Disclaimer: I don't own these characters and I am making no money off of them. I am just having fun. Joss owns all the characters that lucky SOB.
Distribution: The Mystic Muse http://mysticmuse.net
Feedback: Hell Yes!! Get it? Hell? Oh just slap me.
Author's Note: I borrowed some real scenes from several eps for this story and sliced and diced them, switching characters and dialogue in some places and adding dialogue in others. (This'll go into effect later though.)
Summary: Tara comes back from the dead to help the Scooby Gang with the First and craziness ensues.
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9
Faith Spencer set a bouquet of flowers on the hard stone she knelt in front of. She smiled sadly at the familiar name as her fingers traced the letters lovingly. Taking a deep breath to push back her tears she spoke," Hey Tare. Been a while." She brushed long cinnamon colored curls out of her eyes.
"I know I should have come by sooner but there's just been a lot going on. And we both know that I'm no good at all the touchy feely stuff. I'm getting better at it, thanks to you. God, this one-sided shit is hard! I wish you could answer all the questions I have about well, hell about everything. Will's is doing great. I mean, as well as can be expected. I'm looking out for her for ya. We all miss you so much. Little Dawnie is a senior in high school. Can you believe it? She grew up into a lil hottie, too!" Faith laughed and shook her head as tears suddenly filled her eyes.
"I guess I should really get to the point huh? Well, you see it's like this; Buffy and I are together now. Again. I want to ask her to marry me but I dunno if it's what she wants. I mean, I know she loves me and I love her, but is that ever enough? Hello, Slayers here, yunno? We've still got a few good years left but I don't want her to experience losing someone else. And I look into her eyes sometimes and I see my fear staring back at me. That scares me because what if my heart isn't strong enough to hold her?" Faith wiped her eyes and leaned forward, touching her forehead to the cold stone. "You always made me feel like I was worth something. I wish you were still here…I should have fucking been there, T. If I was then, I'd either be here instead or neither of us would." The dark slayer wrapped her arms around the hard, unfeeling marble and sobbed uncontrollably.
Finally unable to cry anymore, the brunette wiped her face and continued talking to her friend.
"I remember when I first met you. Will was going on and on about this chick…sorry…woman…who saved her from those Gentlemen freaks. I was expecting some big Bertha type or She-Ra looking woman but here you come – shy, gorgeous, with those huge blue eyes and a knockout figure. Then you opened your mouth and stuttered and melted my insides." Faith grinned as she remembered their meeting. Time melted into itself as the memory was brought to life.
"…Came face to face with the Big Bad Wolf…and he said,' I'm going to lift up your little red dress, pull down your little red panties and screw your little red socks off.' So she stripped and lay down on the bed, pointed the shotgun at him and said 'NO! You're going to eat me like the book says.' "
Buffy burst out laughing and playfully shoved a grinning Faith.
"You are such a little perv, Faith!" The blonde said through her laughter.
Xander sat nearby, his mouth twitching with restrained mirth. His girlfriend, Anya just smiled at her friends' antics.
"You love that about me, B." Faith smirked, wiggling her eyebrows sexily.
Buffy shook her head in amusement and was about to comment when a familiar voice rang out.
"Hey guys!" Willow walked up with a shy but beautiful blonde girl.
"Hey Wills!" Xander and Buffy chimed, smiling at the redhead. Xander and Faith glanced at the newcomer appreciatively.
"Hey, Red, who's your friend?" Faith's eyes raked over the blonde with alert interest. 'Damn, but Red's friend is HOT!!!' Faith glanced at Buffy. 'Not as hot as B but damn close in a sexy shy kinda way'.
Faith's breath hitched when intelligent, curious blue eyes rose to meet hers before the girl's shyness overtook her once more. Very sexy, shy kinda way.
"Guys, this is Tara, a fellow Wiccan. She saved me from the Gentlemen." Willow grinned at the blush that covered Tara's cheeks.
"H…hi." The beautiful blonde stammered as she ducked her head, honey-blonde hair covering her blushing face.
"Hey there, I'm Faith, that's Buffy, and the drooling putz on my left is Xander." The brunette pointed to a cute athletic blonde before smacking the dark haired man next to her with the back of her hand in the chest, hard. She smiled as the wheezing man tried desperately to get air back into his aching lungs. A perky reddish-blonde woman stood on the other side of him and smiled, nodding gratefully at Faith. She then turned to the new addition.
"And I'm Anya, Xander's mine, you can't have him." She stated bluntly. Her face broke out in a huge grin when Tara raised her hands in a gesture of surrender.
"I'm not into…um…m…men…so…" Tara admitted softly, still hiding behind her curtain of hair.
Anya just nodded sagely. "Well, I for one applaud your gayness and hope you find a woman who will give you many many orgasms."
Xander and Tara turned beet red as Buffy and Willow stared in horror at the ex-demon. "ANYA!" The blonde Slayer grit out, giving Tara and Willow an apologetic look.
It took all Faith could do not to laugh. Choking back her mirth, the dark slayer turned to make sure Tara was not completely offended. A slow smirk crossed her face.
"Don't mind Demon Girl, here. She's a little…´Faith circled her temple with one of her index fingers and whistled, indicating that Anya was insane.
Tara froze at the term "Demon Girl" as Anya whirled to mock glare at Faith, who blinked innocently at her.
Willow, having finally recovered her voice, spoke up. "Tara and I are on our way to my room to do a demonic energy location spell."
Obviously this was news to Tara, who shot Willow a horrified look. "We…we are?"
"We're not?" Willow gave her a confused look.
"I…I thought w…we'd t…try a simpler spell to start off…with." Tara said softly.
"Oh." Willow sounded disappointed.
"Hey, a beautiful chick wanting to do spells…sounds kinky to me." Faith winked at both of the witches and Tara blushed red again.
"W…woman." She corrected the dark slayer.
"What's that?" Faith raised an eyebrow, not quite hearing the shy woman's statement.
"I'm not a chick." Tara stated firmly without a trace of her earlier stutter, her blue eyes locking with Faith's.
"Sorry. A beautiful woman." Faith grinned, winking again.
Willow looked from Tara to Faith and back again. Willow decided in that moment she didn't want Faith looking at Tara like that. Her eyes flashed dangerously and she took Tara's hand possessively, Willow's eyes held Faith's. A look of understanding passed between the two women. Tara turned towards Willow, a telling grin on her face. Faith shrugged. 'I can still look. Just no touchee.'
"So we're gonna go do some spells now." The redhead told the group.
"Oomph!" Xander grunted and turned a bewildered look on his girlfriend. "Ow! What? And might I add, Ow!" He rubbed his ribs gingerly.
Anya pouted. "You never give me magical orgasms!"
"Going now." Willow mumbled, pulling Tara with her, both women mortified beyond belief.
Buffy and Faith volunteered to join them on the walk to Tara's dorm for protection. The slayers walked directly behind the wiccans, giving them space to talk about spells and such. Willow was going on about a certain spell and Tara offered input and suggestions. Meanwhile, Faith's eyes were glued on Tara's ass. 'MMM. Baby, swing those sexy hips.' The brunette was rudely startled by Buffy's elbow in her gut. The blonde had watched her crush ogle the shy woman one too many times. Hiding her jealousy and hurt, Buffy decided to tease Faith relentlessly.
"Oomph! Damn, B! That fuckin' hurt!" She growled.
"Can I get you a napkin for your drool, Slayer?" Buffy teased, motioning to Faith's chin.
"You can bend right over and kiss my…"
Tara chose that moment to turn around and uncharacteristically Faith censored herself in the nick of time.
"…Grits?" Faith finished lamely. Tara grinned a cute lopsided grin at the startled brunette before turning back around.
Buffy collapsed in laughter and Willow stared at her friends in confusion, having missed the entire thing because she was babbling about the spell she wanted Tara to do with her.
Recovering from her laughter, Buffy got a devilish look in her eye and smiled seductively at Faith. The dark slayer raised an eyebrow in wary confusion. The blonde leaned close to the other slayer and spoke, just loud enough for the others to hear.
"Baby, I'll kiss you anywhere, anytime, anyway you like. Just say the word." She pulled back away from the brunette, keeping eye contact with her as she licked her own lips at the images floating about in her head. Faith turned a deep shade of red and blinked at the blonde slayer in shock, instinctively knowing her fellow slayer was not merely playing around. An undercurrent of lust sizzled in her eyes. Faith's eyes widened as she realized that Buffy was truly flirting with her. Tara and Willow shared a grin at the brunette's expression. Buffy winked at Faith and decided she had tortured the brunette enough for the time being. The four of them continued the walk in silence, all of them deep in thought.
"Uh, we're…h…here." Tara stated as they approached a red brick building. It had a plaque on it that read Stevenson Hall.
"Yeah, well…uh B and I are gonna…patrol now, so uh…cya later." Faith said, rather distracted.
Tara smiled and she and Willow bid the slayers goodnight.
Faith practically ran to the nearest cemetery and Buffy was just on her heels.
"Faith, wait!" She cried.
The tortured brunette slowed to a stop and ran a trembling hand through her hair before turning to face the blonde.
"B…look I'm not…" She started, trying to figure out just what the hell to say.
"Shhh. You don't have to say anything. Please, just let me…" The blonde gently covered Faith's lips with her right index finger. She leaned in and up to softly capture the other slayer's full lips in a tender kiss. The blonde slayer groaned into the kiss as a tear ran down her cheek. Buffy pulled away quickly and turned to go.
"Wait! What are you…?" Faith began to demand brokenly before Buffy spun around again, her face wet with tears.
"Just let me have that, Faith. One kiss, don't take that away too."
"Too? I'm not…you don't understand. Let me make you understand." Faith reached out and pulled Buffy to her and into a heated, passionate kiss.
The memory faded and Faith found herself back in the cemetery.
"I had no idea she liked me more than a friend. I was so clueless back then." She laughed softly.
"I think Willow was a bit surprised when you and I hit it off so well as friends. She was forever commenting on how we were "polar opposites". I think she thought I'd be a bad influence on you. Little did she know." The brunette laughed again as she remembered a time when she and Tara got caught sneaking into a movie theater. Tara had been the one to suggest seeing a movie and when they realized they had forgotten to bring Tara's purse and Faith turned out her empty pockets, it was Tara who suggested that they "go in anyways." Willow had been pissed when she found out her girlfriend was banned from the theater.
"I think she's finally forgiven me for that. She always blamed me for your little schemes, ya fink. I never gave you up on the mocha drinking incident either. She always puts them out of my reach and has Buffy watch me if she has to leave the table. And she still waxes Xander's ass about the Miss Kitty fiasco. And I wonder where she got her potty mouth, Missy. You know she could make a sailor blush with her 'spicy talk.' "
The wind picked up and Faith noticed it was getting close to time for the sun to set. She leaned forward and traced the name on the stone again.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Tare. I gotta go before B gets wicked freaked. She's not the same since…well, none of us are. We are lost without you, T." The brunette sighed and turned around and walked smack dab into…"Tara?"
The brunette stood frozen, her mouth gaping and her hand over her chest. The blonde in front of her smiled an apologetic smile before her hand shot out and she whispered a single word.
She rushed forward to catch the brunette slayer as she went limp. Tara brushed a loving hand across Faith's cheek. The blonde glanced up at the person beside her.
"She won't remember, will she?" The words were said with a hint of fear. Tara disliked the idea of stealing any memories from Faith but she knew it wasn't up to her.
"Everything will seem like a bad dream to your friends. It's the way it has to be, Tara. You've been given a second chance. This wasn't meant to happen. "
The glowing image of Emily Maclay smiled down at her daughter as she gestured toward the gravestone bearing Tara's name.
"The Goddess has plans for you, Baby Girl. You and Willow both. Wonderful plans. Go live the life you were meant to have."
With one gesture of her translucent hands, Tara and Faith disappeared.
Willow snuggled deep into her bed, the covers pulled almost clear over her head. She mumbled nervously and shifted around in her sleep.
"The frogs, too many frogs…gun, Tara, NO!" The redhead shot up, covered in sweat and shaking.
"Shhh, Love, I'm here. Everything's okay." Willow took in the blue eyes filled with love and concern and hugged the sleepy, rumpled blonde close, cutting off her oxygen supply with her relieved embrace.
"Ugh, Will, Baby, need to…um…air…" Tara choked softly.
"Oh! Tara, I'm so sorry, Sweetie!" Willow eased her grip on her lover and smiled tearfully at her.
Tara grinned seductively at Willow. "I know of a way you could make it up to me." She winked at her lover and watched as Willow's eyes dilated and her breathing hitched.
"I…uh…I can do that." Willow grinned back. She leaned forward and sucked on Tara's lower lip. The blonde groaned and opened her mouth to Willow's invading tongue. Willow rolled so that she was on top of Tara and smirked down at her love.
"How am I doin' so far, Darlin?" She whispered as she licked and sucked at the blonde's delicious throat, marking her as she went. Tara moaned and arched her back, trying to get closer to Willow's talented mouth. Willow lifted her head to stare down at her sleep-rumpled lover and smiled tenderly at her.
Buffy suddenly crashed through the door and landed in an ungraceful heap, which in itself was a feat for the Slayer. The witches yelped and clung to each other in surprise. The Slayer then noticed the lack of danger and the position of her friends.
"I heard yelling and uh…assumed it was of the bad. S…sorry. I'll just uh…yeah. " Gesturing wildly, the embarrassed Slayer tried to slowly ease herself up and out the door.
Dawn burst in a second later having heard the yelling and the crashing of the door.
"What in the…? Is everyone alright? I heard yelling and crashing." The teenager looked worried so all three women assured her that everything was fine and under control.
"Jeez, Buffy, there's this thing called knocking." Dawn teased her sister once the explanation was given.
"You didn't knock either, Little Miss Know-It-All." Buffy pouted at her sister as the two made their way out of the room. Dawn laughed and made as to grab her sister's lip as they raced downstairs to fight over who got to make breakfast.
"Wow, they're actually getting along…Dawn's really growing up isn't she?"
"That was grown up?" Willow teased. Tara laughed and pulled Willow close.
"God, I missed this. Us." Tara confessed, kissing Willow gently.
"Me too, Baby, me too. Don't ever leave me again. I couldn't make it without you. I would try but it'd never be right." Tears filled Tara's eyes as she heard Willow's words.
"I won't leave you again. Not ever. You've made such progress, Love. You really have. I never stopped loving you Will. I couldn't. You're my always."
Willow wiped the tears from Tara's cheeks and nuzzled her lover's neck. She smiled slowly and hotly whispered into the blonde's ear.
"Wanna get naked and wet with me?" She wiggled her eyebrows at the stunned blonde as she got up and grabbed her robe and a towel and headed for the shower. The redhead didn't hear the whimper her lover issued as her senses came roaring back to her.
The blonde grinned and rushed to the shower to join her lover.
After waiting, what seemed to the redhead, a long few minutes, Willow pouted slightly and wondered if Tara was going to join her after all. She smiled when she heard the door open and suddenly she felt a burst of cold air as Tara joined her in the shower. The redhead gasped as soft, warm hands reached around the front of her body and cupped her wet breasts.
"Oh! Tara!" Willow moaned and rubbed herself against the incredible body behind her.
"Someone got all naked and wet without me. So Will, how wet are you? Let's find out, shall we?" Tara trailed her hands down the redhead's body and teasingly slid them onto her lover's quivering abs. She nibbled on Willow's neck and rubbed her breasts against the shorter woman's shoulder blades, causing them each to moan.
"Oh, Goddess, Tara, are you trying to kill me?" The redhead whimpered as she felt firm, sure hands inch ever closer to their destination. The blonde sucked an earlobe into her mouth and slipped two fingers down to brush against Willow's center and dip inside. The redhead almost shuddered right out of Tara's arms at the almost rough claiming. Tara growled one word against Willow's ear.
She thrust her fingers deeper and continued with a forceful pace, knowing her lover's needs instinctively. Willow clutched Tara's forearm with one trembling hand while her other one reached behind her and tangled in her girlfriend's blonde curls. She tightened her hand into a fist and pulled gently, allowing a slight smirk to show as Tara's moan vibrated against her throat. The redhead's actions only urged her lover on. Tara quickened her pace and rubbed her wetness against Willow's backside in time with her thrusts.
"OH GODDESS! TARRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAA!" Willow wailed as her body shook with an intense release. Tara gasped as she followed her lover over the edge. She laughed happily and slid down the wall of the shower, pulling her limp girlfriend with her.
"Oh, Willow, I love you." Tara claimed the smaller woman's lips in a slow soft kiss that allowed the women's breathing to even out. Willow slowly stood, pulling Tara to her feet and the two witches turned off the freezing cold water and took turns drying each other's bodies off. The loud sound of the smoke alarm alerted them to the fact that they were possibly needed downstairs.
"Sounds like Buffy decided to cook this morning." Willow smirked.
