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Fic: Teenage Dirtbag

Discussion in 'Introduction To The Watcher Diaries' started by sosa lola, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Fic: Teenage Dirtbag
    Pairing: Spike/Xander
    Rating: PG 13
    Setting: Starts during Lover’s Walk, S3. Spike's POV throughout.
    Summary: Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life.
    Note: This fic is written for the Reviving Spander Ficathon.

    Super thanks to [​IMG]devo79 for being my awesome beta.


    ~*~*~*~*~


    Part 1


    [​IMG]
    Banner made by Tickyboxes









    Empty dark streets stretch out before me with nothing stopping my stride but the resisting little witch I’m dragging behind me. If I didn’t need her sodding help, I’d have swung that microscope into her head like I did to her unconscious friend. Here he is draped over my shoulder causing me no grief. She trips, unable to keep up with me. I yank her up to her feet, and she tries to catch up with a whimper. There’s no time to waste, even the sweet smell of fresh blood covering the gush in the boy’s temple doesn’t hold me back. Just need to get back to the factory before the slayer gets a clue.

    “Please,” the girl moans, “I can’t…” She trips again, and with an annoyed curse, I carry her up as well. Humans, I think with disdain, Nothing but pains in the arse.

    Reaching our destination, I drop the girl to the floor and fling the boy on the old burnt-out bed. The memories this bloody place brings back – Dru’s scent still lingering in every corner, torturing my unbeating heart.

    Stupid bitch. I’ll show her. The spell’s gonna get her back. I dump a box full of supplies next to the boy, noticing the witch sitting on the edge of the bed, fiddling with her hands.

    “A spell. For me. You’re gonna do a spell for me,” I inform her, making sure all the stolen ingredients are laid out on the bed.

    “Uh, what kind of spell?” she asks nervously.

    “A love spell, are you brain dead?” I snap at her, heading for the dresser to seek a bottle of liquor. Cheap alcohol burns down my throat as I swallow the last drop of the bottle in a desperate attempt to numb the pain. With a sniff, I turn my gaze back to the wide green eyes, observing me.

    “What are you staring at?”

    She flinches, looking away. “Nothing.”

    “You can do it, right?” Desperation reeks out of my voice. “You can make Dru love me again. Make her crawl.”

    “I…I can try.” Ding, ding. Wrong answer.

    I grab her by the hair and pull her close, anger boiling inside me in waves. “What are you talking about, trying? You’ll do it!”

    “Yes, I’ll do it,” she replies with a strained voice. Her hand is aching to reach up and grab my wrist to lessen the pull on her scalp, but she knows better than to act on impulse.

    I let go of her, smashing the empty bottle on the bedpost, then hold the jagged end inches from her face. “You lie to me, I'll shove this through your face! Do you want that?”

    “No!”

    “Right through your brain!”

    Tears gather in her frightened eyes as she tries to shake her head no. “No,” she mewls weakly. “No, please, no.”

    A sudden puff of smoke explodes in my face. My loud curse mingles with the girl’s terrified scream. I step back and wave the smoke away only to grimace at the sight of a hideous demon face.

    “Who the bloody hell are you?” I look her up and down, surrounded by the mist, wearing a black cape that covers her body. Dark curls border a speckled face that regards me with naked disdain. Next to her on the floor is the girl, fear has paralyzed her in place, unable to move from where she’s fallen.

    “I have been called, and vengeance shall I wreak,” the demon threatens in a deep resonant voice.

    Bloody hell, she’s a vengeance demon. What’s she stalking me for? Dru was the one who left me for a chaos demon.

    She stares at my face piercingly and narrows her eyes. “William?”

    “Do I know you?” She looks familiar, though I can’t tell with that mottled face.

    “Doesn’t matter,” she says flatly. “Who do you think you are, treating this poor child like this?” She helps the trembling witch from the floor to the bed. “Can’t you see how terrified she is? And don’t get me started on that brutally injured boy!”

    If you ask me, the girl looks more terrified at the blotchy fingers running through her red hair.

    “Who do you think you are, barging in here uninvited?” I growl, holding the broken bottle to her face. “Bugger off. We’ve got a love spell to do.”

    “And I’ve got a wish to grant.”

    “A wish?” I echo, realizing what that meant. “You mean I get to make a wish? Against Dru? I’m the wronged party after all.”

    She shakes her head in disgust. “Men.” With a pitiful glance at the girl and the boy, she carries on, “You’ve obviously forgotten what it’s like to be a teenager in this cruel world. Perhaps I can remind you, if only this girl makes the wish.”

    The redhead nods her head frantically. “I do. I wish. This is me making the wish.”

    I look between them in incredulous confusion. “Wait a minute, I’m the one…”

    “Wish granted,” she interrupts me with that resonant voice again.

    White light attacks me from all sides, hot, hot light, scorching me. Like I’m teleported to hell, because it burns, everything burns and an agonized scream builds up but doesn’t quite escape. It happens so fast, so sudden, and white fades to black.









    ~*~*~*~*~






    Sudden jolt. Gasp. Rush of cold air scratches my throat. Coughing hard. Arms flailing uncontrollably as if I’m… I’m drowning. But I’m not. Kicking the blanket that covers me off frantically, like it’s the reason I’m suffocating for a breath, I push myself up with my elbows and keep gasping for air.

    The sight of a blurred strange room greets me, but that’s the least of my problems at the moment. Lightheaded, I try to calm myself down… try to breathe. In. Out. In. Out. That’s it. Chest rising and falling rhythmically with every breath I take.

    What’s going on? Still trying to keep my breaths deep and regular, I place a shaking hand on my rising and falling chest. That’s when I feel it. The constant drumming. My bleeding… bleeding…

    Heart!

    I gasp and cough, forgetting to breathe, and drop to the floor. Shallow and irregular breaths, a long gasp, about to faint, but then I close my eyes and concentrate on breathing. I’m fine. I’m fine. It’s all fine and dandy.

    I’m not fine! Where the hell am I? What the hell did that daft bint do to me?

    Finally, managing to stand on my feet, legs wobbling like jelly, I steady myself with one hand on the book on the nightstand. Squinting down at the book titled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, with a bookmark sticking out of the middle of the book, my head frantically twirls right and left… What is this sodding place?

    Using the wall for support, I move toward a chest of drawers with a couple of framed pictures placed on top. The faces are a bit blurry, so I rub my eyes and take a closer look. There’s the slayer and her lackeys sitting on the grass with a boy I don’t recognize. The same boy is standing next the slayer’s watcher in the other picture, both wearing formal clothing and dopey smiles.

    My gaze travels to the shelf on top filled with books and around the room, noting the bed I just woke up on. Feeling more confident to stand without help, I start moving around the room, passing the wardrobe, a long mirror hanging on the wall, a study desk… wait!

    I take a few steps back toward the mirror. The same boy from the pictures is staring back at me. Unruly brown hair, wide eyes, gray striped jammies – who the hell is that Nancy boy?

    My hands fly to my face, slapping my cheeks, the poofter is doing the same. No. I turn my head from right to left and vice versa. He does the same. No, no, no, no, no, no…

    I slam myself against the mirror, my face plastered against the smooth surface. “That can’t be…”

    I stop talking abruptly, clearing my throat, I attempt to speak again, “That can’t be...” Sounds like me, but off somehow. Less… less deep. Like, like – one more glance at the mirror – a voice that belongs to a bloody teenager.

