The Cemetery was quite and still which suited Buffy fine since what she was currently doing was pinning Angel to an obelisk whilst forcing her tongue as far down his throat as it would go. She was increasingly so glad she didn't have to breathe anymore.
Angel on the other hand was seriously missing the old Buffy, the one who wasn't more than twice as strong as he was. True she never deliberately hurt him, but at the moment he could feel his ribs being crushed. "Ow." He managed to force out despite the rather cute, talented, obstruction.
"Sorry," Buffy let him down she'd been standing on tip toe to reach him. "But these guys are late and tomorrow not being a college day we're missing out on some serious sack time here."
The brunette had to smile at that one, both had their souls permanently now and were vampires fulfilled. Ok he still brooded and had guilt, mainly over the fact that he was happy and contented despite his many victims but Angelus was gone forever. His domestic bliss just meant he felt even worse over Jenny every time he met Giles.
It had been strange being the true vampire again, even if just for a few minutes whilst Willow prepared the spell of restoration to permanently anchor his spirit. He'd struggled frantically with the chains that bound him at first trying to get free, to stop the spell, and to escape the beautiful girl who was sat watching him like a cat watching a wounded bird, the power that emanated from her had been awful to feel. Angelus had been scared.
"Naughty bad vampire," Buffy had teased her former enemy. "You be good whilst Will does the spell..." Tortured iron screamed as Buffy tore the chain that went to her wrist manacles out of the wall. "Or I'll break your arms and legs."
Angelus had sat like a whipped dog till the spell had been cast and Angel had returned, looking worried. "Buffy are you sure that's you."
"Yeah, I'm still Buffy, I haven't become Buffylus, I just wanted to scare the shit out of your unbetter half." Without making any effort to get the keys she went across and sat on his lap. "Want me to prove it."
"I'd appreciate that." The fact that she was carrying two lengths of heavy chain still wasn't reassuring. "And could you unchain me."
"Nope." Buffy was just in her underwear and Angel in his leather pants so as Buffy ran her fingers over his bare chest and squirmed against him his mind rapidly went away from his bonds to other things. "Oh aren't you Mr Perky."
After kissing him deeply Buffy went and locked the door, making sure Willow was on the other side of it. After removing her own chains and limited clothing she.....stalked towards him. "Now lets make sure your souls not going to go wandering again shall we."
So here they were, killing time till Willy's latest tip off bore fruit. Eight vamps had hit town the night before searching for the, 'Vampire Queen', the jungle telegraph had told them dwelled over the Hellmouth. Buffy's theory had proved wrong the first few vamps to here the word had run. Others however came now seeking the glory of possessing such a prize. Tonight was no exception.
"They're late," Buffy looked at her watch and pouted a little. "What's the point of formally arranging a battle for the Hellmouth and my cute ass if they don't get here on time."
"He'll be here." Angel shrugged. "Lord Charles Beresford comes from an age when being a little late was fashionable."
"Yeah right, but your 60 years older than him in vamp years and you don't have that problem." She looked at him. "Do you know this guy."
Angel had a dim recollection. "Used to move in the same circles in the 1830's, he was an idiot probably still is but he went around with a dangerous crew."
"Oh, how dangerous." Buffy patted her jacket pockets, stakes, knuckledusters, carefully sealed holy water all there.
"His chief muscles Harold Tighe, a damned big ugly vampire," Angel frowned at the memory. "I remember him going 38 rounds with a guy named Ben Caunt once, and that was before he M'Lud turned him."
"I'm lost, Giles isn't here, please explain."
"Prize fighters," Angel adopted a boxing pose. "Bare knuckle boxing, no rules, it was quite the rage amongst the nobility to have one of these guys as a bodyguard through out the period."
"Oh good no rules," Buffy threw a few mock jabs. "Wish you'd told me sooner, I'd have brought along a gum shield."
"Don't mill with the guy, take him out fast." Angel found a gravestone to lean on as he watched his girl warm up for battle. "So how was your day."
"Oh education." Buffy did a couple of leg stretches assisted by the side of the obelisk. "Classes are ok and the glamour things working, got one problem though I'm only gonna tell you about if you promise not to wig."
"What kind of problem?" Angel sounded like he was totally about to wig. "Has someone found out about you?"