"Yeah, let's go rescue Dawnie." Tara giggled and they hurriedly dressed and went downstairs.
Buffy was racing around and opening the windows, trying to air out the kitchen.
Dawn stood coughing and fanning the area near her face.
Tara and Willow shared an amused glance.
"Need some help?" Tara smirked at the pair, a fair eyebrow raised in a teasing manner.
"Buffy tried to make toast. She blew up the toaster. Again." Dawn said as she pointedly looked at her sheepish sister.
Willow grinned and opened her mouth, only to let out a startled squeak as the kitchen door burst open and Spike stumbled into the house, shaking off his smoking blanket.
Tara glanced at Willow, a bemused look on her face. "I'm beginning to sense a theme." She quipped, a wry smile tugged at her lips. Willow wrinkled her nose playfully at her lover and then turned to stare at Spike.
"What is it about people crashing around this morning?" Dawn grumbled, still holding her hand to her chest in barely recovered shock.
"Red, Mrs. Red, Nibblet, Slayer, We've got trouble." Spike announced hurriedly.
Buffy winced and looked at the calendar and squinted slightly. "It's Tuesday, isn't it?"
A murmur of agreement sounded as the rest of the group realized that trouble rarely fell on a day that was not Tuesday.
Spike raised an eyebrow, indicating he wanted to share his news. Buffy nodded wearily at him. It wasn't even 9 am and already they had trouble.
"Seems Warren, minus his band of merry men, was at Willy's last night bragging about how he was gonna kill him a little blonde Slayer. Guess he was brassed off since his plans went all balls up. Got himself a gun, he did. Suppose he figures he's better off using good old fashioned means." Spike shrugged, his eyes showing his true concern.
Meanwhile, a very confused and fairly ticked off brunette slayer was trying to figure out what was going on.
Faith grumbled as her body was hit with hot, putrid air. She wrestled with her bed sheets that reeked of cheap perfume and cigarettes. She finally got untangled and sat up, her jaw dropping as she took in her surroundings.
"No fucking way! This has got to be someone's idea of a bad joke." What stared back at her was the puke green painted motel room she had once lived in. She stared in horror at the condemned dresser that sat ten feet in front of her.
"No, no…what the hell?" Ignoring her lack of clothing, Faith threw open the door, hoping to find some shred of her reality in this nightmare.
She saw the poorly kept landscape of Sunnydale's cheapest motel. Faith reluctantly wandered back inside and looked for her clothes.
"I gotta get outta here." Her mind screamed at her to find Buffy. The brunette quickly found her discarded clothes and hurriedly dressed. She was on her way towards the Summers' household within minutes.
She tried to open the front door but found none of her keys worked. Frantically she re-tried each one and then resorted to pounding on the door.
Still getting no answer, the desperate brunette rushed to the back yard. She found the kitchen door open and most of her friends inside. She was about to rush into Buffy's arms when she saw something, or rather, someone who stopped her in her tracks.
Faith lunged at the other blonde who was standing next to her girlfriend. Tara gasped and clutched the brunette's hands as she felt herself being lifted off the ground.
Instead of a greeting or friendly joke, Faith growled into Tara's face.
"What do you want? She's dead! Let her rest in peace! You can't use this body! She was my friend! I'll kill you! I'll fucking kill you!"
The others in the room just stared in stunned silence before Willow tried to pull Faith off of her girlfriend.
"Faith! Let go of Tara! You're hurting her!" Willow's eyes flashed dangerously.
It's not her, Red! She's gone! Warren killed her and she's gone! This thing that's wearing her face isn't her! Oh, God, She's gone!" Faith collapsed, her tears overwhelming her.
Again the room was shocked into silence. "No. Faith, no, it was just a dream." Willow gathered the trembling Slayer into her arms and rocked her. "She's right there, see?" She smiled apologetically at Tara. Willow was surprised when Tara shook her head and hid behind her hair, like in the old days.
"Tara?" Willow asked in trepidation. "What is it, Sweetie? You're scaring me now."
She mumbled softly as her eyes swam with tears. "Not a dream."
Buffy gasped and shoved Dawn a few feet behind her.
"Who are you?" She demanded, ready to fight whatever demon had possessed her friend's body.
"I'm Tara Maclay. Just…wow…this is gonna be hard to…Faith came to m…my g…grave…last…n…night…" The blonde swallowed and wiped at her face.
"I…know it's…n…not easy to believe…but…I…I…things went wrong…destinies were changed…things that…that…the G…Goddess…had to…f…fix. She made it possible for me…to…to…revert to my…h…human form…and I…I was told that…no one would…remember." She whispered the last word and reached her hand out towards Willow to try to make her understand. Willow shook her head and backed away.
Spike raised an eyebrow and spoke, "If she's a bloody demon, I can hit 'er. We did that before."
"Yeah, no, you could hit Buffy after she was resurrected." Dawn informed him.
"Oh, right then." Spike looked pensive.
Faith's yell caught their attention. "Red! Wait! Shit!" Both the brunette and blonde Slayers were right behind Willow as she tore out the door in a frantic attempt to get away. Spike watched helplessly from the safety of the kitchen as Tara and Dawn rushed out behind them only to slam to a stop, their faces blanched with fear.
"Willow!" Tara gave a choked gasp. She and Dawn edged closer slowly.
The redhead stood frozen, a gun under her chin as Warren grinned triumphantly at Buffy.
"See? Did you really think you could do that to me? That I'd let you get away with it? I thought about how best to deal with you, Slayer and well, damn it, I think I figured you out! Your friends are the key. They always were. Especially this one. So sweet, so brilliant, so incredibly female. Emotions – nothing like intellect. Wild and uncontrollable. You see, women, logic escapes them, even smart ones like Ms. Rosenberg here. Ain't that right, Cookie?" Warren made as if to wipe away Willow's tears only to be stopped by a growl deep in Tara's throat.
"Oooh, the little wife doesn't like that. Okay, so back to the subject at hand, Slayer. I'm gonna make you watch your little sidekick here die, and there's nothing you can do about it." Warren grinned and jabbed the gun harder into Willow's throat.
Tara's eyes glowed and she raised a hand towards Warren and Willow.
The villain snarled and pointed the gun in Tara's direction. "No fair with the Magic, Blondie."
Seemingly out of nowhere, Xander's voice was heard. "Now, we wouldn't want you to put someone's eye out with that thing." Using his body to shield Tara from harm, he wrenched the gun from Warren's hand with precision and skill worthy of a military officer. However, he wasn't quite quick enough.
There was a loud cracking sound that rang in everyone's ears. All anyone saw was a brilliant flash and suddenly, Xander stumbled back, his eyes wide with surprise, the gun still dangling in his grip. He fell to the ground, stunned.
"XANDER!" Willow cried out in horrified dismay as the man crumpled. She then noticed that he was basically uninjured. He rubbed his elbow which had bounced off the ground when he landed.
"Oh, me and my bruises are great." He sarcastically assured the redhead. Willow nodded and checked to make sure everyone else was okay.
"DAWN!" Buffy cried, punching and kicking Warren as hard as she could.
Buffy's wail of animalistic pain and the sound of fists striking flesh filled the air. Warren's pleas and curses fell on deaf ears. He slumped to the ground as everything went black after a particularly brutal punch from Buffy.
Dawn lay unmoving on the ground a few feet away. There was blood on her shirt. The teenager groaned suddenly and rolled over, shaking leaves out of her long hair. Noticing the blood, Dawn frantically searched for the source.
"Okay, Fang Boy why'd you push me…?" The construction worker groused before choking off the last word in horror.
Xander stared in disbelief at the figure sprawled on the ground in front of him. He saw blonde hair and wide unfocused blue eyes.
"Nibblet?" Spike's soft, raspy voice stilled any movement from the Scoobies. The bleached blonde vampire was on his back, face grimacing with pain. "Is she…?" He choked.
"Oh, God, Spike!" Dawn gasped as she rushed over to her friend. The teenager put her hand over the gaping wound on his chest. Faith dropped to her knees next to Dawn, her hands searching for further damage.
"But shouldn't he be…?" Xander pointed at Spike and then back at the sun and made a gesture with his hands as he mouthed the word, "Poof!" Faith, Buffy and Tara had matching looks of surprise on their faces, as they nodded. Warren twitched and Buffy reached down and punched him in the jaw hard enough to render him unconscious…again.
"I don't recall ever seeing a vampire engage in such a selfless act before." A new voice startled the confused gang.
"Mama?" Tara gasped. The blonde witch had joined Dawn and Faith at Spike's side trying to stop the bleeding. The brunette Slayer whirled and stared at Emily Maclay.
"Well, Tara Katherine, did you think I would stop looking in on you after the Goddess blessed you the way she did?" Emily admonished lightly.
"But…you said that no one would remember…but Faith…she knew somehow."
"I forgot about Ms. Spencer's head trauma. It's rare but sometimes a person who experiences death or a death-like form is unable to forget such occurrences. It's the Goddess's will, Baby Girl." Faith shared a shocked look with Buffy.
Emily knelt and placed her hand on Spike's chest where the bullet wound was. She winked at him and a bolt of pure light engulfed him.
"AHHHHHHH! BLOODY HELL!" Spike yelped as his demon fought the essence taking over his body.
"Shhh, now none of that young William, it's just a healing spell." Emily smirked at the outrage that warred with the acceptance in the vampire's blue eyes.
"Oi, how come I'm not dust?" He muttered, not unkindly.
"That would be the Goddess's gift to you, William. You can walk in sunlight for the rest of your unlife. She granted you the Powers of Amarra. You don't need the ring and the powers cannot be taken away. Your selflessness in saving the Slayer's sister will not be forgotten."
Spike stared in amazement at Mrs. Maclay. After a long moment, he dropped his head back onto the ground and laughed a laugh of pure joy. He stared at his hands and reached up and touched his face, in wonderment. He could walk in sunlight! He hadn't done so in over a hundred and sixty years. He was loving the warmth bathing his body and tears spilled onto his pale cheeks.
Buffy, Tara and Dawn all had tears running down their faces also, they were so happy for the vampire. He had saved Dawn from a bullet and all three women knew that if given the chance to do so again, without receiving the gift, he would still risk injury to save his 'Nibblet'."
Faith smirked at the blonde vampire and teased him a little. "Nice one, William."
Spike laughed. "Thanks, Luscious." He ignored the jibe and pulled her into a slight hug, nearly yanking the Slayer down on top of him.
The redhead smiled slightly but her mind was not on Spike's new gift but on her girlfriend's mother's words. 'Tara died? Warren shot Tara and…it didn't make sense…how'?
"Tara really…d…died?" Willow asked in a little girl voice, her eyes filled with tears.
"Yes, but it was not the Goddess's will…it was a destiny altered by selfishness and manipulation. Speaking of which, young man, you have a lot to atone for. "
Emily glared at Warren, who now almost to his feet, was hoping to make a stealthy exit.
She raised her hand and whispered, "Her Will be done." Blue flames shot out of her hands and Warren screamed as his body twisted and molded into…a cockroach.
"Ew!" Dawn shuddered as Warren the cockroach skittered around in panic. The rest of the gang huddled together in quiet awe as they watched Spike enjoy his time in the daylight.
Emily took the moment to silently wish her daughter a wonderful life and to tell her she'd be watching out for both her and Willow. 'Go now Baby Girl, your Willow needs you and I'll be looking out for you both as you make a wonderful future together.' The elder Maclay shimmered and then faded away.
'I love you, Mama.' Tara smiled and moved over to stand next to Willow as the redhead tried to work out her thoughts and feelings in her head.
"Hey, did I miss a Scooby meeting? Why is everyone just standing around? And how come Spike is outside and not dusty? Jeez, you actually get the chance to sleep in and you miss everything!" Anya griped; she almost made it to where Xander stood when she saw the cockroach skittering around crazily.
"Ew! A roach! I hate roaches! They're worse than bunnies!" Anya raised her foot and slammed it down in surprise when everyone yelled, "NO, ANYA DON'T!" She lifted her foot and grimaced at the remains of the roach. She rubbed the bottom of her shoe on the grass.
"What? It's not like it was human or anything!" Anya defended her actions when horrified looks were shot her way.
"Uh, what she said." Faith nodded her approval to Anya, a huge grin on her face.
Xander looked a little green around the edges but he figured someone would have done it anyways and Warren got off way too easily after threatening Tara and Willow. He pulled Anya into a hug and smiled down at her.
"Can we go have orgasms now?" She asked him hopefully.
As Spike sat soaking up the sunlight, Willow mumbled an excuse and rushed upstairs to her room. Buffy and Tara exchanged a worried glance. Tara raced after her lover. The bedroom door was closed by the time Tara got there. She nervously raised her hand to knock when the door flew open, startling her. The redhead winced at Tara's yelp of surprise and pulled her girlfriend inside.
She stroked the blonde's cheeks in wonderment, her hand trembling. She whispered her girlfriend's name.
"Oh, Goddess, I could have lost you. Right now, today…when he…I thought it would be my fault." Willow choked out, her tears falling unheeded.
Tara moved back and walked them towards the bed. She sat down and gently pulled the redhead with her. The blonde then settled her lover's hands on her thighs. Terrified green met reassuring blue in a brief moment before the silence was broken once again.
"I'm real. I promise. Touch me, feel me, taste me." As she said the last words, Tara glanced up at Willow, her sexy blue eyes hooded with desire and love.
Willow groaned and leaned forward, capturing Tara's full lips in a hard, passionate kiss, knocking the blonde backwards onto the bed.
"I love you." Willow whispered in between kisses as she ran her hands up and down Tara's arms. The redhead flicked her tongue against her lover's soft lower lip and was given access inside. Tara gave a gasping laugh as the redhead reached up and tore the blonde's blouse off. Willow flattened her hands against her lover's breasts and swallowed her moan as the nipples burned into her palms.
"Off, now!" Tara growled and tugged impatiently at her girlfriend's blouse. Once the blouse was gone, she repeated the action with her lover's pants. The redhead was too distracted to notice her girlfriend's hands reach around and unclasp her bra.
Willow gasped and arched her body as Tara roughly sucked a tempting nipple into her mouth.
"OH, TARA!" She cried out and wriggled closer to her lover's warm, alive body. Willow rocked her body down hard to rub her wetness against Tara's in a manner that drove the blonde crazy. The feel of sex against sex drove Tara nearly insane with need. She pulled Willow on top of her as the redhead kissed, nibbled and licked her way in between her lover's breasts.
"Mmm, Tara cleavage." She whispered, drawing a soft giggle out of her girlfriend, before rendering her breathless with a teasing tongue. Willow made her way towards the taut nipple that tightened even further under her aroused gaze.
Willow rubbed her thumb across the tip once, twice, three times before suddenly covering the aching flesh with her lips. Tara choked out her lover's name and held her head in place with one hand while the other grabbed a hold of her hip.
Her entire body felt like it was on fire so when Willow's lips touched her abdomen, Tara inhaled sharply and gave a gasping moan.
The redhead's lips curved into a smile against the baby soft skin, her nails lightly raking the blonde's sides.
"Mmm, you like that, do ya?" She whispered, flicking her tongue at her girlfriend's navel.
"WILL! Oh!" Tara grasped at her lover's head and thrust her hips up, aching for contact.
"Shhh, easy, Baby. Soon. Very, very soon." Willow tried to calm her lover.
Willow slide down her lover's body slowly, earning a whimper and an impatient wriggle from the blonde.
Keeping eye contact with Tara, Willow snaked her tongue out and lashed it against the blonde's clit. Tara clutched a fistful of fiery curls and pulled her lover deeper into her soaked center.
"Oh, Baby, you taste so good." Willow growled, moaning as she felt Tara start to ride her tongue, trying to get the contact she craved.
Tara shivered and gasped as Willow thrust two fingers deep inside her, rubbing against a ridged spot that had Tara pulling Willow close and emitting a sexy little squeak every time the redhead massaged it.
"OH YES! PLEASE, OH! YEAH, FUCK ME WITH YOUR TONGUE!" Tara cried out harshly, her breath hitching.
Willow's eyebrows almost jumped into her hairline but the redhead did as she was told. Her eyes slid closed as she moaned at the command and the blonde's movements became more desperate. Tara growled and with a keening sound came hard as Willow sucked the throbbing bundle of nerves into her mouth.
The blonde came back to herself, still shaking with the aftershocks of the mind-numbing orgasm.
Willow grinned, edging up her girlfriend's body to claim her lips in a sweet kiss.
"I love you." Tara gasped as she pulled Willow closer to her. Willow brushed the sweat soaked blonde hair back and snuggled closer to her girlfriend.
"I love you, Tara." The redhead whispered, holding her lover close to reassure herself that Tara was still with her.