    I startle when the door opens with a gentle click. A man peers his head inside and smiles when he sees me. “Oh, good, you’re awake. Breakfast is ready. Don’t take long.” He closes the door as gently as he opened it.

    I stare at the door, not quite understanding what just happened. I rub my eyes again, trying to clear the fog. I couldn’t take a good look at the bloke, but his voice sounded familiar.

    I dash out of the room and walk down the hall, searching for that man. Something in my chest tightens as unlikely suspicions start to become possible. Could he really be…

    The faint aroma of cooked eggs wafting from the kitchen does a number on my mouth and stomach. The smell of food never did anything for me before, but this time my mouth is starting to water and I can hear the gurgling coming from my stomach.

    There he is, standing behind the kitchen bar preparing breakfast as he promised. He looks up when I arrive, and I try to make him out through the haze.

    “William, I thought I asked you to get ready.”

    I’m not sure what shocked me more; that he called me by my name or that I finally recognized who he is. That’s Buffy’s watcher. Last I remember seeing him was last year when Angel had him tied to a chair and torturing the living hell out of him.

    But… why is he here? Why am I here? Why is he making me breakfast? It’s probably Dru… she’s finally driven me mad.

    “William,” his face stern and impatient, “Get dressed now.”

    “I…” I squeeze my eyes shut, feeling the attack of a sharp headache from squinting at his face for so long.

    “Are you all right?” he sounds concerned, and then I feel his hand on my shoulder.

    I jerk away from his touch and look at the smog that is his face. Now I’m rubbing my eyes with both hands in frustration. “What’s wrong with me?”

    “You better wear your glasses,” he says sympathetically. “That’s probably a headache.”

    Glasses? William? What the… I… I wear glasses. I have to breathe. My hair isn’t bleached. Panic rising inside me in waves. “Oh, bollocks!”

    “William!” he exclaims in surprise and disapproval.

    “Last I remember I was in the old factory. Then that demon appeared out of nowhere and… and…” That’s it. The wish. The little witch wished this. I’m cursed. The vengeance demon probably sent me to some alternative reality.

    “Watch your language, young man,” the watcher says in displeasure.

    “Oh, piss off!”

    His eyebrows fly to his hairline. “That’s not a way to talk to your father.”

    Feeling my eyes bolting out of their sockets, I stare up at him in complete shock. “Fa… fa… what?”

    And now I forget how to breathe and my vision fades to black again.
     
  2. Ethan Reigns

    Ethan Reigns Scooby

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    Sineya
    Great start! I usually don't read fanfic but this one caught my attention right away.
     
  3. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Thank you! It will have a Spander ending - albeit after a long gradual development, hope it's okay. :)
     
  4. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Part 2

    [​IMG]

    Made by Tickyboxes





    I’m breathing again. Regular, even breaths. Air flowing in and out of my nose in sync with the rise and fall of my chest. Then there’s the beating heart that I can’t hear, but know it’s there pumping fresh blood through my living body. My ears feel like they’ve gone deaf – I hear nothing but a faint sound of paper being flipped – but those distinctive sounds of the heartbeats of others’, their breaths, and their rich blood flowing in their veins…

    Sounds I’ve grown used to hearing, sounds that have become a normal part of my unlife, are no longer with me.

    I twitch my hand, surprised and dissatisfied by how fragile and breakable it feels. Human, the thought twirls in my head like a nasty headache. The vengeance demon turned me into a human, and not just any human, a stinking, feeble – I move my puny hand again for confirmation – shabby juvenile!

    “Giles, he’s awake!” a loud, obnoxious yell breaks my thoughts. Whoever yelled this is sitting right next to me.

    I reluctantly open my eyes, greeted with the same detested fog. My strong sense of sight, one I didn’t appreciate enough, has deserted me as well. A blurry face is looking down at me – not the watcher, but worse, judging by the voice…

    “Hey, there, buddy, how you feeling?”

    Rubbing my eyes in exasperation seems to have given him a clue. He hands me a pair of glasses and I – in absolute abhorrence – wear them. My vision has magically improved. The first thing I lay my eyes on is the grinning face of a twit and the book he has in his hands.

    He’s the little wanker I had the pleasure of knocking out cold in the school hours before my recent unfortunate predicament. “You’re Buffy’s friend,” I observe, displeased.

    “That’s one way to put it,” he replies with droopy eyebrows flying up in astonishment. “I also go by Xander.”

    “Right.” I glance around the room. It’s the same one I woke up in earlier. The framed pictures catch my gaze, particularly the one with me and the watcher. “What happened?”

    “Your dad says you fainted.”

    “My dad,” I repeat, the newly gained heartbeats in my chest raging in revulsion at the mere thought.

    “Yep, you’ve been out for ten minutes since I came over.” He waves the book in his hand at my face when he notices me glaring at the picture of my father instead of paying attention to him. “By the way, this Harry Potter book isn’t half bad. Mind if I borrow it once you finish it?”

    “Huh?”

    He’s got an amused look on his face that dissolved into a pathetic frown. “Do you feel better now? ‘Cause I really need to talk to you.” He places the book on the nightstand and rests his elbows on his knees. “I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Friday night when you were away with your dad, Cordelia and Oz caught me and Willow kissing in the chemistry lab.”

    Friday night? It was when I captured them both and dragged them to the factory, right before that daft cow ruined everything.

    Xander holds up his hands in defense. “Now before you attack me with your ‘I told you so’s, Willow and I have decided to call it quits.” He starts playing with the last button on his shirt, shaking his head in dismay. “But then I found her messing with a spell book, so we fought and one thing led to another, then we started kissing again. That’s when Cordelia and Oz made their entrance.”

    Why is he telling me this? Where did he get the notion that I care about his pathetic social life? I’m about to tell him exactly that when the watcher barges in with a cup of hot chocolate.

    Xander jumps off the chair as if caught in some vile act. He breathes a sigh of relief when he sees it was the watcher and wipes his hands on the gray T-shirt underneath his unbuttoned shirt.

    The irresistible smell rising from the cup in the watcher’s hand distracts me from Xander’s baffling behavior.

    “There,” the man whispers and helps me to a sitting position, taking Xander’s seat. He hands me the cup with a disturbing tender smile. The smell drifts all around me causing my empty stomach to sound the alarm. I bend closer, feeling the steam tickling my nose, and take a sip. Rich creamy heaven slides down my throat, lifting up my mood the way the fresh blood of a young virgin does.

    Blood… my stomach lurches, my body shudders, and I choke on my sweet, hot chocolate.

    The watcher pats my back gently. “Are you all right?”

    “Not in the slightest.” I wipe the trail of hot chocolate on my lips and chin with the sleeve of my ugly gray striped PJs. The unexpected violent reaction to blood takes me by surprise. I’m revolted by the mere thought of its taste. And now, its foul smell attacks me and I almost hurl.

    “William,” the watcher regards me with concern, his lips twitch in apparent guilt. If I didn’t know the vengeance demon was the reason behind this catastrophe, I’d have believed he was.