"No." Buffy had to explain a cold hand as,'Poor circulation', after one fleeting accidental contact but actually. "It's a boy kinda problem."
"Hey!" Angel stood straight up lounging forgotten. "Whaddaya mean, boy problem."
Buffy raised her eyebrow and smiled at her beau's obvious jealousy. "Guy called Riley, Riley Finn keeps on asking me to go out with him. He's kinda cute and you know how I love the Irish."
"Buffy that's not funny!" Angel scowled and then walked over towards her. "You wouldn't would you, and stop with the stretching while I'm worrying here."
"Of course I wouldn't," Buffy smiled even more broadly. "Guy gives me the creep's constantly wanting to get to know the inner me." She morphed. "Think I should show him."
"Only if he's carrying clean pants." Angel began to laugh, then his face grew serious. "I think company's coming."
"You must be getting old Angel," Buffy put her hands in her pockets and slipped her knuckle dusters on. "I felt them coming 10 minutes ago."
As Willy had informed them there where eight of them, most dressed in non descript modern clothes but the two leaders would stand out.
The smaller of the two wore an expensive tailored three piece suit, a heavy gold watch chain glittered in his waistcoat. a black cane with a gold lion head at one end was held over one shoulder.
Beside him walked a huge bare chested man of six foot three inches, a mass of muscle Buffy could see he'd be a problem, his body looked solid his biceps suggested a strength almost as great as hers. Even unvamped he looked scary, his face having it appeared taken one two many blows with a tire iron. He smiled as he took in the Slayer and gave her a leering wink.
"Angelus my dear, what a long time it's been." Lord Charles looked at the brunette with contempt all over his face. "Gosh haven't you come down in the world, lap dog to a girl."
"Better than being dead," Angel went back to leaning on a tombstone, with just eight he'd be lucky to get so much as a blow in. "Which is what you'll be soon."
"Confidence old thing, it's all about confidence." The aristocratic vampire looked at the Slayer and then turned dismissively towards his bodyguard. "Now Tighe remember don't hurt her to badly, she's a pretty young chit so don't break her," then turned and added. "Unless that is Your Majesty would like to capitulate now."
"Golly Gosh, where would the fun be in that." Buffy sneered and dropped into a fighting stance. "It seem's to me your the only Queen round here, getting other guys to do your fighting for you."
"Sticks and stones," Lord Charles nodded to his huge servant. "See to it."
Tighe stalked forward. " 'Allo queenie, I'm right pleased to meet ya. Cause guess who gets you after 'is lordships through."
"Oh a nice big boy like you, hey that could be fun." Buffy dodged a right cross aimed at her head and drove a brass coated fist into the boxers ribs. "Ow."
"Did that 'urt missie." Tighe smiled a broken tooth grin as the Slayer tried to shake some life back into her hand, punching the vampire had been like punching a stone wall. "My turn."
It was just a slap, but Buffy landed five feet away from were she had been standing. Angel looked at her concern all over his face. "You Ok Buff."
"YES!" fuming the Slayer stood up and morphed. "Ok pretty boy, now you got me mad."
"That's the spirit missie," Tighe laughed at her. "Keep your guard up 'igher though."
Coming in again the prize fighter swung a hard right at the vampiress's head, only having him for a "Huh", as she effortlessly caught the fist in her tiny left hand and squeezed. "Aaaarghh", he shouted clawing his own hand to rake her face.
"Does that hurt", Buffy could feel the vampires bones grating together. "If not this sure will."
Bringing her right hand up she caught hold of the vampire wrist and twisted forcing his arm out straight then spinning herself up so her right foot rested on the vampires ribs she pulled with all her enhanced strength.
It was rather fortunate that Tighe screamed as loud as he did at this point, a shoulder dislocation results in a very sickening pop!. As Buffy released him the vamp staggered back defenseless. "Lets cut you down to size."
The Slayers boot slammed into the vampires groin. "No rules," He doubled over and as his head came down Buffy grabbed his hair and holding his head steady slammed her forehead into his nose. "I like that."
She stepped back and launched a vicious spin kick that connected with the creatures jaw, he was slammed off his feet by the blow, blood spouted from his nose as he landed on his face, out cold. "Ben Caunt, what a wuss he must have been."
"Ye gods," Lord Charles backed away. "Chaps don't just stand there."