Outside, having been subjected to the loud moans and screams, Xander and Buffy blushed while Faith and Spike exchanged an amused but genuinely happy look. Anya then tugged Xander towards his house, making him promise her many orgasms. Buffy looked up in time to see Dawn wipe a tear away. She walked over and put her arm around her little sister's shoulders.
"You okay there, Dawnie?" the Slayer asked, concerned.
Dawn smiled at her.
"Yeah. All's right in the world. Nothing could possibly…"
Buffy clapped a hand over her sister's mouth.
"Don't finish that sentence! Don't even think it! Dawnie!" Buffy gave her sister a horrified look.
"She's right, Nibblet, this is SunnyHell after all." Spike glanced away from the beautiful blue sky and its white fluffy clouds to wink at the teenager. Dawn nodded and pulled her sister's hand away from her mouth.
"Sorry." She mumbled before Buffy surprised her and pulled her into a hug.
"I understand." Buffy kissed Dawn's forehead affectionately. The sisters both laughed as Faith shouted, "Woohoo! Go Red!"
Upstairs Tara and Willow blushed and hid under the covers, slightly mortified. They then looked at each other and started to giggle. They exchanged a brief soft, sweet kiss and smiled at one another before they fell asleep, drained by the morning's activities.
Willow yawned sleepily and wiggled around trying to stay firmly in dreamland but the pull of reality was too strong. With a grumpy sigh, the redhead shifted to a sitting position, careful not to bump her still sleeping girlfriend. She sat staring at the blonde, her heart full of love and thanks at their second chance. Her face broke into a grin as her girlfriend murmured and groggily began to wake up herself.
"Mmm, hey." Tara leaned over and kissed her gently.
Willow brushed her lover's tangled blonde curls with her fingers and caressed her cheek with one hand.
"Love you." She proclaimed to the smiling blonde.
"Love you back." Tara cheerfully answered with hug.
"So, now we're ready to start a future together, share our lives, for good this time. We can have a small house nearby so Buffy and Faith's kids can play with ours. Oh, and Xander and Anya's can tell them horribly inappropriate sexual stuff we can be mortified by. And…and Spike can be an uncle, keeping them safe from vampires. It'll be great but first we have to do the impossible." Tara grinned at her lover playfully.
"The impossible? What do we have to do?" Willow looked confused, still lost in the wonderful picture Tara had painted.
"Finally get out of bed?" Tara smirked, gently teasing her lover.
"I was with you up until there." Willow deadpanned her answer half-playful, half-serious.
"I was thinking breakfast?" Tara's eyes were tracing her lover's face.
"Would that involve getting up?" Willow teased again, a naughty smile in place.
Tara gave her lover a lopsided grin. "Eventually." She nodded.
"Then I'm coming out firmly against it." Willow stuck out her lower lip slightly. Then her stomach rumbled, betraying her.
"Hush, you!" She pointed at it.
Tara giggled and nudged her lover. "C'mon Will, we have to face the music sometime." She knew she and Willow were in for some ribbing from the gang.
"Let's get a shower and see if anyone has had breakfast yet." The blonde suggested.
Groaning and pouting, the redhead reluctantly let her girlfriend pull her along towards the bathroom.
Freshly showered and dressed, the two witches were downstairs fixing breakfast since Warren had caused them to miss it earlier. Finding no one else at home, the lovers decided to cook for themselves. Tara was sifting flour and Willow was staring at her. The blonde bit her lip as she concentrated on measuring the correct amount. She looked up to catch her lover mesmerized by her every move.
"What?" She asked softly, her voice husky from sleep still. The mixture of her voice with the sight of her damp blonde curls in disarray after their shower turned Willow on to no end.
"You look all tousled and sexy. You better not get used to those clothes." Willow leered at her.
Tara smirked and looked at Willow through her lashes. "Vixen." She murmured.
"Oh, no, Baby, that is so totally you. I mean…wow! You look so incredibly…yummy and who would have thought you'd be all mine and I almost lost you and what kind of fool was I to just go off and do all those horrible things to you…I want to go back and slap myself and I…stopping now." Willow trailed off as Tara gave her a bewildered look.
Tara slowly grinned her sexy lopsided grin, finding her lover's babbling rather hot. The blonde set the pancake batter aside and moved closer to her lover.
"Mmm, no don't ever stop." She whispered, leaning in and sucking the redhead's lower lip into her mouth.
Willow held her girlfriend to her as the kiss escalated to a full-blown melt-your-bones kind of kiss. They were so involved that they didn't notice Faith as she walked into the room, slamming to a stop at the sight of the embrace. Buffy, Dawn and Spike trailed the brunette, talking quietly amongst themselves, sipping on mochas.
"Hey! Ow! What the bloody hell?" The trio behind her collided into one another when she suddenly stopped her forward motion. Faith shushed them with a slashing hand motion and pointed into the kitchen. She raised a finger to her lips to ensure they stayed quiet. The couple was too busy to notice the world around them. Faith grinned evilly.
"Hey, Buffy! The witches are all groiny in the kitchen. We're gonna have to hose the table down!" Faith grinned as Willow and Tara flew apart at her shout. Spike almost choked on his mocha.
"We are not!" Willow vehemently cried before noticing that Buffy was already in the kitchen with them. Tara grabbed an oven mitt and proceeded to chase the dark Slayer around the island counter, repeatedly smacking her in the head with the mitt.
The front door slammed and Xander's resonant voice sounded out.
"Hello the house! The Harris's are here! Apparently just in time for an invigorating game of Whack-A-Slayer." Xander, having entered the doorway of the kitchen, looked at the two women racing around the island in confusion and shook his head. Anya merely watched in amusement.
Faith spun and grabbed Tara's wrists gently, stopping the witch from hitting her.
"Ok, enough of that, we're hungry. Feed us, woman." She teased.
Tara raised an eyebrow and gave Faith a look that was half amusement, half menace. The dark Slayer froze and dropped the blonde's wrists and backed away slowly.
"Uh, or I could have meant…Please Tara, fix us some of those yummy pancakes you make." The brunette turned and took off running, hiding behind Xander and Buffy.
Tara stalked her friend until she was almost nose-to-nose with Xander. The carpenter gave a panicked "eep!" at the evil grin on the blonde's face. He dodged to the side and squeaked, "She's all yours!"
Faith's eyes snapped open wide. Backing away slowly, she scoffed at Xander.
"Harris, you pussy."
Anya raised an eyebrow at the brunette slayer before her husband defended himself.
"Hey you're the one she wants to throttle and you ran first."
"Baby, how much longer do I need to stir this?" Willow intervened, gesturing to the batter mix, saving Faith from her lover's evil plans.
Faith walked over and wrapped an arm around Willow.
"See Red loves me." Faith didn't notice the exaggerated eye roll Willow gave at her comment.
Xander choked back his laughter at that and Faith couldn't help but mock the young man.
"Pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy." She teased in a singsong voice. Xander flushed red and looked away.
Faith laughed and then gasped a muffled curse as Willow pinched her side. "Ow! Sorry."
Pouting, the brunette listened as Willow lectured her on the overuse of demeaning words that described female genitalia to the extreme amusement of the rest of the Scoobies.
Finally the group settled down, their hunger getting the best of them. Tara set out plates and utensils and Willow got the glasses out.
"So, Dawnie, funny shapes or rounds?" Tara turned on the stove and poured some batter into the pan.
"Oh, surprise me." Dawn grinned at the blonde witch who returned it and nodded.
A new voice spoke up from the kitchen doorway.
"I'll take rounds please, Tara."
The group gasped collectively and spun to stare at the newcomer.
With an ecstatic yell, Buffy ran to her ex-Watcher and wrapped her arms and legs around him like a young child welcoming her father home after a long trip.
"Oomph! Buffy! Do you know how old I am? Do you want to kill me?" Giles teased with a soft laugh as he set the excited Slayer down.
He barely had time to catch his breath before Willow, Tara, and Dawn all lunged forward for their hugs. Xander and Faith hung back, trying to act cool. Anya just looked at Giles with a nervous smile on her face.
"Hey G-Man." Xander shook Giles hand in a manly fashion. The Englishman smiled at him and clapped him gently on the shoulder in greeting. Giles reached out and pulled Anya to him, hugging her in a rare show of genuine affection for the ex-demon. She gave him a huge grin and surprised them all by shyly ducking her head.
"Yo, Giles, welcome back to SunnyHell." Faith smirked at the grinning ex-Watcher. He smiled and shook his head.
Spike nodded his head at Giles in a civil but nonchalant greeting and got the same in kind. They would never be really friendly but they respected that each had their place in the Scooby Gang.
The day progressed with no further badness and the group minus Spike, who declared that he wasn't missing Passions again, decided that they should go check on the Magic Box and make sure Warren and his two stooges didn't plant any bombs or hidden devices. On the drive to the Magic Box, Giles was regaling them with funny stories about England and the weird man he sat next to on the plane.
Finding nothing out of the ordinary, they decided that food was in order and Xander and Willow went off in search of fast food. Willow kissed Tara as she left; making the blonde promise to think of her while she was gone. Tara readily agreed. Anya insisted she would stay up front to welcome any customers who were willing to spend lots of money in her store. Faith suggested to Buffy that they spar in the training room until the food got there. Giles and Tara tagged along to watch the Slayers.
They decided to warm up by using the practice dummies. The ex-Watcher observed as Faith executed a perfect roundhouse and took the head off the wooden dummy. He nodded and made notes in a small leather bound book.
Giles had become close to the dark Slayer before he left and decided that her determination and eagerness to learn made her a wonderful student. He took notes on the brunette's performances and noticed her skill level had improved drastically since he last saw her.
"Excellent, I see much improvement, Faith. Precision gets it done. And focus and control keep you alive." He smiled affectionately at the brunette.
Waiting until Faith's attention was elsewhere, he nodded to Buffy and the blonde threw a punch at the brunette's head from behind. Faith sensed the attack and swiftly caught the other woman's wrist and leveled her with an elbow to the jaw.
"Oomph! Ow!" Buffy landed in an ungraceful heap at the feet of her fellow Slayer. Tara, who was observing the lesson, bit her lip to keep from laughing despite the mild concern she felt for the other blonde.
"Nice counter Faith." Giles praised the dark Slayer again.
"Yeah, nice." Buffy shot to her feet, rubbing her jaw. She mock glared at Faith, who in turn, stuck her tongue out at the blonde.
"Use it or lose it, Spencer." Buffy teased with a naughty look. Faith's eyebrows shot up in surprise and the blonde Slayer giggled. Tara joined in and Faith aimed a certain finger in her direction. This only served to make them laugh harder.
"Fuckers." Faith muttered with a grin, knowing that the other two heard her.
Giles shook his head and gave his Slayers an exasperated look. "Ok, I guess we can call it a day, er night." He told them, tossing each Slayer a towel. Just in time, the bell on the door chimed as the four of them exited the training room.
"Hey Slayer people!" Xander called as he and Willow entered the Magic Box. Their arms were loaded down with fast food bags and drinks. Willow made a beeline for her girlfriend. Xander stopped to give his wife her food and a kiss. He barely made it to the research table before being mauled.
"Ooh, I love payday! Double cheeseburgers, all the fixings." Faith grinned as she snagged herself an overflowing bag.
"Don't forget the chocolaty goodness." Buffy said as she handed Faith a triple thick chocolate shake.
"Thanks Xan!" The Slayers chorused through mouthfuls of burger. The construction worker smiled and dug into his own double cheeseburger. Giles settled into a chair and pulled his chicken finger meal out of the remaining bag. Tara reached for the garden salad and light dressing that Willow set down next to her. She smiled at her lover and then set about preparing her food. Faith raised an eyebrow at the blonde witch.
"Hey, T, what's with the rabbit food, girlfriend?" She asked bluntly.
"I'm on a diet." Tara answered simply. Willow's eyebrows shot into her hairline in surprise. She had been under the impression that Tara's choice was due to her being a Vegan.
The blonde Wiccan raised her fork to her mouth and noticed the room had gone silent and everyone was looking at her.
"Did I say something wrong?" She looked confused.
"Just that you look fine as you are, Tara." Giles smiled at her. Willow agreed whole-heartedly.
"Darn tootin'!" She exclaimed.
"Thanks." Tara blushed and looked down.
"Honey, you look fine. Better than fine. Great! All my curvy goodness is gonna disappear. You're sexy as you are. Really!" Willow looked at her lover in eager sincerity and a healthy dose of fear.
"Oh, Baby, it's not that…I just want to lose a couple pounds. Nothing huge. I promise."
"Ok, but the second more than a couple pounds of curvy goodness disappears you are off that diet." Willow insisted, pouting slightly, her eyes critically assessing her girlfriend's body. 'I'll be watching her like a hawk.'
Buffy grinned at her best friend as she watched her resolve face snap into place. She then glanced at the blonde witch.
"I promise." Tara repeated, her lopsided grin in place, and then she leaned in, sealing it with a sweet kiss.
"Awww!" the table minus Giles chorused. He merely smiled in affection at the sight before him. The witches giggled and turned back to start on their food.
Two weeks later, the weather heated up as it tends to do in July. Willow and Tara sat in their room, clad in only their underwear. Tara was reading a book while Willow was researching a demon on her laptop. Tara accidentally nudged her lover with her toe and she smiled an apology at the redhead as Willow turned to look at her. Willow saved her work and shut down her computer. Tara looked quizzically at her lover. Willow reached over and took Tara's book out of her hand, carefully setting it page down on the night stand so that Tara's place wouldn't be lost. Tara started to protest until Willow cupped her chin and pulled her into a kiss. Finally letting her lover catch her breath, Willow explained.
"Baby, I'm getting nowhere with that and you looked so sexy over here just reading and then I got this librarian fantasy in my head and the idea of you in glasses with a bun…oh Goddess it got me hot!" Willow caught Tara's lower lip between her teeth and eased her lover back on the bed. Tara moaned and getting a fistful of red curls, she pulled her lover deeper into the passionate kiss.
"Come here." Tara demanded, pulling the redhead on top of her, kissing her desperately. Willow sat back and reached back to unsnap her bra. Tara watched in approval and quickly found an erect nipple with her fingers. Willow gasped and pulled Tara forward to undress her. Once their underwear had either been removed or ripped away, the two lovers quickly found themselves entangled in another passionate kiss.
Tara leaned back and observed her lover with interest. Raising an eyebrow, she said in a no nonsense voice. "Have you been a naughty Schoolgirl?"
Willow almost came on the spot at her lover's cold voice. She nodded frantically and gave a startled squeak as Tara's hand came down and smacked her asscheek. THWACK!
"Bad girl. You need a spanking. Assume the position!" Tara growled and adjusted her lover's limbs so that she was on all fours beside her.
Willow's arousal dripped down her thighs. 'Oh God, Please don't let me be dreaming.' She prayed.
"You will count every one or I will start over. You understand Schoolgirl? I won't stop until this sweet little ass matches your hair." Tara's voice was hard and Willow was trembling.
"Y…yes, Ms. Maclay." Willow squeaked.
Tara began the spanking. THWACK!
"Ungh, ONE! Ms. Maclay." Willow gasped, her thighs shaking.
"Oh, Goddess! TWO! Ms. Maclay." Willow shuddered.
"F…FOUR! Ms. Maclay." Willow missed her count.
Tara raised an eyebrow. She paused in her downward swing.
"How many was that, Schoolgirl?" She sneered.
"Uh…f…four?" Willow timidly guessed, not quite certain.
"You really are a naughty girl. It was three, Schoolgirl. Now I have to start over."
'Oh, Sweet Gaia!' Willow inwardly moaned.
"Now, get it right, Schoolgirl." Tara grinned as she felt her lover shiver at her new title.
The game continued until Tara heard Willow call out her name in a hoarse voice after she delivered smack number fourteen. She quickly pulled her lover towards her and licked her clean, inciting two more bone melting, brain frying orgasms that left Willow as limp as a happily sated noodle.
"Oh Goddess, Tara, you are amazing." She whispered, her limbs still quivering with aftershocks.
"And don't you forget it." Tara quipped, her laughter quickly turning to moans as Willow proceeded to demonstrate her own amazing talents.
In the next room, Dawn sat listening to music that wasn't quite loud enough to completely drown out the sounds of her friends' love making. She fell asleep with a conflicted smile on her face. She was happy for the witches but wanted that kind of love for herself. Little did she know, Emily Maclay was watching her with angelic eyes.
Soon, Little One. She smiled and shimmered away.
The summer flew by and the Scoobies were readying themselves for school and other learning experiences. Dawn would be a senior this year and she was terrified that she wouldn't be ready.
The first day of school was hectic, Tara was running the kitchen like a short-order cook and she was barely keeping up with the orders. Willow rushed to help her lover. Dawn was unable to find a decent outfit; all her clothes lay in a pile on her bed. She and Buffy were sorting through them in desperation. Finally the sisters found a pair of snug black jeans and a purple button down blouse that looked great on Dawn. The teenager hurried downstairs to get her order of "funny shaped pancakes". Scarfing them down, she barely finished in time to greet Xander at the door to get a ride to school.
