the table. "Has my old friend been flirting with you? If so, don't take it personally. He flirts with all the pretty skirts and a few of the fellows, too."

"Willow, this is Aramis. Ignore him," Spike said.

Xavier clucked his tongue as he picked up Willow's hand. "Now, now, Porthos, no need to get in a tizzy. Actually, my name is Xavier DuPrey, fair lady."

"Willow Rosenberg," Willow returned as he kissed her hand. Spike snorted in derision. "Did you guys just call each other the Musketeer names?"

"Call twinkle toes over there Athos and see what he does," Spike suggested with a grin.

"Will, you shouldn't mock Angel like that," Xavier said, sitting down in a vacant chair. "That's my job."

"Will?" Willow said, confused as she looked at Spike. "Oh! Will. William, because you're William the Bloody. I get it."

Xavier arched a dark brow at the peroxide blond. "William the Bloody, eh? I thought it was Longstreet."

"You have a last name?" Willow said in surprise. "I need to tell Giles so he can put it in the Diaries. What about Angel? Does he have a last name, too? Well, of course he does. I meant, do you know his last name? Buffy doesn't know his last name, and they're together. Although not in the together sense of together. Um..."

"Is she always this curious?" Xavier asked Spike.

"So far as I know," Spike replied, giving the hacker a wink. Willow blushed. "Peaches last name is Brennan, pet."

"Angelus Brennan," Willow said, sounding out the words. "Spike Longstreet. That sounds funny."

"It does at that," Xavier agreed. "Why he picked that ridiculous monkier is beyond me."

"Sod off, Xav,"Spike said. "If you must know, Dru gave me that name."

"That explains it then," Xavier said, motioning with his finger by his temple in the universal ‘looney' sign. Willow giggled.

"Xavier, was there something you wanted or did you just drop by to annoy me?" Spike asked.

"Meeting, tonight, midnight," Xavier said, all business. "Bring any complaints you have to the table."

"Bloody hell," the blond vampire cursed quietly. He brought his hands up and began to massage his temples. "I'm not ready to meet with the conclave yet, Xavier." He raised his eyes and saw the look he was receiving from the other vampire. "Oh, don't worry about Willow. She knows all about us."

"Did you tell her?" Xavier asked in a deadly voice.

"No, I did not," Spike said, glaring at him. "She knew about the Kindred before I even met her, so you can put away your pearly whites."

"Is this true, my dear?" the French vampire asked Willow.

"That I know about vampires? Yes," Willow said. "I didn't know there were so many different kinds though. I just thought you all were a bunch of demons who eat people like me for breakfast. Is it called breakfast if you eat it at night? But Spike said he wouldn't eat me and for some dumb reason I believe him. Plus, Buffy's right over there with Angel and she'd stake him for trying."

Xavier laughed loudly, uncaring of the stares he received. "Will, old boy, I underestimated you. You sure know how to pick ‘em." With that, the Prince of Los Angeles got up and left.

"I think I'm getting a bleedin' headache," Spike muttered. "If he wasn't the Prince, I'd box his ears in. May still do it, the night is young."

"Spike, you're muttering," Willow said without thought, turning her attention back to the computer. "Now, about this message..."

Spike's head suddenly shot up and he really looked at her, an idea forming in his head. "Willow, how about a proposition?"

"Er, I-I don't think I'm your type," Willow stammered, turning bright red. "I'm short and have red hair a-a-and I'm human."

He let out a big laugh. "Cor, Willow, no. I didn't mean that sort of proposition. I was wondering if you'd be willing to help out a poor vampire with his new job."

"Doing what?" she asked, curious.

"You can be my Whip," he replied. "It's like a personal assistant. Read email, reply to messages, save me from bashing my head repeatedly against a hard wall, crap like that."

"Um, I don't know..."

"I'll pay you," Spike said, really liking the idea of help. "And you can have free room and board for however long you work with me."

"But I'm only visiting here for a week," Willow said. "And in August...well, I don't know what I'm doing in August."

"How ‘bout this, luv. Try it out for the rest of your visit and then we'll see," he suggested. He did something he hadn't done in a long time at that moment - he crossed his fingers for luck. **Say yes, please say yes.**

"Well, if I can still stay with Buff-"

"No problem, anything you want, pet," Spike cut her off, a huge smile on his face. "We need to get started right away for this soddin' meeting tonight. Don't want to go in the new vamp looking like a wanker. Want to work here or at my suite at the mansion? Come to think of it, we'd better work there so you can see all the bloody faxes and memos I got. Remind me to pound Angel's head in next time he smirks at me for taking this friggin' post..."

Willow's eyes had widened and her mouth dropped open slightly as he went on...and on. **What have I gotten myself into now?**

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