Slowly, hesitantly another vamp began moving in whilst two more with a slightly higher degree of confidence ran at Angel.
"Hi guys," he said to them stopping them with an upraised hand. "You want to see what happens next."
The other minion charged at the Slayer who met him with a palm strike to the jaw, the vamp hit the ground on his back. Everyone winced when Buffy stamped down hard between his hips, his pelvis shattered with an audible dry crunch under the force of the blow.
"Bloody hell," Lord Charles began to drift even further from the fight. "Get stuck in god damn you," he tried to push two of his remaining five minions forward. They broke free and ran.
Angel smiled companionably at the two scared looking vamps who stood in front of him their eyes fixed on the approaching Slayer. "Running would be your best plan."
They ran to.
"What the hell are you girl." Lord Charles might have been left all alone but he was still a Master Vampire.
"Oh I'm sorry how rude of me." Buffy walked forward even as the Slayee backed away. "Buffy the Vampire Vampire Slayer at your service."
She looked across at Angel. "You know that really doesn't scan does it," then shrugging she turned back to her intended victim. "Still it's not like you'll get to run a critique on it, on account of being dust and all."
"A Slayer turned!, no wonder that oily little sod in the bar was smiling when he told me were to find you," the vampire shook his head at his own stupidity. "Fortunately we Beresford's are always prepared for the unexpected."
A pistol is a pistol, the one now pointed at Buffy may have been old but it was damned big. ".45 Caliber Adams in case you were wondering, trusty old British piece. I'm back in charge wouldn't you say."
"I'm embarrassed for you Charlie that thing could be considered damned bad form." Angel shook his head. "A hundred and sixty years ago you wouldn't have....."
"Yes well that's as maybe, but I'm walking out of here dear Angelus," the barrel drifted down Buffy's body to aim at her knees. "Unless m'dear you think you can move faster than a bullet."
"Go on then," though inwardly seething the blond waved a dismissive hand. "But if I see you again your dust."
"I'll bare that in mind, if I come back I'll bring an army." He walked back slowly. "If I come back that is. Oh and I'll send you a post card Angelus, let you know what the lads back home make of the disgusting way your carrying on with the enemy. Ta ta for now though."
As soon as the vampire lord was out of sight Buffy drew a stake and rapidly dusted the maimed vamps. "You were a real help, leaning on your ass, you might as well have been filing your nails."
"You don't need anyone else nowadays Buff, not me not the Slayerettes." Angel felt depressed about it, her friends he knew felt worse. "Hell if you could do your own research you'd probably not even need Giles."
"I can't help it if I'm strong," she muttered as she concealed her weapons. "I just don't like putting the guys at risk."
"If they had been here with crossbows, that wouldn't have just happened." Angel walked past Buffy as she stood staring in the direction the foe had fled. "Never mind though forget him, come on then back to the Mansion for a good hard screw."
"Ok, I think we scared the shit out of him anyway." Buffy swung round and trotted after him. "I betcha he forgets to write."
"Lord Charles Beresford eh," Giles adjusted his glasses and quickly dug out a book from the stack next to his chair. "He's a blast from the past, and not the kind of fellow I'd have expected to turn up here at all."
"Angel knew him," Buffy sat there not really wanted cup of tea in hand."And the huge Rottweiler type guy he had with him.....Tigger?"
"Tighe," Giles carefully read the entry. "Well done on that score, Tighe was a dangerous individual by all accounts, he was actually reported to have killed a Slayer in the 1950's."
"Without the super charged, super vamp strength I've got now he'd have killed me too." Buffy sipped at her Earl Grey wishing she could have had juice instead. "But he's dust and I'm not, what about the weird stuff Lordy boy shouted at Angel."
"Sending him a post card to let him know what the lads think of him." Giles went quiet for a while. "There's only one thing I can think of, but it can't be that."
"A clue perhaps for those of us with no idea at all," Buffy put the tea down. "And could I please have something else to drink."
"Eh what, oh I'm terribly sorry Buffy." Giles started digging out more reference works. "There's whatever's in the fridge, do help yourself," he started flicking pages and the Slayer realized that was it for conversation till he had found what he was looking for.
"I'll have some of this juice if that's ok," no answer so she poured herself a glass, it wasn't as if she needed the vitamin C but she still liked the taste.