The first two periods went without incident and Dawn figured being a senior would be the same as being a junior. She wasn't impressed. Then third period rolled around.
"Dawn Summers. Dawn?" Mrs. Nixon, her Government teacher looked questioningly around the room.
"Uh, here!" Dawn called, confused.
"Oh, great, Ms. Summers, you are needed at the office to help a new student."
"Goody." Dawn muttered under her breath. She reluctantly got up and headed over to the office.
Dawn walked over to the secretary's desk and stood defiantly for all of three seconds before she got a good look at the new student. 'Oh, my God! She's gorgeous!' Dawn forgot to breathe. Her dazed eyes took in the smooth, honey colored skin of the woman in front of her.
The young woman in question appeared to be possibly of Hispanic ethnicity and she had long flowing black hair and cinnamon colored eyes. Her body was curvy but muscular.
"Hey Dawn, I'd like you to meet our new transfer student. This is Chloe Alvaros. She's just in from England." The secretary, Mrs. Thompson introduced them.
Chloe let her eyes travel the length of Dawn's body, unconsciously licking her lips as she went. 'Yummy! Holy Hell, she's hot! Mmm, leggy and lickable.'
Mrs. Thompson, who oblivious to the lustful looks the two young ladies were giving each other, smiled gently and simply said, "Well, Ms. Alvaros, I'll leave you in Ms. Summers' capable hands."
Chloe gave a slow, sexy grin to Dawn as she answered softly with a little more than a hint of an English accent.
Dawn blushed and smiled shyly at the new student.
"Ok, well let's see your schedule. " Dawn leaned down slightly to read the schedule that Chloe held in her hand. Her face brushed the long black hair and she was assaulted with a mind-blowing combination of patchouli and passion flower. With a shaky breath, she turned to look at the new student, finding Chloe's interest lay in Dawn's hands. She blushed and cleared her throat.
"Well it appears we share most of our classes so I can definitely show you where you need to be." She nervously stammered.
'I know where I'd like to be.' Chloe thought with a naughty little smirk. She took another glance at the younger brunette's legs as they walked towards their next class. Her eyes bulged slightly as Dawn's hips rolled as she walked. 'Oh Yeah'.
Throughout the day, Dawn got more and more irritated with the boys at school. She and Chloe were…ok, well Chloe was panted after like a tasty morsel. She was relieved when Chloe ignored them in favor of her company. 'Maybe she's not one for the timber as Tara would say.' Dawn giggled at the thought. 'Then again Doofus, you never asked if she was seeing anyone either.' She could have slapped herself as the thought occurred to her. Finally the last bell rang and they exited their seventh period class in relief.
"So…uh, the boys really seem to like you. You don't seem so uh…interested in them. Do you have a…b…boyfriend back home?" Dawn cursed the stutter but bravely finished.
Chloe laughed and looked Dawn square in the face. "Are you trying to ask if I have a boyfriend or are you trying to ask if I'm a lesbian?"
Dawn flushed red but managed to reply.
"Well both or either…actually." She shrugged, uncertainly.
"I'll take KD Lang for a thousand, Alex." Chloe teased, hoping Dawn got the hint.
"Oh, ok cool…so um…do you have someone back at home? I mean…did you? If that's not completely classless to ask." Dawn decided to never speak again as Chloe laughed softly.
"No, nobody is waiting for me in England. You? Are you seeing anyone? Since we're playing Twenty Questions."
"No…got my first kiss last year from a vam…very nice guy who had to leave suddenly." Dawn quickly looked in Chloe's direction to see if she heard the slipup.
"Hmm guys are good at that…well I don't know from personal experience, other than my dad but…in general from what I hear…" Chloe let her voice fade off.
"Oh, we were just starting to date so it wasn't too bad." Dawn brushed aside the concern she saw in her new friend's eyes.
"So, same time, same place tomorrow?" Chloe asked eager to spend more time with the attractive woman who had been her tour guide all day.
"Definitely. Hey, do you have to leave right now? My sister is the school counselor and um…if you need she can give you a ride…home. She'll be finished in about thirty minutes or so."
"I really have to get on home but I'll definitely see you bright and early tomorrow." Chloe told her, a slight shadow over her face.
"Oh, well oh, ok." Dawn smiled and waved to her new friend. She was so distracted by the sway of Chloe's hips, she missed Buffy's greeting. The Slayer was early for once and dragged Dawn with her towards the car. She wanted to see Faith and get in comfortable clothes. 'The first day at school was uneventful.' Buffy sighed. Little did she know, her sister was on cloud nine.
Buffy gave her sister an appraising look when they were stopped at a light. She held back a smile.
"Ok, who is he?" She almost laughed at Dawn's dreamy eyed look.
Dawn snapped back to reality.
"He who? There's no he…well not for me. Oh, God I'm rhyming…horribly." Dawn made a face and shook her head to clear the Chloe fantasies away.
Buffy lost it and started laughing at her sister.
"No he…well then what's her name?" Buffy teased, merely trying to get a rise out of her sister.
"Chloe." Dawn said her voice mushy.
"The transfer student with the cleavage?" Buffy asked, using her hands to mime breasts, slightly impressed. The Slayer had met Chloe before Dawn had and found her intriguing.
"You…noticed her…her cleavage?" Dawn sounded downright offended.
"Kinda hard to miss. But enough about her uh assets…she seemed nice." Buffy tried to smooth over things with her outraged sister.
"I'm telling Faith you said that." Dawn huffed.
"That she was nice or about the cleavage?" When Dawn didn't respond, Buffy teased her further.
"So when's the wedding?"
Dawn glared silently at the snickering Slayer.
Buffy raised her hands in truce and smiled at her sister.
"I'm happy for you Dawnie."
"We're just friends right now. I want to get to know her and find out if she could be like my Willow or Tara. You know, a true happily ever after."
"I'm calling Disney and suing them for false advertisement." Buffy laughed, and then she sobered quickly as she caught a glance of Faith practicing her Jujitsu in the front yard. 'Or maybe not.'
A few days later, Giles knocked on the Summers' door. Dawn greeted him happily and then stared at his companion in surprise.
The shorter brunette was slightly taken aback.
"Uh, Hey Dawn. This is a weird situation." Chloe laughed nervously.
"I see you two have met. Dawn, Chloe is my niece from England." Giles smiled down at Chloe in affection.
"Ni…niece!" Dawn gasped, her knees buckling.
"Whoa there, Legs. Wouldn't want you to injure yourself now." Chloe caught Dawn before she hit the floor. It made for an awkward moment when Buffy and Faith entered to find Dawn being supported by the short brunette and Giles pushing a chair over towards them.
"What happened?" Buffy rushed over to her younger sister in panic.
Giles blushed slightly. "Well, um, Chloe and I sort of sprung a slight shock on her."
Buffy was as surprised as Dawn was to find out who Chloe was. She laughed a little as Chloe reminded her of Faith when she was that age. Xander agreed that she could definitely be considered Faith Jr. Well at least the old Faith. He glanced at the intertwined hands of the Slayers and smiled.
Chloe was well informed about Slayers and vampires so there was no strange or scary first introduction into the Scooby gang. She was rather impressed with the many demons Buffy and Faith had taken out and she would talk to the Slayers often. She engaged Dawn in trips to the mall and drinking mochas. They ignored Faith and Buffy's good-natured teasing about their interest in one another. Weeks went by as Chloe and Dawn's friendship grew deeper and their feelings for each other became stronger. Then one day, Chloe surprised Dawn.
They were standing in the front hallway after a movie and mochas when Chloe spoke up.
"Hey…uh…the Homecoming Dance is coming up and I was kinda wondering if you'd…wouldyoudomethehonorofgoingwithme?" Chloe said, all in one breath.
Dawn stared at her in shock.
"You want to…with me?" She questioned softly, her hand reaching for Chloe's.
"I'd love to be your Homecoming date, Ms. Alvaros." Dawn grinned from ear to ear.
She laughed as Chloe pumped one hand in the air and mouthed the word, "YES!"
Buffy and Faith shared a grin when Dawn rushed in and told them the news. Buffy didn't recall ever seeing her sister this happy about anything before.
"Oh, yeah, she's gone." She laughed as Dawn walked right into the doorjamb. The teenager just turned and continued to float up the stairs in a cloud of bliss.
The next two weeks consisted of Dawn and Buffy dress shopping trying to find one that would 'knock Chloe's socks off'. They finally found a slinky black velvet dress with a low-cut but not too daring neckline. The back was open but again not racy. The skirt of the dress clung to her hips and thighs before flowing outwards around her ankles.
"Oh, my God, Chloe will be a puddle on the floor when she sees this dress on you Dawnie!" Buffy squealed, excited for her sister.
The night in question came at last and the entire Scooby gang agreed that Dawn would have to fend Chloe off with a stick. The women were upstairs in Tara and Willow's bedroom helping put finishing touches on Dawn while Xander and Spike were waiting right outside the door for a glimpse. Giles was supposed to bring Chloe to the house a bit later on.
Willow told Xander and Spike that they could each come in but one at a time and Xander practically smeared Spike into the wall in his haste to be first. Willow smiled apologetically at the seething vampire. He waved his hand, letting her know he was okay and not mad, at least not at her.
A few minutes later, Xander walked out and he was holding a digital camera in one hand. Spike growled under his breath but flashed a smile at Willow as she leaned out the door.
Spike walked in the bedroom as Willow granted him entry and his jaw hit the floor. He stared appreciatively at his Nibblet. He felt for her what an older brother would. He was at once; in awe at the beauty she possessed but was also wondering if he should tag along to ensure the hormonal teenage boys didn't try to steal her from Chloe. He growled inwardly at the thought of one of those pimple faced little boys daring to touch Dawn. He would rip them limb from limb and enjoy every second of their pain. Dawn looked at him with excited blue eyes and he felt his anger ease somewhat. Reigning all of his inner chaos in, he took her hand and kiss it.
"Cor, Dawn, you look radiant, Luv. Chloe might need a little help fending off all your admirers once you get to the dance." He grinned wickedly at her, spinning her around.
Over her shoulder, Spike and Buffy shared a look. 'Oh yeah, he was going to the dance. No question about that.'
Chloe chanted a calming mantra as she stood shaking on the front porch. 'Ok, Chloe, get it together. She said, yes, so don't fuck this up.' The English girl inhaled and slowly exhaled and rang the doorbell.
Buffy answered the door and she froze for a brief moment as she stared at the beautiful woman who had asked her sister to the dance. Chloe wore a powder blue dress with a low-cut neckline and a sequined bodice. Buffy knew Dawn's brain would short-circuit when she saw her.
"H…hey Buffy, can I come in? Am I too early?" Chloe fussed with her neckline slightly.
Buffy shook her head and stepped to the side to allow Chloe in.
"Wow, you look…amazing Chloe." Buffy grinned.
"T…thanks. " The younger woman blushed lightly.
Xander walked in the front hallway, a camera in hand and whistled when he saw Chloe.
"Oh, Man, you two are gonna melt my camera when I get you in the same room." He teased.
Giles came in, after parking the car and eagerly looked around for Dawn.
"She's getting the final touches done upstairs." Buffy told him. "It's a girl thing."
Giles smiled at Xander. They shared a knowing look. They sat down and prepared themselves to wait.
Dawn finally appeared at the top of the stairs and Chloe squeezed the roses she held hard enough to embed a thorn in her finger. She didn't even notice the pain.
She felt Buffy nudge her and she snapped out of her trance.
"Oh, Dawn, you look so…breathtakingly gorgeous." She gasped.
Dawn blushed and ran appreciative eyes over her date. She felt her thighs shake a little when Chloe smiled at her.
She prayed to anyone listening that she didn't trip or make a fool of herself in front of Chloe.
Xander snapped several pictures before the ladies were able to make an escape.
Giles escorted them to his car and drove them to the dance.
The dance flew by as Dawn and Chloe danced up a storm and were received well by their peers as a "couple". Dawn realized that her feelings for Chloe were growing harder and harder to ignore. She clasped Chloe's hand and pulled her away from the loud music.
"Where are we going, Dawn? The music's back that way." Chloe asked. Spike made as if to follow them into the hall and Dawn shook her head. He nodded and stood guard at the door, not allowing anyone to disturb the couple.
Dawn pulled her date into the hallway and turned to her in bemusement. The shorter brunette grew a bit concerned but let Dawn say her piece.
"I need…I wanted…to ask you…if this was a one time thing. I mean…I thought I knew but I have to ask…are we friends who went to Homecoming together or are we on a date?" Dawn felt a moment's fear as her self-confidence plunged.
"Oh. Well, I know how I'd like to answer that…but what do you want it to be, Dawn?" Chloe gave Dawn an out and the younger brunette felt her heart swell with happiness and the knowledge Chloe was letting her make the choice.
"I want this to be a date. I want us to be dating." Dawn whispered, her voice betraying her deep feelings for Chloe. Chloe nodded, feeling immense relief.
Chloe gave her new girlfriend a wicked grin. "We can't date until we have a first kiss, now can we?" She asked and then slowly leaned up and gave Dawn a gentle kiss.
Dawn felt soft lips on hers and her hands found purchase on Chloe's shoulders. She twisted a silky strand of black hair between her fingers as the kiss deepened slightly.
Chloe eased away slowly, trying not to lose control and suggested that they go back to the dance before their chaperone found them necking in the hallway. Dawn giggled and took her girlfriend's hand as they happily re-joined the other students. The dance was still going strong and at 1am as the dancehall began to clear, they heard several people discussing how brave they were and how cool it was that the two women had found each other. Dawn was surprised that no one voiced any negative feelings but she was elated that she and Chloe didn't appear to have anything to worry about. She knew how hateful some people could be and she was glad that none of them spoke up.
One day as the new couple sat drinking mochas with Willow and Tara, a weird sensation washed over Chloe. It was painful and exhilarating at the same time.
"Chloe, Baby, what's wrong?" Dawn was freaking out when Chloe doubled over and clutched her stomach in agony.
"Sharp pain, like knives…" Chloe gasped, her pain making the English accent that much stronger. "Get my uncle." She grit through clenched teeth. Tara and Willow rushed off to find Giles and they were back within minutes.
"I was at the Magic Box…Chloe…? Oh, Good Lord, you're…"
Chloe's eyes flashed gold and then back to her normal brown. Dawn had seen that happen once before.
"Oh my God, she can't be! That means Buffy or…or Faith is…" Dawn spun to race off but Chloe grasped her wrist. She tried to be gentle but was not used to her newly acquired strength.
"Ow!" Dawn yelped.
"I'm sorry Luv, but they're fine…I can feel them…it's amazing!" After reassuring Dawn and the two witches, Giles and Chloe convinced them to call a special meeting at the Magic Box.
Giles called the Council and they discovered that while Faith was in a coma, she had died briefly before the medical team brought her back and the Slayer that came into being then had died in her native Scotland earlier in the afternoon. The Slayer had been attacked the previous night and had held on until the time that Chloe went through her transformation.
The rest of the Scoobies were stunned but then elated at the news of having a third Slayer. Dawn still wasn't sure how she felt but when Buffy suggested that she and Faith could help Chloe adjust to her new powers, she consented.
After weeks of training and patrolling with Buffy and Faith, Chloe felt confident in herself enough to go solo. That disturbed Dawn to no end. She insisted someone tag along and Spike volunteered. Chloe was not pleased with the arrangement but knew her lover wanted what was best for her.
"Come on, Spike, one more before we head for home." She begged.
"Bloody hell, woman…Fine! One more." He tipped the shot glass back and enjoyed the burn of the whiskey going down.
Dawn sat up, pacing a hole in the floor when Chloe and Spike didn't arrive at their usual time. Twenty minutes past and then thirty, Dawn was about to call the hospitals when Spike came in, carrying an unconscious Chloe.
"Oh my God! What happened?" She demanded fearfully.
Spike carefully eased the short brunette onto the couch.
"She dusted all the vamps that rose and the little chit tried to drink me under the table. Kept insisting we drink 'one more'."
Dawn was furious at her girlfriend and irritated with Spike but was more worried than anything.
"Oh, by the by Willy said there was a new Big Bad headed our way. He said some vampire warned him of a coming evil – some sort of demon but the little bastard couldn't tell me what." He shrugged.
"I'll tell Buffy and we can research any prophecies or whatever." Dawn placed a cool washcloth on Chloe's forehead and set the bottle of aspirin on her bedside table.
As soon as Chloe was settled, Spike went home and Dawn shuffled down the hallway and knocked on her sister's door. Half-asleep, Buffy opened the door, blinking at the light that sliced through into the room.