    Xander looks between us in confusion. “What did you guys do at that retreat? Whatever it was it must have had a bad effect on him.”

    “We didn’t go together,” the watcher answers with a frown. “I was there alone.”

    “Well, look at that.” Xander turns his accusing eyes toward me. “Somebody has been lying to me about his plans this weekend.”

    “William, you told me you’d rather spend this weekend with your friends. Didn’t you go bowling Friday night?”

    “Face it, Big G, he lied to both of us.” Xander places both hands on his hips and shoots me a look of disbelief. “So, what was so important you had to lay low for two days? I haven’t seen you since Friday at school.”

    Two days? I’ve been out for two bloody days? My thoughts change tracks to cursing the sodding vengeance demon.

    “When I arrived last night you were already in bed,” the watcher’s expression looks more alarmed than angry. “If you weren’t with Xander and the others, then where were you?”

    I look between the two and decide to be frank.

    “I was in the old factory.” - nodding at Xander - “Snatched the twit and his witch friend. I wanted her to do a spell for me to get Drusilla back.”

    Xander’s face boils with offense. “The twit?”

    I smirk at him. “Best part was when I smashed a microscope on your head.”

    “Hey!”

    The watcher takes off his glasses and rubs his forehead. “William, I have no patience for pointless tales. Where were you?”

    “Listen, old bugger, I’m not your son. So, I don’t have to answer to you!”

    “And who might you be, pray tell?” Sarcasm doesn’t suit him. Especially with his glasses back on.

    “I’m Spike, William the Bloody, part of the Whirlwind who’ve caused suffering, destruction and mayhem all over Europe.”

    Both dolts blink at me like I’ve just announced that I’ve been abducted by aliens.

    Xander scratches his temple, glancing at the computer on my study. “Is that a new chapter of your Harry Potter fanfic? Wizard Meets Vampire?”

    “What are you yappin’ about? I’m a bloody vampire! You should be cowering in fear at the sight of me.” I catch my adolescent reflection on the mirror. “Bollocks!”

    “William Giles, this stops now,” the watcher orders firmly, a vein in his forehead threatens to burst.

    Xander starts walking toward the window. “Wherever he was, it must have screwed with his brains. He probably needs some fresh air.” Before I could protest, he snaps one of the curtains open.

    Sunshine streams into the room bouncing off the chest of drawers and crawling over the bedsheets until it lands on me. With a high-pitched yelp, I throw myself off the bed and slink under it. “No! No! What the hell did you do?” I scream on top of my lungs, panicking as my skin burns from where the sunlight touched it.

    “Uh, buddy, what are you doing under there?”

    “I’m a bloody vampire, you blooming berk!”

    “No, you’re not.”

    Another insult about to fly out of my mouth when I realize…my skin is fine. I do feel a tiny tingle of flush from where the sun touched my cheek, but it doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t burn. I peer from my hiding place at the confused idiots, feeling the sunlight on my cheek again.

    With faltering uncertainty, I stretch out a hand and feel the sun’s warmth on my knuckles. Watch its rays color my quivering hand… gentle light, gentle warmth. Feels okay, unthreatening. I bring my hand back and examine it, looking for a hint of damage. There are no traces of burns, but a more disturbing fact distracts me from that.

    “My hand…” I mumble to myself, “It’s less… pale.”

    Crawling out, I stand before the bright, bright sunlight, feeling the heat and glow that envelope me pulling me closer to the window. There it is, big ball of fire, up there in the sky. Squinting when the bright light pinches my eyes, I can’t seem to look anywhere else, overwhelmed by the sensation, by the gentle warmth kissing my tanned skin.

    “I’m not a vampire anymore.” It finally sinks in. The change is for real. The curse isn’t playing tricks on my mind. I’m really and truly nothing but a human adolescent.

    “So, demon?” Xander’s declaration snaps me out of my thoughts.

    “Most probably,” the watcher’s voice carries a load of worry and apprehension.

    I turn around to face them. “What? What most probably?”

    The watcher rises to his feet and clasps my shoulder with a gentle squeeze. “Get dressed. We’re going to school.”

    I yank his hand off my shoulder, noting the pained guilt in his expression. “Think I wanna be seen in public with a face like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle.”

    With eyes as wide as his ridiculously big round glasses frames, he turns to the door, muttering, “Research is certainly obligatory.”

    “Research?” I ask Xander.

    He rolls his eyes. “Yeah, Will, the thing with the book-cracking and solution-searching, which takes hundreds of boring hours, not to mention the inevitable napping in between. The thing we do like every day when crisis attacks.”

    They won’t find any solution in books. To reverse a vengeance demon’s curse, they need a vengeance demon to break it off. Which reminds me of something Xander said to me earlier in confidence. He cheated on his girlfriend, which means there’s a bitter scorned female waiting for a wish to be granted. I need to find that girl before Miss Mottled Face get to her. Two nights has passed already and Xander is standing in front of me in one piece, so there’s a good chance the girl didn’t get a visit from the vengeance demon yet. Must get there first, but I don’t even know who the sad chit is or what she looks like.

    I can get it out of Xander somehow. After all, he came to my home early in the morning on a school day to tell me about it. Judging by all the “buddys” he throws my way and the fact that he was here, sitting by my side, waiting for me to wake up…

    Doesn’t take a genius to guess that we’re friends of sorts. Best friends obviously. Only a ninny like William can land a friend dead from the neck up. Well, at least it’s to my advantage this time.

    “Wait, Xander…” I catch him before he gets out of room. “Did you say your bird caught you cheating on her?”

    “My bird?”

    “Your girl,” I clarify with clenched teeth.

    “Well, yeah, I wanted to talk to you about that. I’ve left her like seventy voice messages but she never answered back.”

    I purse my lips pensively. “She must be really upset.”

    “I know. I don’t know what to do.” He drops his bum on the chair again, hiding his face in his hands.

    Trying to act all friend like, I venture a comforting hand on his shoulder, but end up petting him with my fingers as if he were a dirty stray dog. “How about I talk to her?”

    He looks up at me. “I don’t know, man. She really doesn’t like you.”

    “I know how to persuade the ladies,” I say with a sly smirk.

    He doesn’t look impressed. “Says the guy who never had a girlfriend.”

    I can’t blame him. Just looking at myself in the mirror makes me want to vomit. “You want my help or not?”

    “Okay, okay, cool.” His bushy eyebrows furrow all of a sudden. “Hey, you sound more like a sane person. What about the whole vampire nonsense?”

    The only way out of this mess is to get to the boy’s girlfriend and that won’t happen if I was treated like a total nutter.

    With a toothy grin, I point two index fingers at him. “Psych!”

    He blinks. “What?”

    “I’m not a vampire. Was just messing with your heads.”

    He stares at me searchingly. “That was the longest prank I’ve ever seen. Not that I’m an expert. Is it a British thing?”

    I shrug.

    He grins. “Major props for the first rate acting. You totally had me.”

    Running a hand over my unruly fluff of hair, I throw him a charming smile.

    “You know Giles will kill you for that, right?”

    Speaking of the watcher, he dashes into the room clad in tweed and looking like he’s about to burst. “What are you waiting for? Let’s go!”

    Xander pats him on the arm. “He’s okay, Giles. He was just playing us.”