"Ah well now there's a thing." Giles suddenly said from the living room cum library. "I'd quite forgotten about them."
"Oh that sounds wonderful," Buffy stood in the kitchen doorway and took in her smiling unofficial Watcher. "What joy do I have to look forward to now."
"Up to around 80 years ago the leading vampires of England were organized into a 'Gentleman's Club' of sorts." Giles looked at Buffy as she tried not to laugh at the concept. "No not old boys sat around smoking cigars and reading the Times, but an organization that permitted its members to feed in privacy on victims kidnaped by muscle for hire. The prettier prey was of course tortured and abused sexually before death.
"Oh," Buffy stopped smiling. "And Angel....."
"Angelus, though Irish was deemed sufficient of a gentleman to join, he was quite an enthusiast in the early nineteenth century, but of course he drifted off into Europe in later years." Giles scanned a few paragraphs in a watchers journal. "And in 1919 the Watchers Council finally managed to get a tip off about one of their meeting places allowing them to get a Slayer with some Watchers in the right place to stage a very successful raid. Several old vampires and a lot of minions were destroyed the club became just a rumored presence in the background from then on."
"But now your guess is as good as mine," Giles got up and picking up his empty tea things and Buffy's half full cup walked past her into his kitchen. "Since our 'Mutiny' I'm even less likely to get up to date information than before, god knows what could be happening back there."
"And I'm little Miss popular even without them knowing about my accident." Finishing her juice Buffy put the glass with the others and took in the appalling lack of a dish washer. "Your kidding me aren't you, have you heard of the twentieth century."
"No," Giles lifted a blue plastic bowl out from under the sink and after adding some liquid soap filled it with hot water. "I'll wash, you dry."
"Great," resigned to possible nail polish damage the Slayer stood ready, faded floral dish cloth in hand. "What about Wes, our man on the inside?"
"He's being watched like a hawk, the council are good at that." Giles smiled as he handed Buffy the first washed cup. "But he was able to pass me two items of information, the first part of which is quite disturbing."
"Go on," drying absent mindedly she nearly dropped the cup, Slayer reflexes stopped a loud crash. "Tell me what new horrors await."
"We both go and visit Faith at the hospital," Buffy nodded, she would go in three to four times a week and sit with her fellow Slayer holding her hand and talking to her, and she knew Giles still on paid leave whilst the Library at Sunnydale High was rebuilt was at her bedside at least two hours a day. "Wesley says to keep our eyes open for suspicious characters."
"They wouldn't dare." Buffy had to fight her demons urge to rise."The bastards are planning to finish her off."
"They would dare according to Wesley." Giles's expression told Buffy all she needed to know about his views on the matter. "You've thrown them out of the loop Buffy, they don't have a Slayer until Faith dies and with her record..."
"They're prepared to help her on her way, sick bastards." The dish cloth balled up in the Slayers hands, Giles stood poised to hand her another cup but waited for her anger to lessen. "We'll see about that."
"Quite, I know the other kids all go and visit," Giles had caught fleeting glimpses of Slayerettes trying not to be seen at the hospital. "We'll have to monitor her as closely as possible till Wesley can tell me more."
"Good old Wes, from this far away I could almost like him," the Slayer extended her left hand palm out. "Come on I didn't break the last one."
"The other thing he tells me is that he's found our first turned Slayer," Giles handed over the cup. "It's not a very nice story and it doesn't get us very far I'm afraid."
"And you don't think I need to hear it do you," drying carefully she gave him the I'm not a little girl anymore look. "Come on how bad could it be."
"Alright, in 1423 a Knight of one of the religious orders, one Bertrand Du Calvey, was assigned to be the Watcher of a new chosen one, a girl called Jaqueline of Rheims. It was an unusual choice, normally a priest would have been assigned the task but the Order of Aurelias was nearing its full strength in a Europe torn by war and the beginnings of the reformation, with the Watchers Council run by the Catholic church as part of the inquisition it's power was weakening."
"Betrand kept two journals both of which detail the same battles, but the private one recounts a romance between the Knight and the Slayer, a romance that became physical....."
"Whoah there." Buffy put her dish cloth down and looking at Giles with a horrified expression went on. "You mean to say she boinked her Watcher, that is so Skanky."