"Alrighty, so Ms-I'm-A-Big-Bad-Slayer is up in my room sleeping off the drunken binge she went on. Spike said Willy said something about an evil demon of some sort coming this way when he dropped Chloe off. Seems our local snitch had no further info on the demon." Dawn gave her sister an irritated look.
Buffy rubbed her eyes as she processed her sister's words.
"Ok, ummm, we'll tell Will and Tara in the morning and have us a research party or something tomorrow."
"Sounds good. Night Buffy."
"Night…wait, she's in your room?" Buffy croaked.
"Yeah, and we all know that drunken, drooling Slayers are so sexy. Believe me, nothing is gonna happen. And yes, I'm still a virgin." Dawn huffed and shuffled back to her room, depressed.
Buffy shook her head and headed back to bed, climbing in next to Faith. The brunette Slayer had warmth radiating off of her. Buffy snuggled closer and sighed.
The gang didn't actually get moving until almost noon. Chloe not only had to overcome a hangover but get back into her girlfriend's good graces too. She promised Dawn that she wouldn't drink unless Dawn was there to monitor her intake. That got her out of the doghouse but not onto the porch. Chloe figured she'd take what she could. Dawn slowly let go of her anger and by the time they were ready to head to the Magic Box, she was smiling again. They went from the Summers' residence straight to the Magic Box. They each grabbed some books and went about researching. It was nearly dusk when they found something useful. Willow wanted to cross-reference some data she had on her laptop with the information they found in the book. She groaned as she realized she had left it at her parents' house when she had been to visit them earlier in the week. Because of her PC at the Summers' house, it didn't cross her mind until now.
Since it would be a while before the research was done, it was decided since Willow had to pick up her laptop at her house, Dawn would go with her and they would grab some extra clothes at the Summers' house on the way back.
"You two be careful." Buffy warned, giving Spike a look as the two nodded and headed out.
"On it, Boss." He winked as he shouted for the ladies to wait up.
Willow and Dawn laughed at his exaggerated gallantry as he offered each of them an arm.
They were almost to Willow's when a figure stepped out from behind a tall tree.
"Nice night for a walk."
"Mr. Rayne…to what do we owe this…" Willow began, she was cut off.
Willow and Dawn each felt a painful jarring before everything went black.
"What the bloody hell?" Spike growled. He swung at the figure and connected with a hard right. His chip kicked in and brought him to his knees. The figure stumbled back and muttered softly under his breath.
"Convalesco." The man glowed green before he started hitting the vampire with superhuman strength. Spike fought tooth and nail to get the upper hand and when he was about to, the figure muttered again.
Spike, inhaled sharply as bruising pain and the sound of ripping flesh engulfed him. He yelled and cursed as he felt blood seep from his body. The figure motioned to another nearby and they each pick up one of the women and carried them away.
"So if the redhead raises the demon, we let them go?"
"If not, these two will fetch a pretty penny. They look virtually untouched. The demons I have in mind would have fun with them."
"NIBLET! RED! NO!" Spike screamed through the most intense pain he had ever endured.
Finally the agony ebbed to a dull roar and he got up and rushed after the figures. Cursing, he had no real idea where they had gone except that they were headed towards the warehouse district near the edge of town. He had to get Buffy.
"Oh, bloody brilliant, Spike. She's gonna stake you good and proper for losing those two. Sodding hell, bollocks!" He winced as his battered body shook with his curses.
The blonde vampire felt worse than he had ever felt before. His Nibblet depended on him and he had been unable to stop those bastards from taking her right out of his hands. And he knew if Buffy or Chloe didn't stake him, Tara would. Of course, Xander could always be the one to do the job. The whelp hated him with a passion because Buffy trusted him, a vampire. Spike mused that Chubbs always had a thing for the Slayer. Hey the kid had taste, Spike couldn't argue that. Look at Anya.
Shaking his head, Spike got back to the subject at hand…his inevitable dusting at the hands of one of the Scooby gang.
"Bloody great." He sighed. Mindless of the sight he made, Spike tore off running to the Magic Box.
The gang looked up in surprise as Spike came rushing into the Magic Box like the Hounds of Hell were after him. Buffy gasped as she took in the vampire's appearance. He was covered with bruises and blood.
"Good Lord!" Giles breathed when he too got a good look at Spike.
Chloe stared in shock at her girlfriend's protector and confidante. He looked like he went ten rounds with 'Sugar Ray' Leonard.
Ignoring the other three occupants of the room, Spike grabbed Buffy, Faith, Chloe and Tara and pulled them aside and spoke in a rapid, harsh whisper. Xander, Anya and Giles watched in nervous apprehension as the vampire waved his arms and gave the women a guilty look, his eyes pained.
"WHAT?" They demanded, enraged. Tara, Faith and Buffy held a pissed off Chloe back as she made to run out the door.
Spike lifted a trembling hand in Buffy's direction but she brushed it aside and pulled the relieved vampire into a hug.
"Cor, I'm so sorry…I'm sorry." He muttered over and over.
"Ok, what in the Hellmouth is going on here?" Xander demanded, a healthy dose of fear in his voice, noticing the absence of Willow and Dawn.
"Ethan Rayne has Dawn and Willow." Buffy snapped. "He plans to sell them to the highest bidder if Willow doesn't help him raise a demon. Seems like Dawnie's just along for the ride."
"Rayne?" Giles growled, at once worried for Dawn and Willow. The man had no regard for Giles' 'kids'.
"How could you let this happen, Spike?" Xander shoved the vampire hard. Spike allowed the attack, his shame overwhelming him.
"Xander, stop it! Ethan blasted him with some mojo and he wasn't able to get to them in time. And take a look at him; does he look like he let anything happen? He looks like he put up a helluva fight." Faith growled at the despondent man.
"He looks like he got attacked by a Greyhound bus." Chloe agreed solemnly.
Giles took off his glasses and set them down on the nearest table. He rolled up his sleeves and turned to Spike.
"Where was he headed? Can you at least tell us that much?" Spike's eyes widened as he realized he was looking at Ripper, not the quiet librarian.
"He took off towards the warehouse district over by Willy's bar. He could be anywhere though, Mate. There are at least two dozen warehouses within the five block radius." The blonde vampire looked at the floor, unable to look at Tara or Chloe.
The Slayers nodded and Tara went to Spike, her eyes soft and forgiving. The blonde lifted his chin to speak frankly with him.
"It's not your fault. Magic is impossible to fight hand to hand. Even without your chip, he'd have found a way to get to them. You know that as much as I do." She squeezed his hand.
"Now c'mon, let's get them and bring them home." Buffy demanded.
Encouraged and more than a little touched at the forgiveness his friends showed him, Spike followed the gang to find their loved ones.
They split into two groups and searched frantically for any sign of Ethan Rayne or his hostages. Xander spotted the despicable man speaking urgently to another figure at the end of one of the alleyways. The other figure, which was mostly hidden in the shadows, nodded and quickly disappeared around a corner.
"There." Xander whispered, pointing. Tara and Spike nodded and angrily made their way towards the Englishman. Xander stayed behind to inform the others.
Ethan wasn't aware of their presence until Spike wrapped a hand around his throat and slammed him into the nearest wall. Spike growled, barely maintaining his human visage as waves of agony washed over him as he hurt the human. The vampire's demon rattled it's cage despite the pain overwhelming him. The demon wanted this man to pay for daring to endanger Spike's Nibblet.
Ethan mumbled a phrase under his breath and Spike flew backwards. Landing painfully, the vampire growled and vamped out.
"What the devil?" Ethan gasped, having originally assumed Spike was mortal.
Spike leapt to his feet with vampiric speed and grinned evilly. "Exactly." He smirked.
He lunged forward, hearing Buffy's warning just a little too late.
"Spike! NO!" Buffy rushed towards the scene, her heart in her throat.
Spike gave a gurgling shout of agony as the stake rammed home. He gave Ethan a horrified look of disbelief. He barely had time to turn to Tara and Buffy and once again he mouthed the word 'sorry'.
POOF! He disappeared in a cloud of dust.
"NO!" Tara screamed.
"Oh, God!" Chloe choked with tears filling her eyes, knowing the news of Spike's dusting would devastate Dawn.
Even Giles was stunned with the loss of the blonde vampire. He had threatened often enough himself to stake Spike but never did he think it would be so easy for it to come to be.
"Well guess you might want to bag him up…wouldn't want him 'blowing in the wind', would we?" Ethan giggled at his own lame joke.
Giles' jaw clenched in fury as he thought of the agony his 'kids' were in over the loss of Spike. He started to step closer.
In enraged grief over losing her friend, Tara slapped the smug grin off Ethan's face. He merely flinched but then made to backhand Tara when suddenly there was a loud WHOOSH of air and the alleyway echoed with Giles' exclamation.
Ethan gaped at the sight before him. There stood Spike in all his glory, not a scratch on him. Spike gave a deep chuckle as he touched his hand to his chest in reassurance. He stared at his hand, turning it this way and that.
"Pet, I think I am really beginning to like this Goddess of yours." He half-joked to Tara.
Giles, himself, laughed and whispered so low even the Slayers and Spike had trouble hearing him. "Powers of Amarra." He laughed harder at the shocked looks that were turned his way.
"SPIKE!" Buffy, Faith and Chloe rushed the ecstatic vampire and nearly knocked him off his feet in utter relief.
"I'm immortal!" Spike exclaimed happily with a goofy grin. Off the confused looks of everyone but Giles, he continued, sobering slightly. "Well, yeah, I mean, we all knew that…but I mean totally…not able to be killed as a vampire should be. Not able to be killed. Period."
Ethan raised his hand and opened his mouth to hit Spike with a powerful blast of magic when he was stopped cold.
"Constrictum!" Tara growled her blue eyes glowing turquoise, her hand waved towards Ethan in a threatening arc. The Englishman gasped as he felt his powers being bound.
Buffy, Xander, Faith, Chloe and Giles…er Ripper all moved forward as one towards Ethan, their rage barely contained. Rayne gulped and gave them a nervous glance. Anya eyed the man evilly.
Spike smirked and informed him "You might wanna tell them where the birds are before they get angry."
Ethan shot him a horrified look. If this was them before they got angry, he was in major trouble.
Tara's blue eyes flashed with rage and power.
"I'll ask you once and only once, where's my girlfriend? If she's hurt…if either of them are hurt…" Tara let her threat hang in the air.
"They're in a warehouse off Wilson Street…number 5. They're not hurt! I swear it!" He trembled as Tara moved closer.
She smiled a cold knowing smile at the scared man.
"You and Giles have some catching up to do. We'll leave you to chat."
Ethan started sweating profusely at Tara's words. "No! Please! I beg you…"
Tara gestured with her hand, muttering in Latin under her breath and Ethan was unable to speak. His eyes got bigger and bigger as the Scooby gang went off to find the warehouse on Wilson Street and he was left with a very brassed off Ripper. Tara smiled and whispered something else under her breath, her hand waving once again in the direction of Ethan and Ripper/Giles. Xander winced as Ethan's pain-filled screams reached his ears.
The gang reached warehouse 5 and quickly found a way inside.
"Red! Dawnie!" Faith and Buffy called, trying to pinpoint the two women.
Tara held her hand up as a tiny light blinked in the distance. "It's Willow." She smiled and followed the little light.
Chloe shared a look with Faith but the two Slayers shrugged when no one else said anything.
Meanwhile, Willow was praying that Tara and the gang were near enough to see the light and she hoped her lover would figure it out. The redhead glanced at the unconscious teenager and begged her to wake up.
"Dawnie, c'mon wake up. I'll get Tara to make us funny shaped pancakes if you'll just open your eyes."
Suddenly she heard the sound of running feet and Tara calling her name. Then she heard Xander calling Dawn's name in panic.
"Over here, we're over here!" She responded, thanking every deity she had prayed to for help.
"Oh God, is she…?" Xander choked off his question as Willow shook her head.
"She hit her head but she's breathing normally."
Spike came running in. "Nibblet?" He asked when seeing Willow was alright.
Buffy reached them and knelt, quickly hugging her best friend in relief and then turning to aid her sister.
"Dawnie? Honey, open your eyes. C'mon…I'm right here and I have everyone with me…Chloe's here…she wants you to wake up." Chloe knelt by Buffy and grasped her girlfriend's hand.
"Baby, you're safe now, sit up and open those pretty eyes…c'mon." At Chloe's urging, Dawn moaned softly, her head throbbing painfully.
"Yeah, that's it, Sweetheart…hey." Chloe smiled softly at her girlfriend with tears shining in her eyes. Dawn smiled then winced as her head thrummed painfully. Dawn squeezed her girlfriend's hand and turning slowly, saw who hovered anxiously nearby.
"Spike…oh God, you're okay!" Dawn felt a tear slide into her hair. The blonde vampire hugged her close in relief.
"I hate to cut the reunion short but we've got company." Xander shushed the happy group.
The figure Xander had seen in the alley earlier walked towards them. Closer and closer he came until they could see his face.
"Holy Crap!" Dawn and Buffy gasped. The rest of the gang, with the exception of a very confused Chloe and intrigued Spike, stared in horrified recognition of the man in front of them.
"Daddy?" Buffy croaked.
Hank Summers gave the group a wry smile, looking for the world like he wanted to be anywhere else at the moment. He opened his mouth to speak but never got the chance.
"You! You're doing this? I can't believe you have the balls to show up here like this! We haven't heard from you in over a year and this is when you decide to show your face? You make me sick!" Buffy growled at the man she used to call father. Dawn stood at her side with arms crossed, a conflicted look on her face. Chloe reached over and rubbed her girlfriend's arm. Dawn acknowledged her comforting presence by shifting her body closer, lightly brushing her elbow against Chloe's side.
Hank Summers held his hands up in a placating manner. Taking a deep calming breath he addressed his angry daughters.
"Whoa! I know this is a bit of a shock for you but hear me out. I'm not the bad guy here. Honestly!" He flinched when Buffy stormed over. "Listen! I know I've been gone. It's a lot to explain. It's not what you think. I…"
Buffy lost control of her anger and threw a hard right to his chin, knocking him unconscious.
"Buffy!" Tara admonished the raging Slayer softly.
"Uncle Hank!" A voice cried out a second later and another figure, this time female, rushed over and leaned over the limp body.
The figure, a rather attractive redhead around Buffy's age, spun to face her uncle's attacker.
"He didn't get the chance to explain! I understand your anger, I really do. But you should have listened to him." The young woman sighed in relief when Hank moaned softly.
"Who are you? I don't remember any cousins my age." Buffy gave the girl a suspicious look.
"I'm your half-cousin actually. Paige…Paige Matthews. Your father is what we like to call a…" She didn't get the chance to complete her sentence as Hank's body disappeared in a shimmery light.
"Where'd…he go?" Dawn gasped.
"Whitelighter." Tara whispered. "He's a Whitelighter."
"A what?" The group, with the exception of Spike and Anya, chorused.
"A Whitelighter. Whitelighters are people who were previously somehow connected to the magical world or who were good before they died. They are given the choice to become Whitelighters instead of moving on to the afterlife. They have the ability to orb." At the blank looks she received, Anya rolled her eyes and continued to explain. "You know, a kind of magical teleportation. Like he just did." She gestured toward where Hank had been a few moments before.
Paige grinned and nodded. "He's with the Elders right now, he'll be fine."
"The Elders are like the Watcher Council but helpful."
The sarcastic remark came from Giles as he wandered up to the group. He had blood splatters on his ripped dress shirt and his jacket was askew.
"Mr. Rayne won't be bothering you again. He's seen the error of his ways." Giles smirked rakishly at the Scooby gang. He was given some rather relieved looks by Tara, Dawn and Willow. He smiled down at Buffy and then turned his attention to the newcomer.
"Back to the whole half-cousin thing, how are you related to us?" Dawn asked Paige curiously.
"My mother was your father's half-sister, Elizabeth Summers."
Buffy and Dawn shared a surprised look at the name.
Hank orbed back in and rubbed his jaw gingerly.
"Nice right hook ya got there, Buffy. Won't say I don't deserve that and more, but please, I beg you, hear me out. I'm not here to make excuses but rather to give an explanation of my whereabouts."
Buffy glared and tapped her foot, but grudgingly nodded in his direction.
"Um, Paige may have explained some but I really should elaborate on it. I'm a Whitelighter as she said, but there's so much more to it than that. I watch over Paige and her two half-sisters, Piper and Phoebe. They live up north in San Francisco." Hank looked around, worriedly.
"We should go someplace secure. This warehouse isn't a very safe place to be."
The gang glanced around but saw nothing, still they knew the Hellmouth and it was better to be safe than sorry. Spike hovered behind Dawn and Chloe and Tara wrapped her arms around Willow protectively.
"I'm sure these two are more than ready to be somewhere else." Faith gestured towards Willow and Dawn as she rubbed Buffy's back gently. The blonde Slayer nodded and suggested that Giles' place was closest.
Giles agreed and the group made its way towards his place.