    He whips his head at me. “What?”

    Cute little shrug and a nerdy smile. “Sorry, dad.”

    “Is that supposed to be funny?” His glasses glisten intimidatingly. “We’re already too late for school.”

    “Relax, Giles, we’ve just missed the first two periods.” Xander gets his share of threatening watcher glare. “Which by your standards is an equivalent to an apocalypse.”

    ‘Dad’ waves a furious finger my way. “You’re grounded for two weeks.”

    “Giles, it’s just a prank,” Xander defends.

    “And that means no more free rides to school for two weeks!” He waves his finger of wrath at Xander. “We’ll talk about this after school. Now get dressed!” he addresses me before slamming the door shut.

    “Sorry, bud. At least we can see each other in school.” Xander flashes an apologetic smile. “I’ll just wait with Mr. Wilson until you get ready.”

    When the door closes behind him, I take a look at myself in the mirror. My reflection is clearer now that I’m wearing glasses. It’s been more than a hundred years since I’ve been in my teens – I don’t remember being this lanky and no amount of gel can save the fluffy nest of brown hair on my head. At least my face isn’t infested with acne. Perhaps I can pull a good 90s heartthrob look.

    Checking inside my closet, horror strikes as I look at the travesty that is my wardrobe. Nerdy William hasn’t heard of silk and leather apparently.

    “The watcher shouldn’t expect me to get ready until fifth period.”
     
  5. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Part 3


    The watcher is driving a bloody Citroen. No wonder poor William has nothing decent to wear. This rubbish sounds like it’s being murdered. The ride to school consists of Xander making stupid jokes and Giles sassing him back. They’re sitting in the front while I chose to sit in the back, right in the middle. Still uncomfortable with direct sunlight.

    The school is at a visible distance, looking more intimidating in daylight. As Giles parks his dump of a car in his parking spot, Xander peers back at me with an unsure glance. “You know, there’s no shame in backing down.”

    “Why would I back down?” I ask dryly.

    His gaze focuses on my clothes. “You are one brave sucker.”

    I sling my school rucksack over one shoulder and smirk before getting out of the car.

    All the eyes are on the reformed chap walking down the school halls alongside two of Sunnydale’s first rate dorks. Clad in a baggy-arse suit, long sleeves rolled up, and a black t-shirt tucked into what seems to be William’s last year’s jeans – the only pair of jeans I was able to find in that closet of fashion disgrace. Hair slicked back with hand cream, which isn’t as effective as hair gel but a bloke has got to work with what he has. The glasses and dressing shoes are the downside to this fashion revolution.

    At least the teenybopper bystanders seem to be eating it up. Girls are fluttering eyelashes and boys are scoffing with envy. All is right with the world.

    “Aura is checking you out,” Xander whispers into my ear, nodding at a cute brunette in a cheerleader uniform. With a tug on my rucksack and a suave salute, I watch with satisfaction as she blushes and giggles.

    Giles pushes the swing doors open and we march inside to the school’s library. Sunbeams shine down through the skylight on red painted octagonal lines on the floor where Buffy and her redheaded friend sit at the wooden table in the center. Blood instinctively starts boiling inside at the sight of the slayer, but such emotions must be clogged until I find a way to go back to who I was and where I belong.

    Having interrupted an important conversation, both girls close their mouths shut and look up as we enter. Buffy’s eyebrows shoot up in amusement when she notices my new look. “Okay, having a speechless moment right now.”

    “Looking good, Will.” The witch attempts a supportive smile unsuccessfully. The corners of her lips droop in apparent sorrow. Guilty over hurting boyfriend dearest, which reminds me, I’ve got a rejected girl to find. Time to ask questions.

    I make my way toward the table, avoiding the spots where the sunlight touches the floor - old habits die hard. Slinging my pack off my shoulder, I stretch out in a chair and prop my feet on the table with an air of careless tedium. Everybody gapes at my un-William like behavior, so I drop my feet to the floor and try for a friendly, shy smile.

    I won’t be able to find anyone if I don’t convince this lot that I’m soppy William. “Uh, so, had a jolly time bowling on Friday?”

    “Oh.” The witch’s lips droop even further.

    Xander throws me a pointed look.

    “Right.” I give an apologetic shrug. “Sorry…” - What’s her bloody name? - “… Red.”

    They still gape at me. I cough and sink further in my chair, noticing a book cage on the other side. Why would a school library need a book cage?

    “So, what happened to you guys?” Buffy asks Giles, desperate to break the awkward silence that has fallen. “William missing English class? Can’t think of a legitimate reason.”

    “Just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, Slayer.” - Sodding hell! - “Buffy.”

    She gives me a humoring nod before springing to her feet, grasping Giles’ arm and taking him aside. “Okay, spill,” she demands in a low voice, though it comes off more like stage-whispering.

    “What?”

    “Something happened to him at the retreat?”

    Giles glances back at me, an unreadable expression on his face, but doesn’t answer Buffy’s question. Instead, he shakes off her hand and walks into a small office.

    Things are falling apart already. If I don’t play my cards right, they’ll be on to me. “So, friends, next class is…” I speak up, watching with relief as Buffy stops following Giles and turns to face me.

    Red looks ready to cry. Her eyes linger on the floor and she’s casting Xander uncertain looks. Xander lowers his head in shame.

    “Chemistry,” Buffy explains away.

    I’m this close to tearing my hair off my scalp. “Oh. Sorry again.”

    Xander releases a long-suffering sigh. “Speaking of awkward, have you guys seen Cordelia today?”

    “Haven’t seen her,” Buffy replies, slipping back onto her seat. “But Willow says Amy saw her at the mall last night. She’s probably in school but we haven’t crossed paths yet.”

    Xander nods and looks at Willow, swallowing as tension thickens between them. “What about you? Any luck reaching Oz?”

    She doesn’t look at him, preferring to stare at her lap in dismay. “It didn’t go well.”

    Buffy places a comforting hand on her arm and then gives Xander a reassuring smile. “Guys, I told you, it’s gonna take time.”

    Heavy silence falls over the room. Fiddling with the button on my tight jeans, I turn my attention to the small office where Giles has disappeared into. Something tells me he’s on to me. That unsettling look can either mean he already knows I’m not his precious offspring or that he’s still upset about the lie. Something else that boggles me; I never begged William the wuss for a liar. Granted I don’t remember a lot of my human days, but the ponce I used to be was nothing but a pathetic Mama’s boy. What was he up to when he lied to everybody? Intriguing mystery, but not so intriguing to hold off my plans to end this curse. I better find Xander’s bint and fast.

    “I gotta see Cordy,” Xander voices my thoughts.

    I jump to my feet before he makes his exit. “I’m coming with you. Promised to talk to her for your, remember?”

    “Guys,” Buffy points at her watch, “it’s time for chemistry class.”

    “I don’t care. I need to see Cordy.” Xander strides toward the doors with me on his tail, until…

    “And where do you think you’re going, young man?”

    Firm tone not to be messed with chills me to the bone. That icy stare on the watcher’s face is even scarier than his voice.

    “Look, I better follow him. Make sure he won’t make a fool of himself.”

    “You are not missing another class.”

    “But…”

    “I said, no.”