"He was twenty three and she was seventeen." Giles looked piqued at being interrupted, and embarrassed. "People could marry at fourteen or younger."
"Oh," Buffy's expression changed and a smile crossing her face. "No offence, but she...she gets some handsome young studlie and I get.......a guy whose the best Watcher a girl could have. Did Wesley send a book, are there engravings."
"No and no." Giles finished washing and started doing his own drying. "May I go on."
"Please do," Buffy found a stool to sit on. "Trashy historical romances aren't my thing but hey there's nothing on TV."
Giles sighed deeply and continued. "The religious orders of chivalry expected their members to take oaths of chastity, also the affair contravened his duty to the Slayer in his care. So after a while he tried to break free of the girl and be replaced, he was refused however the number of vampires they had been accounting for having impressed the council so much."
"Instead he had to tell Jaqueline that the affair was over."
"He'd had his fun, but hey girl your too young for me." Buffy caught the look her Watcher was sending her. "Sorry."
"She took it badly, Betrand begins to report a string of affairs and liaisons, possibly as a way of punishing himself for having so failed in his duty. Certainly it seems that the Slayer became somewhat of a libertine."
"A what," Buffy frowned as realization dawned. "Ok her heart gets broken, she's in a dangerous high risk job and she decides to have fun, yeah screwing around isn't the answer but still lets not be name calling..."
"Buffy I have a faculty meeting later, please can I finish the story."
"Go on then, I was just emphasizing here...."
"Thank you, the Slayer then developed a relationship with a mysterious fellow by the name of Matthew of Valture. Betrand expected it to be the usual brief affair but Jaqueline spent an ever increasing amount of time with the man. As a result jealousy ate at his heart and he decided to confront the couple, he would ask the girl to be his,agree to abandon his vows, to marry her, if she refused he would challenge her lover and seek an end to it."
Buffy opened her mouth to speak but was silenced by a look. "What he found when he burst into her rendevous place was Jaqueline in congress with a game faced vampire."
"You mean she was boink...."
"In congress, Betrand drew his sword and would have killed the vampire but together the two were able to fight him off and escaped into the night."
"Now the knight made an even worse mistake, he lied about the nights events. He informed the council that Jaqueline had gone out on patrol and disappeared, he even helped with the search but no trace was found."
"He resigned as a watcher and went east to Prussia where the knights Teutonic where vainly trying to crush the non catholic peoples of the steppes. He hoped to find his death there as so many had a decade before at Tannenberg. Instead Jaqueline of Rheims found him."
"Oh, I take it she was pissed."
"It was in Marienburg at two in the afternoon when Betrand was grabbed from behind and flung even though in armor some twelve feet into an alleyway. Stunned he lay there in the mud till looking up he saw a sight to chill his blood, Jaqueline stalking up on him."
"He tried to draw his sword but she kicked it from his hands and taking hold of him slammed him up against a wall, and there in full sunlight Betrand saw his former lover transform into a vampire."
"This doesn't finish with they all lived happily ever after does it." Buffy was so very glad to have her soul.
"She grazed his neck with her fangs and lapped at his blood, but when he would not beg for mercy told him he had a month to live ere she would claim him as her slave. Should he wish in that time to condemn his soul to hell by committing suicide, so be it."
"Betrand ran, finally he regained his courage and headed as fast as he could for Paris there to confess his crime to the Watchers Council."
"And they said, boys will be boys and let him off with a caution."
"They considered at first that he had gone mad, possession was believed to be a prime cause of mental illness then, but when torture failed to change his story, and with a day to go before Jaqueline's deadline they condemned him and had him burned in the buildings courtyard, at the stake. Thus removing an embarrassment and releasing the demon in him all at the same time."
Buffy sat stunned, then remembered what Giles had told her about Faith. "Things haven't changed much have they."
"No ruthless but insignificant I'm afraid sums them up perfectly, then as now. However these men paid. two nights later the servants at the Chateau they were using awoke to find eight of the armed guards dead with broken necks and the six councilmen involved in the trial torn to pieces in their beds."
"Jaqueline of Rheims!"
"She launched a campaign of terror in and around the city causing such bloodshed that the terrible truth of the undead threatened to burst forth upon the world. That marks the point in which according to the documents Wesley found the Council did a deal with Heinrich Nest and a combined force of humans and vampires ran Jaqueline to earth and destroyed her."