Once settled in Giles' living room, the gang turned expectantly to Hank. He swallowed hard but continued his story. The Scooby gang listened in awe to the tale.
"…And Chris is now the Halliwells' Whitelighter." Hank finished, looking around to see if they believed him.
"Wait, he's Piper's youngest son? And her other son, Wyatt, is a Darklighter?" Tara asked her expression unreadable.
"Pretty much." Paige answered softly, her eyes troubled.
"So why now? Why are you here?" Dawn asked her father, not ready to forgive him just yet.
Xander added, "And why were you helping Ethan Rayne?"
"I wasn't. Whoever you saw it wasn't me." Hank shared a worried look with Paige, who had a surge of fear shoot up and down her spine.
Buffy looked for a sign that her father was lying and was startled to see only fear and concern on his face. And neither was for himself. They had to find that mystery person and soon!
"There is one among you who has gained the powers of a Whitelighter. She is blessed. I'm to watch her and answer any and all of her questions." He smiled warmly at Tara, who blinked at him in disbelief.
"M…me? Wait, you aren't serious? I've noticed a more pronounced feeling of power but I thought that was from being back…no, you must be mistaken." She stammered, her eyes swung towards Willow to gauge her reaction.
Willow looked as stunned as Tara felt. Tara noticed mixed reactions from the Scoobies. Dawn and Chloe looked confused, Buffy and Faith looked wary and Xander and Anya nodded as if they saw her "power". Spike looked pensive. He kept glancing at Paige out of the corner of his eye.
"No mistake, Tara. The Elders have been watching you for a while and they knew you'd come by your powers in time."
"I'll prove it to you." Paige smiled at the blonde witch. "Call for something that is across the room. Just say newspaper or whatever you wish. It'll reappear in your hands."
Tara glanced briefly at Willow and shrugged. She reached out her left hand and said, "Coffee mug." She was startled when a second later she was holding said mug in her left hand. She gestured to Willow and the redhead tried to get the newspaper across the room to come to her. It didn't work. She turned to Tara in amazement and apprehension. Tara just rubbed her arm reassuringly, though the blonde felt a slight surge of fear herself at what this could mean.
"Cool." Was the chorus from the Scooby gang, even Buffy was impressed and turned a relatively warmer eye on her father.
"So, you've really been helping those girls? I mean, this whole time? What about Mom and Dawnie and me? We're your family. These Elders have to know we needed you too right? Especially when Mom…when she…" Buffy broke off, her eyes teary.
"I've always been watching out for you. I'm just not allowed to interfere. I wanted to be here, Buffy, I did. But I have a sacred duty, too. It's just as important as my duty to you and Dawn. I wi…would like to be able to change it so I could be here for you too, but life isn't that simple." Hank threw a quick glance at Anya and didn't say "wish". She smiled knowingly at him. She tugged at Xander's coat gently and with soft goodbyes, the Harris's made their way home. Spike gave Paige one last look and followed them out.
Faith gently wiped away Buffy's tears and murmured softly to her fiancée. Buffy smiled and nodded.
"I understand, somewhat, I do, but I need to just absorb this…all…so Faith and I are going to head on home to see if a good night's rest will allow it all to sink in." Buffy smiled a sad smile at her father, who nodded, his heart lighter than it had been when he first saw his daughter.
Dawn and Chloe agreed that it was late and they needed time to think. Tara and Willow, who had the most to think on decided that they would stay awhile longer and talk to Hank and Paige about Tara's new powers and what her duty to the gang would be.
Watching from outside, a pair of eyes gleamed with triumph and malice.
"Found you at last, Old man." With an evil laugh, the figure trickled into the shadows.
Buffy and Faith had gone to patrol, Xander and Anya headed home and Tara and Willow remained at Giles' talking to Paige and Hank.
Dawn entered her bedroom with a sigh of relief, Chloe following at her heels. Chloe gently shut the door and bumped into Dawn who stood in the walkway, lost in thought. Dawn tried to step forward to give Chloe some room but the shorter brunette quickly wrapped one strong arm around her girlfriend. Laying her hand against Dawn's abdomen, the smaller woman pressed her body as close as she could. Dawn gasped as full breasts nestled against her shoulder blades. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up as Chloe's hand began a circular motion that sent hot tingles through her body. The English woman hummed in the back of her throat as her Slayer senses picked up her girlfriend's arousal. Dawn turned around to face her girlfriend and found her eyes heavy lidded and dilated with arousal. Dawn licked her lips unconsciously and looked nervously towards the door.
Remembering that they had the house to themselves, Dawn leaned down and kissed Chloe. The shorter brunette groaned into the kiss and pressed closer. Her hand slipped under Dawn's top and was burned by the smooth skin of her back, her short nails lightly raking. Dawn whimpered and arched closer. The shorter woman leaned back and sliding her hands around, reached up, palming her girlfriend's breasts as she snaked her tongue into her mouth. The taller brunette gasped and arched her back, moaning. Suddenly, Dawn felt one of Chloe's hands drifting lower. She froze when she felt strong, dexterous fingers inching along the inseam of her jeans but she stopped the hand's retreat when Chloe would have removed it. Dawn broke away briefly, shaking her head at her lover, rubbing her center against the captive fingers in a deliberate move. She claimed her girlfriend's lips in a rough kiss, once allowed inside she proceeded sucking on Chloe's tongue ring. The English woman moaned and deepened the kiss, cupping Dawn's ass with her free hand and pulling her closer. When they finally broke for air, they were both completely and utterly aroused. The heat of the moment almost too much, Dawn shakily stepped away and touched her lips in awe.
"Going somewhere, Sexy?" Chloe stepped closer, her eyes raking over her soon to be lover. "I think we just crossed a line, Ms. Summers." Chloe grinned sexily at her, cinnamon colored eyes heavy lidded with arousal. A line? Her conscience scoffed. More like twelve!
"I…uh…" Dawn stammered, aroused but shy now that the impact of what was happening hit her.
Her love for Chloe anchored her and her confidence started to build up again. Concern warred with lust in the petite Slayer's eyes as she took in the flushed but nervous face of her girlfriend.
"Dawn, are you certain…?" She broke off at Dawn's now confident grin.
"With you? Always." The taller brunette vowed, love written like poetry across her features.
Chloe pressed her forehead to her soon to be lover's throat and gently kissed her there.
"Lead on, Luv." She whispered, letting Dawn take it at her own pace.
Dawn nodded, trembling with anticipation and lust. She clasped Chloe's hand and they wobbly made their way towards the bed. They quickly undressed and once on the bed, eagerly began to touch each other. Dawn was quivering and shaking at her first touch of naked skin on naked skin. Chloe trailed her hand down and reaching a patch of baby soft skin ran her knuckles over the younger woman's abs. The sensation made Dawn cry out softly and rock her hips forward. Chloe gave a soft chuckle as she thought to herself. 'Oh, Dawn, buckle up, Sweetheart. I'm gonna take you for a wild ride.'
The Slayer in her roared its approval as Dawn writhed and whimpered softly as Chloe explored her untouched body. Her eyes flickered from gold to brown and back again. The growling voice in her head urged her to take her mate and Chloe leaned down and focused on her lover's breasts.
"OH, CHLOE…OH MY GOD!" Dawn yelped as she felt warm metal in contrast with a soft tongue flick across her aching nipple. 'Mmm, tongue ring.' Was all Dawn's mushy brain could come up with. Her body sank into the soft mattress as Chloe moved over her.
"Shh, Luv, we're just getting started. " Chloe crooned softly, knowing Dawn was a virgin.
Chloe swirled her tongue ring against Dawn's nipple once more before taking it into her mouth.
Dawn gasped and her body shook as wave upon wave of pleasure rocked through her. Chloe had small hands with elegant tapered fingers. After trailing them down Dawn's stomach to her wet curls, she brushed two against the underside of her lover's clit. She felt Dawn jump at the new feeling and then set a rhythm the younger woman could follow. The smaller brunette gently eased a finger inside her girlfriend and moaned at the wetness she encountered. She watched her lover's face as she added one more finger. Dawn gasped and moaned at the intense pull whenever Chloe moved her fingers. Chloe felt a short ripple and heard Dawn whimper as more wetness flooded her hand. The older woman winced slightly in sympathy as she pushed forward with more force, tearing through Dawn's maidenhead as gently as she could and giving the other woman time to adjust to feel pleasure and not pain. She waited, then she thrust into her lover again roughly and the taller brunette's hips slammed forward as Dawn sobbed Chloe's name. Chloe thrust hard again, her eyes watching her lover's reaction. Biting her lower lip, Dawn pushed back just as roughly, eager for the pleasurable sensation to continue.
"Oh, yeah, that's right Honey, ride my fingers. So sexy, Dawn." Chloe purred. The older woman leaned down and engulfed an erect nipple in her mouth, biting lightly. She moved down and teased her lover's navel before reaching her goal. Moving lower, Chloe licked her way to the dripping wetness of her lover's thighs. The Slayer moaned as the scent of Dawn's arousal made her mouth water. Gently she settled her girlfriend's thighs on her shoulders and dove in for her first taste.
"AHHH! CHLOE! UNGH, YES!" Dawn thrashed in exquisite pleasure, biting the palm of her hand as the sensations got too intense. Chloe whispered words of love and encouragement as she felt her lover's muscles start to tremble and squeeze around her fingers and tongue. Dawn's breath caught as her movements became more frantic. Her nails bit into Chloe's shoulders as her hips bucked upwards. The Slayer's eyes stayed gold this time and she ran her tongue ring against her lover's clit roughly as Dawn's body trembled with its thunderous climax.
"CHLOE! BABY! OH!" Dawn whimpered as she rode out her powerful orgasm.
Chloe watched as Dawn slowly came back to herself. The younger woman's face was flushed, her breathing shallow and her hair was tousled in a very sexy just-been-thoroughly-fucked look. It turned Chloe on to no end. "You are so damn beautiful." Chloe muttered, pulling Dawn to her and kissing her passionately.
"I love you." Dawn whispered as she pulled back from the kiss, her eyes filling with tears.
"I love you, too, Baby." Chloe nipped at her lips and held her close. She brushed the tears that escaped from Dawn's eyelids away and murmured softly into her lover's hair.
Back at Giles' house, Willow and Tara were still discussing the blonde's new powers with Hank and Paige.
"So orbing is based on focusing and channeling magic to a specific location. And White lighters are sworn to protect 'innocents' at any cost. Not much of a change in job description." Willow side barred the last part to Tara. The blonde witch/White lighter nodded and sighed, her brain in overdrive. Suddenly Paige and Hank whirled towards the window and Tara stiffened in her chair.
Willow's anxiety shot through the roof, being the only one not clued in to what was happening.
"What? Why are you all…?" She didn't get the chance to finish as Hank muttered an oath and orbbed out. Paige and Tara exchanged glances, causing Willow to hit panic mode.
"Dammit! What the hell is going on?" Her voice was high pitched in alarm.
"It's Wyatt. He's followed us here. Uncle Hank is going to get the others. Uh, Piper and Phoebe I mean." Paige feebly explained. "Someone should warn Mr. Giles."
Tara squeezed Willow's hand and then dashed upstairs. She hurriedly explained the situation to Giles who put together a protection spell to keep any evil from entering the house. He assured Tara that he would take all precautions and that the spell would do its job. The blonde rushed downstairs to be with her worried lover.
Paige glanced at Tara as she came into view and she told her, "Take her home. I want you two safe until you are secure with your powers, Wyatt will want to manipulate you anyway he can. Go! Now!" Paige orbbed out, her usually cheerful disposition stormy.
Tara grabbed Willow's hand and started for the front door but stopped. She looked at her lover and tried to smile a reassuring smile. She tried their telepathic connection. 'Willow, do you trust me, Love?'
'Of course, I trust you, Tare, but why…?' The redhead looked confused and a bit scared.
'I'm going to orb us to the house. I think Wyatt is somewhere outside here. I think we need Buffy and the others for this. I need your help with focusing on the living room. Remember we need to be strong.'
'Strong like an Amazon. That's me'. Willow inhaled and tightened her hold on Tara's hand.
'Yes, Love. Strong like an Amazon'. Tara grinned and threw all her love into the connection, giving and gaining strength through the powerful link. The witches shimmered and orbbed out of sight.
Meanwhile, the two dusty and bruised older Slayers entered the Casa Summers.
"Nice of you to take the little one, B." Faith teased her lover.
"Hey! He broke my nail. It was personal." Buffy pinched her girlfriend on the ass and ran up the stairs. "I get first shower!"
"Summers, you suck." Faith pouted started to follow Buffy upstairs but heard the shower already running. She debated for a few minutes but finally decided to head towards the kitchen for a drink.
The brunette hummed softly to herself as she rummaged through the refrigerator and made a happy sound in her throat when she discovered a brand new unopened carton of milk. Taking it out, she closed the refrigerator door and opened the carton.
Faith took a few long gulps of the newly opened carton and heard a soft giggle from behind her. Already having sensed her girlfriend close by, she was about to tease Buffy about her not so stealthy entrance. She turned and in shocked surprise squeezed the carton in her fist, and she just barely missed dousing herself in the cold white liquid.
Buffy was wearing a thigh length raincoat and nothing else. The petite blonde was smiling a sexy smile and inching closer by the second.
"Buffy!" Faith's eyes bugged out and she dropped the carton as she took in her lover's attire. The petite blonde stood there with one hand on the kitchen counter and with the other, fiddled with the ties holding the coat closed as she raised her right ankle and rubbed it against her left calf.
"What are you…?" Faith stammered, her body humming with Slayer lust.
"Come on! It's a party! Aren't you gonna open your present?" Buffy slowly untied the sash and eased the coat off her shoulders when all Faith could do was open and close her mouth.
"Buffy! What about Chloe and Dawnie? They're upstairs!"
"Oh, They're not invited." Buffy purred as she reached her destination and rubbed her breasts against the solid frame of her girlfriend.
"Oh, God." Faith shuddered and crushed Buffy to her in desperation, their lips melding in a fiery kiss, not noticing as the milk carton lay mangled on the tile floor. Soon the sounds of intense lovemaking filled the kitchen.
If anyone had been in the Summers' living room, they may have died of fright as Willow and Tara orbbed into the room in a shower of sparkly lights.
The two witches headed towards the stairs when they noticed the light on in the kitchen.
"Hey, Buffy, we…OH MY GOD!" Willow backed out of the doorway, embarrassed.
"S…sorry…we'll be out in the l…living room." Tara was beet red and had her hand clapped over her eyes.
A blushing Buffy and a smirking Faith soon joined the mortified witches in the living room. Willow had gone upstairs to get Dawn and Chloe and had again made an ill-timed entrance as Chloe's less than satisfied scowl attested.
"…and so he went to go get Paige's sisters and we think they need our help." Willow gestured uncertainly towards Tara to see if she missed anything. The blonde shook her head, then looked at the Slayers.
"Well first thing tomorrow, we'll gather at the Magic Shop and see what these Halliwell sisters say. I mean, Piper is Wyatt's mother, she should know him or what he's capable of." Dawn nodded at Faith's suggestion and the rest agreed.
Drained from the day's activities, the women went upstairs to sleep. Tomorrow would be coming all too soon.
The next day, Willow met with Giles and he said he'd swing by the Magic Shop as soon as he contacted someone from the Coven he knew in England. Xander and Anya were already at the shop getting filled in on the situation by Buffy and Faith. Chloe and Dawn were researching as best they could with what information they had.
Meanwhile, Willow went off to find Spike. He agreed to help but asked if they could stop by the butcher's before heading to the Magic Shop.
"I'd like 12 pork chops, 2 pounds of sausage, 8 quarts of pigs blood, 3 steaks, um, halibut, and, uh, some toothpaste – " The blond boy rambled nervously, re-checking his list.
"This is a butcher's shop, Neo. We don't sell toothpaste." The butcher looked at his co-worker behind the counter and snickered.
"Um, OK – just the other stuff then." Andrew mumbled, his face hot with embarrassment.
Stepping away from the counter, he ambled around the shop. Meeting an older woman's gaze he nodded and whispered a polite hello to her before getting distracted by steak sauce of all things.
"Order for Andrew!" At the butcher's shout, the young man nearly threw the bottle of steak sauce into the air in surprise.
He quickly paid and got out of there. It was his misfortune to run smack dab into Willow and Spike. The pair stared in wide-eyed shock at the startled blond.
He dropped the bag he was carrying, spun and took off running down the alleyway. But not before Spike recognized the young man who he had seen several times in Warren's company.
"Oi! Come back here you little ponce!" Spike snarled after the initial shock wore off. Willow shook her head when he would have given chase and took off after the scared blond kid herself.
"Wait a minute!" She yelled after the remaining, wheezing Trio member. Her voice was hard but had a slight pleading quality to it.