    There’s no arguing with daddy dearest, not when his jaw looks like it has been cast in iron. For a long moment we don’t move, then eye contact is broken when Buffy wordlessly hands me my rucksack. I snatch it off her hand and begrudgingly walk out of the library with the girls.

    Buffy leads the way, ever the leader, and Willow and I follow in silence. I notice Willow fledging with the books she’s carrying to her chest, but dismiss it completely. Frustration streaming through my veins like fire, I try to think of ways to ditch the girls and look for Xander and his chit. But what if she didn’t come to school today – no point in angering the watcher any further than that. One bloody class isn’t gonna hurt.

    Bollocks, shudders of anger hit me afresh as I walk into the familiar chemistry lab. It all began here. This bloody school. Wish I never stepped foot inside it, always brings nothing but pain in my arse.

    “Better save Xander a seat,” Buffy says, taking her place and putting her books on the empty chair next to her. Choosing to be stuck with the git so that Willow won’t have to sit next to him.

    I take my seat next to Willow behind Buffy, grimacing at the sink in front of me.

    “I understand if you’re upset with me,” Willow says in hushed under tones.

    “What?”

    Her guilty expressive eyes flickers between me and Buffy. Making sure our conversation doesn’t reach the slayer’s ears, she leans closer and whispers to my ear, “I haven’t asked you about your Friday night.”

    Thank God you didn’t, I almost say, had enough of everybody meddling in my mysterious affairs. But something in her gaze, that look… she knows what William was up to on Friday.

    With a worried glance at Buffy, she carries on, “I saw Larry by his locker. He seemed upset.”

    Who’s Larry?

    “Guess it was heartbreak hour for everybody.” She shifts back to her seat, face congested with gloom. “Is that why you’re dressed up like a 70s rebel?”

    “Huh?” What’s she yapping about?

    Everyone is settled in their seats when the teacher walks into the lab. I look around as everyone is opening their textbooks on a particular page with my mind trying to work out what Willow said. When the teacher starts writing something on the board, I turn to Willow to demand a coherent explanation.

    She shakes her head and rips a tiny piece of paper from her notebook. She writes something on it and hands it to me.

    How did you break it off with Larry on Friday?

    Bloody hell! William is literally a Nancy boy! Shocked eyes stare at Willow’s sympathetic ones. Right. It’s only temporary. Play along until I get hold of the vengeance demon and show her the real William the Bloody.

    I write on the back of the paper, It was hard, then hand it back to Willow.

    That’s when Xander shows his face, looking worse to wear, spots an empty place next to Buffy and parks his bum there. Shoulders slumped in apparent dismay, ignoring Buffy’s concerned attempts to get his attention.

    Another piece of paper is placed on my side of the table. It was nice of you trying to help Xander patch things up with Cordelia, considering.

    With a frown, I write on the back of the paper, Considering what?

    ‘You know,’ she mouths.

    ‘What?’ I mouth back.

    She indicates at Xander with her head. What about bloody Xander?

    The teacher suddenly asks Willow a question. Mind trying to make sense of things; so, my Friday plans were breaking up with a bloke named Larry. Nobody knows about it except Willow – William must still be in the closet judging by the fact that he lied to everyone about his whereabouts. He told Willow, though, who is impressed with my noble act to help Xander reconcile with his girl, considering…

    No! A revolting thought jumps into my head. No way. William is a hopeless romantic but he isn’t that desperate! Gaze boring holes into the back of Xander’s head as a cold feeling trickles down my spine. That demon bitch has sunk so low! William the Bloody, a century old vampire, slayer of slayers, terrorizer of Europe, is made to have sodding feelings for…

    “Xander?” the teacher calls out. “Would you weigh in on the argument about objects becoming solid when going below a certain temperature?”

    “Huh?” The boy snaps out of his melancholic thoughts. “It’s… um, becoming solids like… solid water?”

    The class explodes in gales of laughter.

    I bang my head on the table.
     
  6. Ethan Reigns

    Ethan Reigns Scooby

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    Sineya
    Keep up the good work! This sounds like it is going to be a great story.
     
  7. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Thank you. I noticed a couple of spelling mistakes in Part 3 but can't edit them because the post is expired. :(
     
  8. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Part 4





    My fingernails dig into Willow’s arm as I drag her out of the chemistry lab. Her indignant protests are glossed over by the sheer feeling of rage and humiliation rising from deep within my newborn soul. The bits of fresh and alarming information she’s offered about lil William are too much to take in. My poor mind is trying to dole it out a bearable fraction at a time but every time it’s like running into a brick wall.

    “Will, what’s going on?” Willow whimpers, trying to keep up with my pace just like she did when I had dragged her and that… that… joke that shall not be named to the factory. Where all my bleeding misery began.

    Furious eyes searching around for a private spot – impossible in a sodding high school jam-packed with meddlesome little nothings.

    “William, stop!” She finally manages to yank her arm out of my death grip. Taking shaky breaths, she looks at me with eyes wider than saucers. “What… what’s… wrong?” she says between breaths.

    Right here? In the hallway. Where everyone can hear. Not a bloody chance. “I want… I want to talk,” I give away, beating my anger down to a minimum. “Somewhere private.”

    “Sure.” Willow nods with a concerned frown. “Should we go to the library?”

    “The watch… my dad is there. Somewhere with no soul around.”

    “I can think of a place,” she says, looking at a buff boy in a football uniform walking into a locker room.



    ~*~*~*~​




    The American football field isn’t exactly empty what with a handful of team players using it for practice. But with us sitting on the bleachers too far up, those wankers won’t be able to hear a word we say. December’s wind ruffles the appalling pink and yellow banner behind us, sending a shiver down my spine. A shiver that’s caused by more than just a cold breeze.

    “So, I take it, things went extremely bad with Larry?” A gust of wind sends some of Willow’s red locks flying across her face. She tries to pull the stray hair behind her ears without much success.

    Grabbing both her shoulders, I shake her so hard her hair is even messier than before. “Tell me everything you know.”

    “I wasn’t there, Will,” she says with a tone of voice mostly used when dealing with daft children.

    “No, I mean, what did I tell you? You’re the only person I talked to about this. What did I say?”

    She tilts her head and furrows her eyebrows. “Are you okay?”

    Must be acting and sounding as daft as a brush. New approach. I let go of her and run a hand over my disordered hair. Hand lotion isn’t as effective as hair gel against blowing wind. Looking up at the sun, not even hidden behind clouds, yet so useless against the frosty chill blustering across my face. How do I approach the subject without Willow getting suspicious?

    Her hand covers mine in a disturbing show of support. It causes a range of different emotions to simmer beneath my detached domineer. Her hand is cold – never thought I’d say that about a human’s hand. Human feelings start to bubble inside threatening to boil over.

    Snatching my hand away, I try to focus on the topic at hand. “Tell me why breaking up with Larry was a good idea?” Sounds bitter and regretful, not at all as I’m fishing for information.

    Her expression melts into understanding sadness. “You’re having second thoughts?”

    “Something like that,” I say with clenched teeth. C’mon, spit it out.

    “Look, if you’re having second thoughts, maybe you should talk to Larry. I understand what it’s like to… you never know what you have ‘til it’s gone. I get that now.” Her lower lip sticks out in pure remorse. “At least you went about it the right way. You broke up with him before you did… something you’ll regret with Xander.”