"Heinrich Nest!" dim recollection came to Buffy, "But wasn't he...."
"Eventually he came to lead the Order of Aurelias and call himself the Master, during the next three centuries he and his kind had free reign as religious wars tore the structure of the council into separate warring factions. Eventually however it reformed based in England and forced him to flee east, looking for a means to end the world."
"So my whole first summers difficulties here in Sunnydale are down to a turned Slayer, how nice." Buffy looked at her watch. "Gotta book, Mom's finally forgiven Angel enough for him to come for dinner, I volunteered to help prepare stuff, for future reference though if it's bad news don't tell me, sad stories like that I don't need."
"Alright point taken, if it doesn't include a cure you don't need to hear it. Do enjoy yourself at your mothers." Giles checked his tie and went to get his jacket. "I'm due at the school in 20 minutes myself."
"Yeah, don't keep the new principle waiting, I hear she's quite a dish."
"I beg your pardon." Giles looked at her as if she had suddenly appeared from another planet. "Ms Kochanski is quite charming I agree but I don't see why...."
"Oh come on, she's a dish and I can add to that, and attractive for a woman of thirty two, wholesome and babelicious, plus she's too." Buffy smiled as Giles blushed. "Ideal for you, go get her tiger."
And with that she grabbed her bag and ran.
Angel was on time and smartly dressed, Buffy thought the tie was taking things a little to far, but her Mom seemed placated. "Hullo Angel, come on in."
"Thanks Mrs Summers." Buffy got a brief peck on the cheek much to her amusement, Angel looked scared.
"That's Joyce, Angel I don't have any sharp wooden objects in my hand, I've forgiven you. The turning was Buffy's own stupid fault."
"Thank you." Angel was conscious of the expression on Buffy's face as she mouthed, 'Thank you,' he knew she'd take her revenge for his agreement she'd acted stupidly as soon as they next trained. "I'm glad we can be friends again."
"So am I." Joyce was concealing the fact that she only allowed Angel in the house for Buffy's sake. Angel was concealing the fact he knew. "Buffy why don't you take Angel into the living room while I finish fixing dinner."
"Ok Mom," dragging him through the door the Slayer looked up at him and pouting asked. "So don't I get a proper kiss tonight."
"Sure," whilst kissing her the vampire pulled something out of his pocket and offered it to her. "Got a postcard, sent from LA. Care to read it."
Buffy looked surprised, the writing was old fashioned, copper plate she believed the style was called. "Dear Angelus, hope this finds you unwell. You're black balled, kindly do the honorable thing. Doesn't matter if you don't though cause within the month you'll be a job for the cleaners and we'll have your little trophy in the cabinet. Your Humble Servant Charlie Beresford."
"I don't think he was as scared as we thought." Angel shrugged and sat down. "And he's obviously gotten into using phone fax or email since we last met, hence the rapid response."
"Black balled," Buffy looked at her lover speculatively. "Is that a bizarre English curse."
"Means I'm thrown out of their stupid club." Angel mimed the action of cocking a gun and holding it to his own head. "Doing the honorable thing."
"Trophy in their cabinet," Buffy's voice hardened. "It's nice to be regarded as just your possession."
"I'm sorry, their old fashioned boys."
"Their assholes, we'll get the troops together and when they show," Buffy ran her fingers dramatically across her throat. "Dust everyone of them, we'll do the job properly this time."
"These vamps have money and power, enough to hire serious muscle if they want to," Angel looked up at her and tentatively added. "I know somebody who really hates them though, someone who might help us."
"Anyone I've met," the Slayer didn't like the look on Angels face. "It's not someone I like is it."
"It's the guy who told the watchers were to look in 1919." Angel looked guilty as he added. "Dru told me."
"SPIKE!, you want to invite Spike back to Sunnydale, after the trouble he caused last time, why would he want to help us."
"When he hears that these guys are still around, and about you, he'll help us....just you see."
"Telephone call for you Senor Spike."
"Right mate, set her down there."
Spike was lying on a sun lounger beside a deserted pool in one of the pricier hotels in Acapulco. The reason it was deserted was that it was after two in the morning but the staff were used to the Loco Englishmans ways by now.