Andrew slowed to a stop, more due to the fact he was nearly out of breath then because he wanted to. He reluctantly turned to face the redheaded witch.
"Don't kill me!" He begged her, his back flush against the brick wall of the alley.
"I'm not gonna kill you." Willow promised, her voice less harsh than before. She turned towards Spike, who had picked up the bag of goodies and decided to have a little fun despite how cruel it may be.
"He might though. Your buddy Warren shot Spike not too long ago. He's still a little ticked off about it." Spike grinned, his fangs showing just enough to remind Andrew of what he was. Andrew spun to stare at the daywalker in horror. "But how can you…you're a…"
"Call it a gift…a token of gratitude if you will…for being on the side of good in this fight we're in." Spike stepped ever closer. The blond kid swallowed hard and tried to embed himself into the brick in an effort to get away from the vampire. Unable to do so, he trembled in absolute terror and just barely kept himself from wetting his pants.
"Alright, Jr. calm down, no need to get your knickers in a twist. You're not dying today. You are however, coming with us." Grabbing Andrew's arm and holding him firm, Spike rolled his eyes at his own generosity towards the young man who was involved in causing the Scoobies so much pain in the past. 'I'm starting to become such a bloody poof just like Soul-Boy.'
Willow and the two blonds made their way to the Magic Shop and Spike snagging a couple of Andrew's blood packets and shoving them into his duster's hidden pockets. He caught Red's eye and she chuckled softly. Spike grinned and shrugged. Andrew felt a trickle of dread run down his spine at the witch's laugh. He was now wondering if death wouldn't have been so bad an option after all.
They entered through the front door and saw everyone scattered at tables throughout the shop, researching and discussing possible ways of getting rid of Wyatt. All eyes swung towards them when Spike cleared his throat.
"Look who we found." Willow shoved Andrew forward. Muffled exclamations and gasps were heard throughout the room.
Chloe was the only one not sure of who the scared blond boy was. She looked at Dawn for assistance. When her girlfriend finished whispering his identity, Chloe shot him a chilling glance. Then she turned and raised a skeptical eyebrow at Dawn. "Him? He was involved with almost killing Tara?"
At the question, Andrew's eyes shot wide open. 'Killing Tara?' He shook his head hard enough to nearly give himself a concussion. He felt Willow's eyes burn through him. He clamped his eyes closed, waiting for the killing blow. After a minute or two he got the nerve to ease one of them open enough to see if he was dead.
All he saw now was Xander heading right for him. Spike held him so he couldn't run from the irritated carpenter.
"What are you doing still in town?" Xander demanded, having heard the young man had escaped jail and was in Mexico.
"You'll get nothing out of me, carpenter." Andrew tried to state bravely. He flinched, however, when Xander smacked a piece of wood against his hand threateningly.
"We'll see about that." The Scooby muttered, he nodded to Anya to help him. They decided that Buffy's training room was the best room for any kind of interrogation and after getting her approval in the matter they set about their business. Xander pushed Andrew into a chair and tied his wrists to it. Anya went through Andrew's trench coat pockets, looking for anything useful.
"Careful with my coat. It's expensive." Andrew pled with her, in a whiny voice.
"Is it new?" She asked, not really caring one way or the other. She threw it on the ground and jumped up and down on it. Andrew's eyes went wide with outrage.
"Hey!" He was about to say more when Xander tightened his restraint painfully. "Ow!"
"Now, we can do this the hard way, if you want. But believe me if I tell you, this will go much easier if you just tell us what you know." Xander told him, looking right in his eyes, before adjusting the other arm restraint just as painfully.
Wincing slightly Andrew answered him, "Ow. You're barking up the wrong asparagus, man. I don't know anything."
Xander raised an eyebrow and said he didn't believe a word the kid was saying. He and Anya proceeded to engage Andrew in a mini Spanish Inquisition. They wanted to know all about how he and Jonathan got away. The questioning came to a halt when Anya lost her temper and slapped Andrew. Xander decided they needed to get back in control and asked to speak to her in private. As they excitedly spoke about their methods of handling Andrew, Buffy found them.
"How's your guy?" She asked, gesturing towards the training room. Faith joined her.
"Yeah, how is what's his name?"
Anya grinned and informed her proudly. "The weasel wants to sing. He just needs a tune."
After giving Anya a strange look, Buffy nodded and let them know that Tara was not sure about the whole "torture Andrew" route. Faith motioned to Buffy to let her know she was going back to the front room of the shop to let the others know they'd be back soon. Nodding at her girlfriend, she turned back to Xander and Anya.
"You know Tara, she's so forgiving of everyone and she's not any different in his case."
Buffy walked into her training room and found Andrew holding his jaw and muttering about crazy blondes with mean right hooks. The blonde Slayer untied him from the chair and dragged him along with her. Xander and Anya followed, their fun ruined.
Shaking her head at her sweet friend's easy forgiveness, Buffy tossed Andrew, whose wrists were taped in front of him, on the chair that Chloe had recently vacated.
Once, he got in a semi-comfortable state, Andrew awkwardly pointed at Anya and told the room.
"That chick's psycho!" He flinched when the ex-demon stepped toward him, an evil grin on her face.
"Hush cuz no one wants to hear your whining. Don't bleed on the notes. I just color-coded them." Willow grumbled, getting a chiding look from Tara. Buffy sat down next to Faith.
Tara looked at the damaged face of the young man and winced. He was a human after all and didn't really seem capable of true evil. He seemed like a scared kid who was as lost as any of them. She turned sad blue eyes on Willow who caved…a little.
"Ok, someone at least untie his hands. There's nearly ten of us and one of him, if he tries anything we'll deal with him then." She felt Tara squeeze her hand gratefully. She smiled at her girlfriend and rubbed her back gently with her free hand.
Andrew yelped as Xander gleefully ripped the tape from his wrists, ripping out some hair in the process. "Ow! Watch it! That's my joystick hand." Andrew glared at Xander.
"I'm not gonna touch that one." Xander scoffed, rolling his eyes.
"Xander!" Tara admonished, disappointed in her friend's actions. He had the decency to look apologetic and gave Willow a slight shrug. Out of Tara's line of vision, the redhead smirked at her best friend.
Buffy sighed and crossed her arms, staring at their hostage in irritation.
"Ok, listen up, Andrew. I don't exactly know what to do with you, except that we don't have time to baby-sit a hostage. So, I'm here to tell you, if you try anything, try to run - Did you ever see the movie Misery?" She arched an eyebrow when making the reference, hoping he'd get the message.
"Six times. But the book was scarier than the movie 'cause instead of crushing his foot with a sledge hammer, Kathy Bates chops it off with…" Andrew choked off as Buffy gave him a harsh look. "I'll be good." He said meekly, swallowing hard. Turning her back on Andrew, Buffy addressed the Scooby gang.
"Ok, Giles mentioned a prophecy about an evil so old; it may even be considered the first of all evil. At least the first ever recorded by man…He thinks this is where Wyatt got his power from."
"The First Evil. Warren said that…" Andrew clamped his mouth shut when nine pairs of eyes swung to look at him.
"Go on, Andrew. Warren said what? We need to know exactly what we're dealing with." Tara prodded, her eyes gentle.
"Well, he…he said he knew of this evil that was coming that would blow this town out of the water. He said we'd be safe because we were gonna join up with it and kill the Slayer and we'd be respected as an evil force finally."
"So he was saying that this evil was going to destroy Sunnydale?" Tara wondered aloud.
"No. Well, yeah, but above and beyond that. I'm telling you that my spider-sense is tingling. This is gonna get hairy. I'm talking weird with a beard."
"Interesting kid. Can we kill him?" Chloe muttered to Dawn, inciting a giggle from her girlfriend.
Buffy looked around the room. "So, we don't exactly know what we're up against, but we've beaten evil before. That's what we do. Glory was difficult, we made it through relatively intact. Well most of us anyways." She shared a wry smile with Tara and watched as Willow winced slightly at the memory.
Everyone yelped as suddenly three people orbbed into the room. The gang relaxed when they saw it was Hank and two women a few years older than Tara.
"We need to get that guy a bell." Xander muttered about Mr. Summers. The carpenter had one hand over his heart and the other was currently being crushed by Anya.
Not quite recovered from the last shock, everyone jumped when the door to the shop slammed open and a woman stumbled in. A knife sticking out of her chest and her eyes glazing over in death, she whispered ,"From beneath you, IT devours."
The gang, including their two new additions, stared in surprised if not bewildered fascination at the dead woman lying in the doorway.
Finally shrugging in resigned confusion, Buffy and Faith got more chairs for their new arrivals at one of the research tables. Hank picked up a book and flipped through the pages.
Meanwhile, Xander, Spike and a very reluctant Andrew quickly disposed of the body.
"Wow, after that our entrance kind of pales in comparison. Uh…hi…I'm Phoebe and this is Piper and uh…gosh that is one tough act to follow." The thin, short-haired brunette stammered, hoping her attempt at levity was not ill-received. No one seemed a bit fazed so she smiled a nervous smile as introductions went around the room
. Brushing off his hands, Spike re-entered the room, followed by Xander and a slightly green Andrew. Spike looked over and caught Paige's eye. He winked flirtatiously at the redheaded Whitelighter witch.
Paige blushed red and smiled at the handsome vampire. The two Halliwell sisters exchanged amused glances. They were introduced to the three men and vice versa.
"Whoa, 16 hours, that's a Matthew's record, isn't it?" Phoebe teased her half sibling.
Piper grinned but spoke up, "No, she's done better." Paige glared at both her sisters who gave her wide eyed innocent looks. Paige snorted and flopped down in a chair to help Willow and Tara research.
Spike had only caught the last part of Piper's sentence and was outraged. 'Better? She's done better? Why that little…'
Piper looked up and found herself the focus of one highly insulted daywalking vampire. She cringed as she realized how that last sentence had been interpreted.
Tara leaned over to Willow and whispered, "Uh oh, Spike's all with the bumpies." Willow glanced up and nodded when she saw the ridges and yellow gold eyes of Spike's demon. She followed their focal point and there stood Piper with a nervous look on her face. 'Oh Boy.'
"No, not better like better just…faster? A little help here." She smacked Phoebe's arm for assistance. "Me. Focus of big, scary though extremely hot vampire."
"I noticed. Why hello there." Phoebe flirted outrageously to Paige's intense irritation.
Spike puffed up under the pretty brunette's inspection although he was only interested in Paige.
"Oh, please!" Paige pretended to gag. "Can we focus on the real problem in the form of the dead woman they just dumped somewhere? She said something about delivering, no devouring…something."
Spike's face went back to its human state and he pouted in Paige's direction. Buffy squeezed his arm gently and he sighed, sitting in a chair near her. The blonde Slayer felt bad for Spike it seemed he was the only one of the Scooby Gang not paired up besides Giles.
"From beneath you, IT devours? What devours? And what is IT devouring?" Willow asked perplexed, "Why can't they ever give us something useful like a name or a page number?" The redhead grumbled under her breath and reached for her laptop.
Chloe was sitting at the far end of the table next to Dawn. The shorter brunette was rubbing her lover's shoulders and whispering sweetly to her.
Giles walked in and it caused Piper to quip, "Wow, people come and go so quickly here. Does everyone pop in unannounced?"
"Happens all the time. I mean, just last night I walked in on Buffy and Faith…but that wasn't half as embarrassing as when I walked in on Chloe and Daw…" Willow choked off at Buffy's "WHAT?" Dawn buried her head in Chloe's shoulder.
"Good Lord!" SNAP! Everyone except for Buffy whirled as Giles managed to snap his glasses in half while viciously polishing them in utter embarrassment.
"They better have been playing a board game!" Buffy growled, not really phased by the glasses scenario.
"Uh, yeah we were playing…Monopoly!" "Clue!" the girls spoke over one another. "Clue!" "Monopoly!" They tried again with the same results.
"Oh God, I don't wanna know!" Buffy covered her ears. "LALALALALA!" She said loudly.
"B, c'mon, stop it!" Faith pulled her girlfriend's hands away from her ears and tried to reason with her.
"They're nearly 18, they're allowed to play Clueopoly…or whatever it was they said." She smirked at the blushing teenagers and got a laugh out of the others.
"Ok, but I want to pretend that's all they're doing." She sighed and muttered, "My little…baby…sister is…EW!!! Excuse me, I have to go wash my brain – that visual needs to go away!" The blonde covered her face with her hands and then laid her head on the table. Again the group laughed as most of the tension faded away.
Piper laid her hand on Buffy's shoulder. The blonde Slayer raised dazed eyes to the smiling witch.
"Been there…Let's talk while they research." Piper gave her 'little sisters' a pointed look.
Message received – everyone picked up a dusty tome and proceeded to look for what Giles had discovered called itself…The First Evil.
Some time later, Anya, Chloe and Dawn still sat at one of the tables in the Magic Shop looking through books. Willow continued her internet search. Off on their own bizarre tangent, Xander, Andrew and Spike were arguing over who would win a fight, Dr. Doom or the Green Goblin. Buffy and Faith were sparring in the training room while Tara and Giles consulted some demon books the coven provided. Hank and the Halliwells were discussing Wyatt and what his ties were to the new threat they faced.
"Nothing…and nothing." Anya grumbled, holding up two other books, one in each hand "Cliff Notes to nothing. Nothing abridged…"
Willow sighed and reluctantly agreed. "Yeah, my search isn't turning anything up either. Hey Giles, are you sure this thing called itself 'The First'?"
"Pretty sure. It claimed to be the original evil, the one that came before anything else." He shrugged.
Anya snorted rudely. "Please, how many times have I heard that line in my demon days? "I'm so rotten, they don't even have a word for it. I'm bad. Baddy bad bad bad. Does it make you horny?" Everyone stopped and stared at her. "Or terrified. Whatever."
Sounding really excited, Willow shouted. "Hey! Here, The First!…Bank of Delaware. Sorry." She pouted and Tara rubbed her tummy gently and she felt a little better.
The Slayers exited the training room, talking wearily about how one would go about defeating the First Evil.
"Hey, it's hot in here, I think I'll…" Dawn stood up and took two steps before collapsing unconscious to the floor.
"Dawnie!" The group surged towards the fallen teenager but Chloe held her hand up to keep them away.
"She needs air, back up! Dawn, Luv?" The worried English Slayer patted her lover's cheek gently.
"Cordelia!" Dawn growled in a very deep voice, her eyes snapping open. Chloe jumped backwards with a squeal at the sound of her lover's voice and the sight of her eyes. Dawn's eyes were blood red and her hair blew back as she sat up.
Giles leapt out of his chair, at a loss of what to say or do.
"Great Googily Moogily!" Xander sputtered his jaw slack. Anya and Spike exchanged concerned glances.
"Dawn?" Buffy stepped forward in shock as she saw her sister. Chloe looked on in disbelief.
The pretty teenager fell forward and started coughing. "Ow." She gasped softly, holding her throat, her eyes their normal color.
"What in the frilly heck was that?" Willow demanded of Giles, who stared at Dawn in confusion.
"I haven't the faintest idea. We need to call Angel and see what Cordelia has to do with the First."
Remembering one of his favorite movies, Andrew picked up a bottle of Holy Water and opened it, dousing a startled Dawn with it. He also splashed the person next to her. An outraged Spike hissed and covered the right side of his face. "The power of Christ compels you…The power of…" He choked off as Spike lunged, wrapping a hand around his throat and snarling at him.
"I'll compel my boot right up your little Nancy-boy ass, you pull that crap again, Spock." He gave the blond kid a harsh shake to enforce his words. Andrew dropped the bottle and when Spike let go of him he didn't hesitate to get away from the raging vamp.
"You okay, Nibblet?" Dawn nodded and glared at Andrew.
Hank and the Halliwells watched in silence as the young man scurried to the other side of the room, near Tara. The blonde witch rubbed her temples, even her good nature tested by the former Trio member. Chloe got a clean towel from the workout bench and helped her lover dry off a little, leveling an evil look at the trembling blonde kid.
I'm calling Angel." Buffy announced. She noticed the cringe on Spike's face but could only shrug helplessly.
"You do that. I'm taking her into the training room to lie down." Chloe gave Dawn her version of Willow's resolve face and Dawn meekly followed her lover into the next room.
Chloe pulled mats together and laid them out for herself and Dawn. She then went out to the table and picked up the book she had been reading and re-entered the training room. Dawn was stretched out on her mat, looking wiped out.
"You alright, Luv?"
"No, it felt so strange. Like something forced itself on me. It felt like a cloud was covering a piece of my brain." Dawn whispered, terrified. "I feel used and violated…and I need a lozenge." She pouted at her girlfriend, who leaned in and kissed her gently.
"Dawn, who's Cordelia, Luv?" Chloe slowly reached out to put her arm around her girlfriend.
"She was a friend, she's dead now." Buffy answered for her sister. The rest of the gang stood behind her, some wore looks of confusion and others shock. Xander had to lean against a doorjamb.