    And she goes and mentions that name again. Using all the will power in every fiber in my young human shell to keep myself under control, I try to make sure I understood her correctly, “You and I… we both… we…”

    “Have a thing for Xander,” she finishes with a sigh. “But he was never interested.”

    Getting real hard to keep that anger under check. “Right.”

    “Well, until recently with me. Um… sorry, I never told you about that. I mean, we talk about everything. I’m the only one you told about… you being into guys, and specifically Xander. I just, knowing how you feel about him I couldn’t tell you that we were, you know. I know what it’s like. We both do. And there was also the guilt. Oz is a great guy and I hurt him bad.”

    Not caring about her pity party, I steer the discussion to my issues. “So, I left Larry because… because of Xander.” My jaw line is set in stone. “And as far as I can see, Xander isn’t gay.”

    “Not as far as I know.”

    I look up at the unthreatening sun and wish, with all my being, that it would burn me right where I sit.




    ~*~*~*~​




    There he is. Sitting at a round table next to the slayer in the cafeteria shoving everything on that blue tray into his mouth. Really, William, him. Have you got no shame? Even the slayer looks too disturbed for words.

    She notices us approaching their table and her face breaks out into a thankful grin. “Hey, where were you, guys? You disappeared right after chemistry class.”

    I don’t hear a word she says, scowling at the voracious pig licking his plate clean.

    “I was just showing William a new spell book.” Willow blushes intensely when Xander glares daggers at her with his mouth stuffed with some disgusting green thing that passes for food.

    “C’mon, Will, let’s get something to eat.” She grabs my arm and pulls me away from the wrath of Xander the buffoon. Spell books and magic are a sensitive subject – if Willow wasn’t messing with spells in the chemistry lab they wouldn’t have snogged and got caught. The mere mention of spells would most likely set Xander’s blood ablaze. Something we have in common, I concede begrudgingly.

    Willow hands me a tray and we stand in line. She tenses suddenly. “Oh.”

    “What?” I ask, shuddering when I find the green rubbish Xander is eating among the food choices.

    “Larry.” She indicates at the same buff boy we saw earlier walking toward us with an empty tray of his own.

    So, that’s Larry. A step up from Droopy Boy for sure. Nicely built, football player; William dumping his arse for the Harris loser is beyond me.

    Larry stops in front of us, nods at my clothes. “What’s up with the new look?”

    “Nothing to concern yourself with, mate.”

    He looks taken aback by my retort. The semi-awkward silence that fell over us is interrupted by a girl nudging my back with her tray to move along. As I move forward behind Willow, Larry takes a hold of my arm. “Can… can we talk?”

    “Not likely.”

    “Please?”

    Willow casts me an encouraging smile and gets hold of my tray - obviously on the impression that I regret dumping Larry coupled with her guilt over cheating on her boy.

    I hold in a suffering sigh and follow the boy to the hall outside the cafeteria. He tucks his tray under his armpit and shuffles from foot to foot. I let out a bored sigh. On with it, bugger!

    Larry opens his mouth to talk but closes it quickly when two girls walk by and enter the cafeteria. Once again, we’re alone in the hall, and he finds his courage. “I’ve been thinking about our break up all weekend. You told me there was someone else.”

    I glance at the cafeteria through the door window. My ‘someone else’ is now cleaning the slayer’s leftovers.

    “But, I was wondering… maybe, there was another reason?”

    I turn my attention to him about to say something when he blurts out, “Because… you’ve been kinda avoiding me since that night in the locker room.”

    “Locker room,” I echo hesitantly.

    “When we had sex,” he clarifies.

    “Of course.” How about that? Mama’s boy having a little rumpy pumpy somewhere other than the bedroom. Good for him.

    “Look, I know it was my first time with a guy, but I thought since it was your first time ever that you won’t tell the difference.” Unable to meet my eyes, he lowers his embarrassed gaze to the floor. “If my performance was so bad. I’ll try to make it up to you.”

    I’m too old for this. Time to end this once and for all.

    “Look. Larry, is it?”

    His head snaps up in surprise. “What?”

    “I have no interest in shagging any boy or girl in this bloody campus. All right?”

    Larry narrows his eyes at me. “You mean you’re into older guys?”

    I give him a thin smile and a nod. “Yes, Larry, I am into older guys.” You bloody twat.

    “I see.” He looks mildly disappointed, not at all heartbroken anymore. “Is it a teacher?”

    “Better not stick your nose where it doesn’t belong, mate.” I give one last charming smile before I go back into the cafeteria, leaving him gobsmacked.

    Willow waves at me from their table, having saved an empty chair next to her. She also chose my meal for me. Fortunately nothing nasty on it. Regular food inviting me in. That milk carton is making my mouth water the same way blood used to do.

    Before I have a chance to take it, Xander snatches it and pours my milk down his throat.

    “What were you and Larry talking about?” Buffy asks, not hiding her disgust at Xander’s behavior.

    “He was complimenting me on my new look.” I’m thirsty and I no longer have a milk carton. Sensing my distress, Willow offers me hers. She’s a good one that Willow. I can see why William confided in her.

    “Yeah, about that,” Buffy says, eyeing my outfit critically. “I see you’re done with slacks and bow ties. May I interest you in the latest on boy fashion?” There’s eager hunger in her eyes. The slayer does have an eye for style.

    “The light is green, pet. Do your magic.”

    She claps her hands in excitement. “Cool. So, hitting the mall after school?”

    “Thought Giles grounded you for two weeks,” Xander says between bites of Willow’s food.

    I shoot the wanker an icy stare. “Look there, the pig talks.”

    He makes a face at me. Buffy pats him on the shoulder, and explains, “He’s eating his sorrows away.”

    “I saw Cordy kissing another guy,” he spits out, a tiny piece of food lands on my cheek. I don’t react to it though.

    “You saw her?” My heart starts pounding. “She’s here?”

    “She didn’t waste her time. Already riding the moving on wagon,” Xander sneers, eying my plate of chicken breast like it’s the plague. He wags a finger in my face in determination. “But two can play this game, my friend.”

    “Where did you see her?” I press, ignoring his indignant prattle.

    “Outside the cafeteria.”

    Pushing my chair back so fast it tips over, I’m about to head out of here.

    “Where are you going?” Xander’s voice pierces my ears. All three are gaping at me in bewilderment.

    “Don’t you want me to talk to her?” I bark at him, too frustrated to care how I come off.

    “Please. I’m way over her. Besides, I saw her there before chem class. She’s somewhere else by now.”

    He’s right. I almost slap my forehead. I was already outside the cafeteria with Larry. She wasn’t there. Very smooth, Spike.

    Xander glares down at his licked off, empty plates. “She’s probably sucking face with John the jock Lee.”

    Buffy pats his thigh. “I’m sorry, Xand.”

    Xander springs to his feet, nearly knocking the table over. The girls hold the shaking trays in place hastily. “Well, I’m done with feeling bad,” he announces. “I’m Bronzing it tonight. Who’s with me?”

    Both girls share unsure looks.

    “Great. That settles it,” he decides for them, then manages an apologetic shrug my way. “Sorry, man, we’ll fill you in tomorrow.”