Having failed to be reconciled with Dru Spike had drunk for quite some time but eventually he had drifted north from Brazil, arriving in Mexico a month before he had decided to spend some of his not inconsiderable fortune in this vacation resort . Hence his current lap of luxury.
It was peak season and expensive, but food was therefore plentiful. Anglo tourists or Latino residents it was all the same to him. Usually however he spent a couple of hours in the fresh air before retiring to his room.
"Hullo whose this then," he set into the handset. "Oh bloody 'ell, what do you want."
"My 'elp, your askin' me for 'elp. You've got a bloody nerve after all the shit I've had to put up with from you."
Spike twisted round ready to slam the phone down but paused. "No way, I...somebody took care of those bastards years ago. Oh yeah I remember all right, you sat on your arse whilst I had to fetch and carry and get treated like shit."
"Of course I still 'ate em, but not as much as I do you. But good luck..........WHAT!, I don't believe you....'ow the fuckin' 'ell did you manage to do that you stupid tosser."
"An accident, pull the other one it's got bells on 'ow can you accidentally turn someone.....oh right you didn't do it, cobblers mate your a bloody liar..........WILLOW, what is this line of bollocks your tryin' to sell me."
Spike sat and though as Angel droned on. "Ok, then tell me somethin' she isn't insane is she.............good in that case tell my little sister that I'll see her in a few days........Yeah I'm coming up to join in the party.....ta ta for now."
Hanging up Spike considered his situation. His worldly goods were about his person, his car was in the lot, he owed the hotel a weeks rent which he could afford to pay but, "What the hell."
A quick glance round revealed no staff in sight. Spike headed for the lot a broad grin on his face. "Family you can't beat it, and our hair color matches too."
"You know I don't think this rat likes me at all."
Amy was skittering around her cage trying to get as far from Buffy as she could.
"Considering what vamps tend to live on if they can't get human blood are you surprised." Willow was sat at her dressing table glad to have her friend come calling, Buffy had been so busy recently what with learning magick, slayage and carping Angel that the girls had drifted a little. Tonight though they were going to the Bronze and meeting the guys there, but they had got ready at Willow's.
"How old do you suppose she'll be when you lift the spell." Buffy eyed the rat which stared back at her. "Rats probably don't live as long as humans, will she just be eighteen or will she have gained a few years."
"I hadn't thought of that," Willow did a Giles like dive for one of the reference books she had. "You really know how to lay guilt on a person don't you B, I really should have found a way out of this by now."
"Sorry, I just had that thought." Buffy gave up rat watching and went and lay on the bed. "If she looks like she did when she was changed and you take ten years she's gonna have terrible problems getting people to believe the date of birth on her ID."
"She can claim aliens kidnaped her." Willow didn't like what she was reading and closed the book. "Isn't that gonna be a recurring problem for you, er, needing new ID that is, not alien's kidnapping you."
"Angel doesn't think so, think about it Will vamps and forged ID go back years. He's changed his identity dozens of times."
"Will you carry on being Buffy." Willow smiled and added. "It's not really very vampiric is it."
"It's not really essential to me being me. just a name, but I think I'll keep it." Buffy let a few possibility's run through her mind. "Summers might have to go though."
"If you and Angel married then....."
"That would involve the whole introductions to dad, 'gosh son isn't your hand cold', thing that I'm trying to avoid." Buffy looked across at her friend. "Don't look at me like that, if you don't get to be a bridesmaid I can guarantee you a job as Matron of honor."
"Pink's just so me." Willow thought about it. "Being with one person forever, if it was Oz I think that would be cool, I mean that's with me being immortal, and him to of course."
"So how are you and Oz, I can't help but notice how close you always stick to him at the Bronze, I take it your way happy." Buffy noticed how deeply Willow blushed, and her eyes widened. "Willow Rosenberg, you haven't."
"Haven't what!" Willow suddenly found her friend sat on the end of the bed right opposite her.
"Carped Oz, how could you hold out on me like this girl," Buffy was all a babble with interest and excitement. "How was it, was he good, and are you and he still, have you.....when did you."
"Oh well," Willow smiled she had been dying to tell Buffy but someone else had always been there, someone grown up, or someone Oz, or someone Xander. "Strange but beautiful, real gentle and kind, yes whenever we can, just before Angel got shot and I may have depending on what you mean."