"Angel said that she had been in a coma for a while. They thought she'd come out of it. He's gathering some of the gang and they'll be here as soon as they can."
Along with the Halliwells and Paige, Willow and Tara decided that they would try to research any magical connections to Dawn's Linda Blair impersonation. Willow sighed and grumbled a little as her fingers fairly flew across the keyboard. She shook her head and paused for a minute. The others poured over books and racked their brains for spells that conjured demons. Anya was only to glad to add her extensive knowledge to the circle.
Finally everyone with the exception of Giles and Willow gathered again near the training room, stretching and resting their eyes. With a weary groan, Giles gave up the fight and joined the others. He watched Willow as she continued her search. At last, he felt the woman had given her all and decided to see if she had anything to add to the list he and the others had come up with.
"Did you come up with anything, Willow?" Giles turned and called to the redhead who stood up and stretched her tired limbs. Willow walked over to where the rest of the gang was near the training room.
"Well, the connection dropped so I had to run a line test, ping to test for packet loss, force the ip on the router, make sure the router and modem were bridged, and then do a powercycle on the laptop. Oh and then I had to tap into the Espresso Pump's main server to bypass the network configuration...and I...what? Oh, I'm all with the technical talk aren't I? Sorry." Willow babbled as the group, with the exception of Tara, stared at her in complete confusion. Willow swallowed hard as Tara approached her slowly in a predatory manner. The blonde's eyes were glittering with unsuppressed lust and they had darkened to a deep blue.
"Mmm, smart women are so hot." Tara said in a smoky sexy voice right before she captured Willow's lips in a steamy kiss. The redhead moaned into the kiss and allowed Tara to walk her backwards until her back hit the doorjamb. Willow sucked the tip of Tara's tongue into her mouth, forgetting their audience. The redheaded witch spun until they were slightly inside the room. She held the blonde's curvy body tightly to her own.
"Whoa! Uh, guys? I'm mean girls? Ladies? Hello?" Buffy gaped at her friends while Phoebe fanned herself with one of Xander's comic books.
"Now that is hot." She got a nod from Anya who watched with an appraising eye. Piper, Xander, and Andrew all watched their jaws almost to the ground. Dawn, Chloe and Faith grinned at each other while Spike shot Paige a suggestive look, grinning as the redheaded Whitelighter blushed and unconsciously licked her lips. Hank and Giles looked away uncomfortably, not used to such public displays.
"Geez, get a room, you two." Faith teased good-naturedly.
"Ok, we'll take this one." Tara said indicating the training room, barely even breaking the kiss she had going on with Willow.
"Alright! I'll go get the Wesson Oil." Andrew bravely quipped, then he cringed as Xander, Faith, Spike and Dawn took turns smacking him upside the head.
"C'mon, you." Chloe grabbed Andrew's arm and hauled the pale teenager along as she exited the room.
"We're gonna tie Andrew up again, Tara, ok?" Buffy asked, knowing Tara had no idea what she had really just said as the blonde witch was very preoccupied.
"Oh, uh huh, ok." Tara mumbled back, her lips captured again by Willow. They never noticed the gang's swift exit from the room or the sound of the door locking.
Tara's hands were tangled in the red curls that brushed Willow's shoulders. They moved downwards until they were touching the hem of her lover's shirt. She pulled up frantically, needing to feel skin against skin.
Willow ducked as the shirt cleared her head and she clutched at Tara's back when the blonde captured a nipple through the thin material of her bra.
"Oh, Tara, Baby...I need..." Willow gasped as Tara pinched her other nipple hard.
Tara quickly removed Willow's bra and started to undo the redhead's denim skirt when she was stopped.
Willow shoved off her skirt, letting it slide to the floor. Willow's thigh brushed against Tara's center
Tara slowly lowered her mouth to Willow's chest, her tongue capturing a bead of sweat between the redhead's breasts. She let her lips linger and sucked that same bit of flesh into her mouth.
"Tara, I want you…you make me want…naughty things…everything." Willow moaned.
"Naughty things? Oh, you mean things maybe... like this?" Tara gave her girlfriend a vixeny smirk.
The blonde had slowly lined two of her fingers up and plunged them into the hot wetness.
Her eyes, heavy lidded, she looked down at Willow through her lashes. Her redhead's mouth was red and swollen, waiting and begging for more.
"Wait, Baby...you too, I need to feel you too." Willow shoved her hands under Tara's sweater and they worked together to get undressed.
Tara sucked a patch of skin into her mouth, her lips grazing the side of her lover's neck over and over. "Taste good." She murmured as Willow's head fell back to welcome the assault.
"WILLOW!" Giles' voice jerked the redhead out of her X-rated dreams. She rubbed her cheek which was now imprinted with some words off the cover of the tome she had just laid down before sleep overtook her.
"Welcome back, Sleeping Beauty." Tara smirked evilly at her lover, knowing by the blush what kind of dreams Willow had been having.
Willow flushed a deeper red as the rest of the gang watched her curiously.
Trying to ease her best friend's embarrassment, Buffy announced to the group.
"Ok, so Angel and the LA gang will be here in about 40 minutes or so. We need to see what they know about this First Evil and what we can do to vanquish it."
Spike sneered at the mention of Angel's name but forced his expression to soften when he noticed Paige looking in his direction.
"From beneath you, it devours. It's not the friendliest jingle, is it? Its no "I like Ike" or "Milk: it does a body good." Xander quipped.
Giles looked around unable to find the book he was looking for. "Say, what was the name of that book with the Creolik Demons in it?"
Xander quickly cupped Willow's head and turned it so he could read the letters imprinted on her face.
"Hey!" The redhead yelped as her best friend twisted her head to the side.
"That would be the Marum Refor Report." Xander stumbled over the lettering a little bit as Willow struggled to get free. The carpenter let go of his friend as she slapped at his hands.
"The what now?" Buffy asked more than a little confused.
Xander reached out and cupped Willow's head again to re-read the words to both her and Tara's complete outrage.
"Hey!" The witches chorused in objection.
Willow snatched the book up off the table and shoved it at Xander, knocking him away from her. The sheepish young man handed the volumey text to the slightly amused former Librarian. The Halliwells and Hank all hid their own amusement as Xander slunk down into his chair.
Later when the LA gang joined them in the Magic Shop, introductions were once again made. Spike gave a low growl as Gunn gave Paige an appraising look. Fred's eyes narrowed as she also noticed her boyfriend's admiring glance at the redhead. The handsome demon fighter received a well-placed elbow to the ribs for his wandering eye.
Spike nodded at Fred in approval as the other man gingerly rubbed his side and gave his girlfriend a wide-eyed look of surprise.
Noticing that Andrew's hands were tied, Angel raised an eyebrow at Buffy.
"He's a hostage." Xander explained.
"More like a guestage." Andrew quipped, pretending to lock his lips with a key and toss it over his shoulder as Buffy glared at him. Tara giggled softly and Willow rolled her eyes. Xander gestured to Giles to get started.
"It calls itself the First Evil…" Giles began his speech once everyone's attention was on him.
"Not very ominous sounding. Not at all as exciting a name as Darth Vader, but…" Andrew clapped a hand over his mouth when Faith raised an eyebrow at him and started to stand up. Satisfied that the boy would now be silent, the brunette Slayer sat back down.
"If I may continue…It calls itself the First Evil…it's a very…"
"But that doesn't explain why Dawn said Cordelia's name in Barry White's voice." Anya interrupted to the Watcher's utmost indignation.
"Anya! Let me finish! To make a long story short…"
"Too late," Willow mumbled to Tara but not quite soft enough. The blonde Witch giggled only to find herself and Willow pinned by the steely gaze of one brassed off Watcher.
"S...sorry…please go on, Mr. Giles." Tara said demurely.
When Giles finally finished filling in the LA Gang on the First, the groups decided that research would be done in rotations until something of value was discovered about the unknown evil.
Angel thumbed through a book while Fred and Gunn discussed possible options with Wesley. Willow, Tara, Buffy and the Halliwells discussed a magical way of stopping the First. Meanwhile Faith, Chloe and Xander had just come in from patrolling. Dawn, Spike, Anya, Hank and Giles were resting for the moment. They had yet to find out anything about Dawn's mysterious vocal possession.
"I'd call that a radical interpretation of the text." Gunn argued as Fred voiced an opinion on the book they were looking at.
"This is an ancient sacred text, not a Magic Eight Ball ®." Fred snapped in an uncharacteristic manner. Gunn raised an eyebrow and was about to retort when Angel interrupted.
"Ok, if we are to understand the Bible's interpretation of God--only God can come in human form not the First Evil. 'He has come in the flesh' is the way the New Testament says it. But I assume that to mean the First Evil does not. 1 Corinthians v. 3. 'Absent in body, but present in spirit.'" Angel got strange looks until he gave an outraged huff. "I have read it ya know. I was human at one point."
Wesley looked intrigued. "You mean it's noncorporeal?" He shared a look with Giles and they nodded subtlety at each other.
"It's what?" The Halliwells and most of the rest of the gang chorused in confusion.
"It has no real form." Willow and Tara said at the same time. They blushed and ducked their heads, smiling at one another and joining hands.
"Wow witch stereo." Xander teased. "So it had no form does that mean it can become invisible?"
"I rather think that Angel and Wesley mean that it has no true form so it can become what it desires. It can take a form of a human or animal. Good job, Angel. We'll look further into that theory." Giles smiled at the vampire and Angel's chest puffed out a little.
"Look at him. Have you ever seen anything so masculine?" Phoebe squeaked to Piper who rolled her eyes.
"Down, girl. We're trying to find a way to vanquish this First Evil. Focus." Piper grinned at her sister's pout and reached out and rubbed her back. She added under her breath unaware that Angel and Spike heard every word.
"He is cute. I wonder if that's a requirement for vampires." Phoebe and Piper glanced at Spike and Paige kicked them both under the table. Her eyes clearly stated her interest and the other two raised their hands in surrender. Piper took the moment to point to her wedding band with a lifted eyebrow. Paige pursed her lips and turned to look at Spike again. He caught her staring and smiled at her. She blushed and looked down.
Cor, she was beautiful. Spike smirked as he let his eyes wander along her graceful porcelain neck. He nearly groaned out loud thinking about kissing her there. He almost jumped out of his skin as her beautiful hazel eyes twinkled at him when he raised his leer to her face. If he had been human he would have blushed brick red.
Buffy watched the exchange with an amused look on her face. It was about time. Buffy genuinely liked the blonde vampire and wished him to find what she and the rest of the gang had – Love. Giles would be the only single one of the Scoobies if Spike got off his ass and approached the gorgeous redhead.
"So uh…Spike…anything catch your eye yet?" Buffy smirked at Faith who gave her own little evil grin right back to her lover.
"Huh? Oh, uh…well no. This text doesn't have much to go on." He waved towards the book as if he had been reading it recently instead of drooling over Paige.
"Sure…the text." Faith said sarcastically. Spike raised an eyebrow at her and she laughed looking pointedly at Paige who was blushing but pretending like she didn't hear the conversation going on around her.
"Ok can we get back on track, please?" Wesley asked his demeanor solemn. "We need to figure this out or we'll all be killed due to lack of understanding how it operates."
"'No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies.'" Angel said quietly. Tara nodded and Gunn huffed, trying to be heard over the vampire's muttering.
"It operates by becoming something or someone else according to Angel so how do we fight it? It could be any of us at this given moment."
"Oh Charles, do get a grip. If it was here do you think it would waste it's time being bored to death by our fumbling research tactics. We need a plan." Wesley admonished the eager demon fighter in a droll tone.
"I've got a plan....We die horribly and painfully, you go to Hell, and I spend eternity in the arms of Baby Jesus." Gunn retorted his fists clenched in frustration.
Spike snorted with laughter while everyone turned to stare at him. He shrugged his shoulders and said a bit defensively, "And you're what? Shocked and disappointed? I'm evil!" Paige shot him a wicked grin and he raised his eyebrow in a rakish manner causing her to have trouble breathing. They both turned startled eyes towards the blonde Slayer as she made an annoyed sound.
"Ok this is getting us nowhere. So far we know it can change forms and it's Evil and it was first. Not much to go on. It's high time we learn a bit more about it. I think we need to…" Buffy broke in only to be interrupted.
A flash appeared behind Xander and Faith, scaring them all nearly to death. A sheepish looking dark haired young man that looked about Dawn's age waved at them.
"Uh, hey. Mom, we have a big problem." Piper jumped up and so did Paige and Phoebe. Hank stiffened. Something was off. He could sense it.
"Chris! What's going on? Why are you here?" Piper asked her youngest son with a panicked laced voice.
"It's Wyatt. He's found you." Chris' easy going smile had a twist to it. Piper saw it and knew what was wrong immediately. Mother's intuition.
Piper backed away from him. "Wyatt, what have you done?" She demanded as the man in front of her morphed suddenly.
"Why Mother, what ever do you mean?" The young man before them now had long blonde hair and a goatee. His eyes were angry and his stance dangerous. The power radiated off of him in waves.
Tara clutched her stomach and looked sick.
"Aw, the newbie looks a little peaked, Mom. Something must be done about that."
He raised his hand and threw a blast of power towards Tara. Suddenly a streak of color moved in front of the convulsing witch and took the painful zap instead.
Wyatt looked surprised and confused but recovered quickly. Paige, Piper, and Phoebe joined hands but before they could say anything Wyatt was gone in a shower of black lights.
Tara glanced up as Wyatt shimmered out and she caught a faint glimpse of white in the nearly black aura of the Darklighter. There was something familiar about it. She didn't have time to think of it now. Someone was hurt. She turned back to the task at hand.
"Dammit!" Paige muttered as she was unable to get a location on Wyatt by scrying.
The gang turned towards Tara once again and found her and Willow cradling…Andrew?
"He saved her life! He jumped in front of her and he…" Willow's voice choked off with a sob.
Tara stared at Andrew and cocked her head slightly, instinct taking over. She lifted her hands and held them over the injury. Power surged through Andrew as his bones and flesh mended. The boy coughed and mumbled something softly.
"No, you aren't dead, Andrew." Tara told him with a smile on her face.
"I could have sworn I was in Heaven. You look like an angel." He said, dazed and in his own world still.
He turned to Willow and muttered in a besotted voice, "Have I ever told you, you are a very *beautiful* woman?" She giggled in relief and told him no.
"He'll be okay." She told the rest of the gang.
"Well now what? Chris is missing; Wyatt's on the loose and we still know nothing about this First Evil thing." Phoebe wanted to stomp her foot in frustration.
"Buffy, we need to scry for Chris, see if we can locate him. Without him we can't take Wyatt down." Paige told her.
"Ok, you do that and we'll research further on the First. I don't understand how it came to be the First. I mean, okay, so I battle evil. But I don't really win. The bad keeps coming back, and getting stronger. I'm like that kid in the story, the boy that stuck his finger in the duck."
Everyone stared at Buffy in confusion until Angel realized what she meant.
"Dike." He said. Buffy whirled and gave him a dirty look while gesturing to Willow and Tara with her head. He shrugged, not understanding what she meant.
Tara giggled and came to Angel's aid.
"It's another word for dam." She explained to the Slayer. The look of realization that crossed Angel's face was comical. She had thought he... Angel shook his head in amused disbelief.
"Oh. Okay, that story makes a lot more sense now." Buffy shook her head in embarrassment as the reason behind the story was clear.
Tara gave a startled gasp. She remembered where she had seen the aura type before. Donny! His aura had changed after their mother died. He become…mean and hurtful. His aura was dark but had a certain light to it.
"Like something forced in where it doesn't belong." She whispered, gaining the attention of the entire room.
"What, Baby?" Willow gave her a concerned look. "Tara? You're pale, are you ok?"
She explained what she saw and what her fears were.
"Well, um, see...a person's energy has a flow, a unity. Wyatt's was fractured, grated if you will. I saw lightness in the aura that was almost smothered in the darkness. It flashed brighter when he disappeared…like it was fighting to get out."
"Are you saying that Wyatt has some good in him still?" Phoebe asked, her face scrunched up in thought.
"I'm saying that maybe that's not Wyatt behind the wheel, so to speak." Tara stated bluntly.
'NO, MOM!' Wyatt's voiced echoed. He was trapped!
The evil laughter that followed his yell made him curse loud and long.
"Shut up, Whitelighter Spawn." The thing growled.
'I WANT MY BODY BACK!' Wyatt pushed all his power outwards, trying to free himself. The evil inhabiting his body giggled! The damn thing giggled!
"That tickles! I wouldn't waste your power, Boy. You'll need all your energy for later." It mocked him even as his energy faded and he became weaker.
He gave one last desperate shout. 'MOM! AUNT PAIGE! ANYBODY!'
To be continued...
Send Feedback to Author
Back to EliteTech's Stories…