    I remember that I’m not allowed outside the house for the next two weeks, which won’t be a problem once I find Cordelia. Turning around, I walk out of the cafeteria and ignore Willow calling my name. Chit must be somewhere close. I should find her and get this nightmare over with permanently.



    ~*~*~*~​



    Kicking the door to my room open, I drop my rucksack on the bed and collapse on the chair in front of the computer. Eyes on the textbooks neatly arranged by height on the desk’s shelf, I let out a groan and open the drawer underneath the computer. Open, close, open, close, my mind isn’t focusing on anything but my failure to track Cordelia today.

    After lunch, I tried to locate her – as much as I could with all the classes standing as obstacles in my way. Too bad I didn’t share any of them with the daft bint. To make matters worse, after a long deadly silent ride home, Giles declared that a talk is in the cards right after he changes out of his tweed.

    A desperate glance at the window tells me that sneaking out is off limits. Those iron security bars on the window look like they were installed just to prevent me from escaping. I’ve yet to see a house in Sunnyhell with one of those. The watcher must be too paranoid.

    Attention back to the opened drawer, I start fiddling with the small notebook inside. Some scribbles are written in pencil in those pages. Opening a page, I scan what seems to be a love poem – haven’t written one of those in years.

    My nose wrinkles when I spot Xander’s name in one of those badly rhymed verses. A poem about Xander. How degrading.

    The door clicks open, and I toss the notebook into the drawer and snap it shut.

    Giles walks into the room and closes the door gently behind him. He looks less intimidating with the flannel and plaid. Sitting on the bed, he removes his glasses and pinches the bridge of his nose in clear exhaustion. “William, I know things haven’t been right between us since the candy bars accident.”

    Pursing my lips, I can’t hide how irritating it is to listen to people talk about past events I have no knowledge of.

    Glasses still hanging between his fingers, Giles looks up with a face riddled with guilt. “I really wish we could talk about this so we could get past it.”

    “You want to know where I was on Friday,” I cut right to the chase. Last thing I need is to learn about another embarrassing incident in the life of pathetic William.

    Startled that I went straight to the topic he wants to discuss, Giles recovers fast, a shadow of panic hovering over his face. “Are you in trouble? Is someone threatening you?”

    “Why would you say that?”

    “Is it, uh, drugs?”

    “William and drugs.” A laugh rumples in my throat. “What a riot.”

    “What is it?” his voice tenses with impatience.

    I lean forward and offer a sly smile. This is going to be fun. “Well, let me break it to you gently there, Dad. Your son is a great poofter and has been having it off in the boys’ locker rooms with a nice chap named Larry. Was a bit of a bummer, so he had to end it on Friday.”

    Giles stares hard and straight at my face. He doesn’t look convinced. “I’m not laughing, William.”

    “Why would you laugh?” I ask in a matter-of-fact tone that seems to get through the watcher.

    He coughs and places his glasses back on. “Oh. So, you’re…”

    “A bleeding fairy.”

    “Really, William,” Giles objects in offence. “There’s no need to sound like a… there’s no, uh, shame in...”

    “Right,” I cut him off with a raised eyebrow. “Try sounding more convincing there, daddi-o.”

    “First, I don’t appreciate that tone. I’m your father and you are not to speak to me in this manner.” He straightens his back and looks me in the eye. “My reaction was nothing but mere surprise. If it’s judgement you’re looking for, then you’ll be disappointed. All you’ll get from me is support.”

    I stare at him, speechless, not exactly because of what he said, but because of the effect it’s having on me. Some strange and unexpected feeling is tightening in my chest. His words for some unexplainable reason moved me. Don’t think I’ve ever received such understanding in my life. Ridicule and disappointment – now those are familiar and frequent. It was how Dru felt about my truce with the slayer.

    Giles’ hand on my shoulder takes me by surprise. “You can always come to me. No matter what happens, you can talk to me. I would never judge and I’m not let down.”

    That look in his eyes, unfamiliar, reflecting feelings I’m not accustomed to. My human heart beats fast, my human soul is twisting; human feelings are rushing inside filling me with different emotions I’m not brave enough to describe.

    “One week?”

    “Huh?”

    He removes his hand from my shoulder and takes off his glasses again. “One week of detention. You still lied to me. But I understand the reasoning behind it.”

    Overwhelmed by the odd feelings swarming inside, I give the watcher a nod, hoping it’ll shut his gob. All that Nancy rubbish he’s spouting must have affected this teenage body despite my best efforts. Rushing hormones and what not, can’t be controlled.

    “Suppose I shall prepare dinner,” Giles says with a smile. “Since Xander isn’t having dinner with us tonight, perhaps I shall make a proper English cottage pie.”

    My stomach rumbles as I realize I haven’t eaten anything in school today. “Sounds lovely.”

    “Very well. Change out of your ridiculous ensemble and wear something comfortable. Then come and help me in the kitchen.”

    “Right.”

    I watch him leave in numb silence. My shoulder still feels warm from his touch, warmth still spreading over my mortal body. Mortal. I’m a human with a soul now. Not just any human, an adolescent with a needy desire for love and approval. Humanity, with all its disadvantages, ought to catch up with me sooner or later. No wonder I felt all warm and tingly at the watcher’s declaration of fatherly care and support. Next thing I’d be thriving for a kiss and hug before bedtime.

    Or worse – glancing at the drawer where those horrid poems are – what if I start developing pesky feelings for bleeding Xander? This is William’s body after all. His desires and needs are part of the package.

    There’s no stalling from now on. Better get hold of that vengeance demon tomorrow before I end up feeling or doing something I’ll regret.



    ~*~*~*~​
     
  9. Ethan Reigns

    Ethan Reigns Scooby

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    Sineya
    Keep it coming! BTW "beneath my detached domineer" should have been "beneath my detached demeanor". I am amazed that there is nothing else showing that English is not your first language.
     
  10. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Thank you! I can't fix it here as I can't edit my post, but I can fix it in my Livejournal and Ao3. :) Keep those corrections coming.
    --- Double Post Merged, Feb 11, 2016 ---
    Part 5




    The slayer’s eyes bulge out of their sockets when I show up at school in my new mismatched ensemble. She grabs my arm and starts dragging me down the hall with a speed I can’t match – Oi, her grip hurts, about to break a bone in my arm, she is. Bloody fragile human shell, so weak against slayer strength. She stops by the boys’ locker room and pushes a shopping bag against my chest.

    “Go in,” she demands, shooing me inside, “Hurry up before someone shows up with a camera.”

    With a swift glance at the contents of the shopping bag, I whistle, “Ain’t they trendy.”

    “And affordable,” she adds. “There’s a receipt inside. Have your people talk to my people.” My smirk matches hers; Rupert won’t take this well.

    Just notice Xander and Willow catching up with us as I walk into the lockers room. To my annoyance, the boy follows me inside. Really can’t find it in my willpower to tolerate him. Not with all the absurd love poems hidden in my study’s drawer back at the watcher’s flat.

    At least he’s not talking. Just sitting there, watching me get dressed in my new chic garments. Who would have thought William the Bloody would end up being dressed up by the slayer?