"Well sometimes......" Buffy drew close and whispered into Willows ear.
"Oh that," Willow didn't blush as Buffy was expecting. "Well after Oz did it to me I kinda thought that I should ......so I did."
"I just knew he was the right man for you." Buffy couldn't picture Willow with anyone else, certainly not Xander anymore. "He's so sweet and kind and nice and gentle and totally cool."
"And he's real good in bed to." The Willow did blush and both girls burst out laughing. "Not that is that I've got or want anyone to compare him to."
"Oh I'm so happy for you Will," Buffy hugged the hacker. "So Xander did it with Faith, I've done it with Angel and you've done it with Oz."
"Yeah." Willow grinned as she cottoned onto where Buffy was going. "Poor Cordelia."
"Who'd have thought it huh, her rep and she's the last." The Slayer smiled at the thought of the ex-Cheerleader, and her fall from grace. "Have you heard how she's getting on, pretend I care."
"The Chase's are living on the trailer park near to Xander's house," Willow felt sorry for them, it had been good to see Cordelia brought down a peg or two, but a complete life destroyed seemed harsh. "They keep to themselves but Mrs Harris heard that Cordelia is 'Starring in an advert,' which I think means she's an extra standing at the back."
"How's she surviving." Buffy had a suggestive look on her face with that comment, Willow decided to ignore it.
"I blame your demon for that question, she isn't hooking or stripping. She has a job as a secretary." Willow knew were but decided not to tell Buffy how crummy the local was.
"Could she even type?" Buffy smiled even wider. "Oh but then there are secretarys and secretarys."
"You are turning so evil. sometimes I wonder if my spell worked."
"Cause it worked." Buffy pouted. "I'm not in the least bit demonic, if you ask Angel nice he might show you the scratches on his back that prove it."
"Your totally wicked." Willow shook her head, "I'd never do that to Oz no matter how wild he makes me come."
"He gives you wild orga......."
The Bronze was packed that night, but still the Slayerettes had their own table, a look from Buffy these days was enough to move people pronto. She didn't have to show the vamp face, an air of deadly menace could be seen to hang over her at times. This however was not such a time.
"This is totally cool, here we all are just like old times." She shouted over the music. "Its like everything's back to normal."
"Except no Cordelia." Xander looked just a little pained.
"Hence the coolness." Buffy had Xander sat to her right and Oz and Willow holding hands to her left. Angel had to stay home to await the impending Spike. "Just as long as my stalker doesn't show everything is totally mellow."
"You want me to have a word with that dude." Xander had a degree of sympathy for Riley having himself spend time wearing obsession for dorks, but the guy was taking things too far. "Probably be easier on him that the other alternative."
"You or Dead Boy putting him in traction," Xander took in the look on her face. "Sorry, I mean Angel."
"No I can deal with Riley without hitting," she looked up across the room. "And speaking of stalkers, Xander don't look up."
Anya was heading towards them and it was to late, Xander had been seen.
"Hi Xander, guys." It was a tentative greeting, fear of rejection was writ large on the former immortals face. "Xander would you like to dance." Sudden doubt occurred to her. "It is ok for a girl to ask a guy to dance isn't it."
"I suppose it is, but I was talking to my friends here." Xander saw Anya's face crumple and as usual couldn't bear it. "Ok we dance. see you later guys."
As they passed from earshot Willow shouted. "Don't you wish evil girl would leave Xander alone."
"She can't destroy the world anymore and she takes his mind of Cordie." Buffy had a modicum of very unfelt sympathy for Anya, despite her having brought her problems on herself. "So lets just leave them to it."
"She's trying her best to be good I guess." Oz didn't take his eyes off Willow for an instant as he spoke. "You want to go join them."
"Buffy will you be........." Willow knew Buffy had a hottie but still didn't like leaving her alone.
"Ok, you guys have fun." Buffy found her purse. "I'm going to the bar to get another coffee."
Moving through the press of people the Slayer suddenly felt her senses kick in, a vampire was near, her hand went for the ever present stake when suddenly cold fingers closed......over her eyes.
"Guess who Pet!"
The accent, the words, the irritating use of 'Pet' instead of Buffy,
everything was familiar. "Gee it couldn't possibly be Spike."