    She also didn’t forget to buy the hair gel. Spreading it through my hair, I sweep it from the line of my forehead toward the back of my head. One more amused glance at a very shocked Xander. Poor sod’s nugget of a brain is trying to work out the reason behind his nerdy mate’s sudden wardrobe upgrade.

    Using a comb to sweep my hair into place, I take a critical look at my reflection; should have asked for hair bleach.

    “So,” Xander ventures, “you never told me what you were up to last Friday?”

    The kid is catching on. “Gonna be straight with you, mate,” – interesting choice of words – “Your ‘buddy’ here isn’t playing for the same team anymore if you catch my drift.”

    Xander’s eyes grow wider than they already are. “You mean…”

    “Been seeing your friend Larry for a while. Shagged him right over there,” I point at where he’s sitting. Xander jumps up like his bum has just been lit on fire. “Wasn’t up to my standards and had to cut him loose.”

    Through the mirror, Xander’s face changes expressions as he tries to find the suitable words in reaction to such news. “Wow, uh, you’re…um, you….”

    Poor William will be disappointed if he knew his crush is a huge homophobe.

    I turn around, arms folded over my chest, and give him a disgruntled look over. “Relax. You’re not my type.”

    Xander lets out a relieved breath – more heartbreak for William – and his gaze travels over my clothes to the perfection that is my hair. “Is that why… with the change of clothes and the change of attitude?”

    “What can I say? I’m gay and proud. Function much better now that I’m out.” A stray lock of hair falls on my forehead. Pursed lips, narrowed eyes and turning my head a bit to the left – no, it’s not working – and I brush that lock back.

    “I’m not gonna lie. This is shocking news of epic proportions.” Catching what he said, Xander lifts up his hands defensively. “But I’m hip. I support. I’m gay-friendly.” He walks towards me and pats my shoulder with a happy grin. “And I appreciate being the first one you told about this.”

    Shaking his hand off my shoulder, I grab the shopping bag and peer inside for anything else Buffy bought. “Actually several people knew before you.”

    “What? Oh, of course, Larry.”

    “And Rupert. And Willow.”

    “What?” he cries, offended. “Okay, I get Giles because he’s your dad. But Willow, before me. And when did you start calling your dad by his name?”

    I pull out a black wallet chain. Takes me back to the seventies. William could use looking a little like a badass.

    “Can’t believe my life,” Xander witters on, unaware that I’m only half listening to him. More engrossed by hooking the chain to my belt. “Bronze was a bust, and now you’re busting my chops, too. I saw Cordelia at the Bronze last night.”

    “Of course you did.” Bitch shows up anywhere where I’m not around.

    “She was all with the pretending she was over me.”

    “Hate to break it to you, mate. But you were the one who cheated on the girl.”

    “Not you, too, Will.”

    Glancing at the mirror, I watch as the chain drapes around my waist with satisfaction.

    “Look, I know I screwed up. Okay? Bad enough that Willow won’t touch me anymore. And by that I mean friendly, comfort touching. And Buffy’s all sore about me teaming up with Faith to kill Angel.”

    Now that piece of info catches my attention. “You were going to kill Angel?”

    He looks huffy. “You were there.”

    Well, seems that little Xander has some depths after all. I salute him. “Respect, mate.”

    He blinks. “Thanks. I guess.” A grin forms on his mouth. “See, this is what I’m talking about, in the midst of heartbreak and side-taking we guys should stick together. The whole bro code thing.”

    He gives me an unwelcomed light punch on the shoulder. “Thank God I got you, bud. Don’t know what I’ll do without you.”

    Returning his happy grin with a thin smile, I sling the shopping bag over my shoulder and make my way out of the locker room. Where is bloody Cordelia?




    ~*~*~*~




    I’m gonna kill that Willow. Burn her up and dance on her ashes.

    Had to endure another awkward conversation with sodding Larry because Miss Sunshine still believes I give a bollocks about him. The pains of letting down that boy gently. Again. Least this time he wants nothing to do with me. Turns out calling him a pansy jock was the last straw. Wish I knew that yesterday.

    Dashing out of the school halls and stopping near the fountain, I take a deep breath of the day’s fresh air. The sensation of my lungs filling up still enthralls me. So does the feeling of the sun on my face. Shouldn’t get too attached though. Gotta get back to where I belong.

    “Will!”

    There she is, the little menace, sitting at a bench with her goody-two-shoes of wankers. Xander waves a hand at me. The talk we had in the locker room still ringing in my ear. Poor sod. Thinks I give a toss about him. With a weary sigh, I realize that the lot I despise the most are the only ones I got right now. Starting to make my way toward them, I bump into someone accidently.

    “Ouch. Watch it, dweeb,” yells the tall beauty in a flashy blue dress. Someone got her knickers in a twist. I barely touched her. She does look recognizable, though. Apparently, she seems to recognize me as well.

    “William?” she asks, utterly shocked by my hair and trousers.

    “Oh, hey, it’s Garbage girl,” says a blonde girl followed by two attractive lackeys. “Loved the look last night, Cor. Dumpster chic for the dumped.”

    Cor? Cordelia?! Heart starts beating fast. That’s her. Finally.

    The scornful bints cut between Cordelia and her friend, laughing in ridicule. Her brunette friend takes off a pendant she’s wearing around her neck. “Here. I think you need this more than I do.”

    Cordelia lifts up her hair as the girl helps her wear the pendant. “Yeah, I could use some luck.”

    What am I doing? I finally found her. Should be summoning a vengeance demon about now. “So, uh, Cordelia, innit?”

    Her face couldn’t have been any more offended. “Great. Now losers are taking shots at me. Bad enough you pulled the rest of my stiches. Finishing Buffy’s job, are you?”

    I don’t get it. Must have showed in my face ‘cause now she’s rolling her eyes in classic adolescent fashion.

    “And what’s up with the new do? Ferris Bueller meets Grease?”

    Now it’s my turn to roll my eyes. Can’t people stop commenting on my new style choices? “Look, I’m on your side.”

    “Right.” She doesn’t sound impressed. “Xander’s best buddy is on my side.”

    “I am. I know what it’s like when someone you care about cheats on you.” Just then I feel the sting of seeing Drusilla with the chaos demon, still raw and fresh. Along with it comes unrecognizable feelings of empathy rushing inside – my new humanity taking me over. I actually sympathize with the girl.

    She doesn’t seem to see it though. Instead, she lets out a derisive laugh. “When did you even have a girlfriend?”

    “You want Xander to suffer, don’t you?” I look her in the eyes, getting straight to the point. My hurt over Dru taking the wheel. "He hurt you. He should pay, right?”

    “I second that,” her friend chimes in, uninvited, though much welcomed when I realize she’s on my side.

    “We should summon a vengeance demon. She’ll give Xander what he deserves.” Straight to the point. No delays, no playing games. Just get me back to my reality.

    “You know about vengeance demons?” Cordelia’s friend sounds surprised and interested, but I pay her no mind, looking right into Cordelia’s unsure gaze.

    “Look,” she says with hesitation. “I know you and Willow are into the whole witchcraft business, but summoning a demon?”

    “Just a little wish. Something to teach him a lesson. He made you a laughing stock when you used to be on top of things. He should get a taste of his own medicine.”

    Cordelia glances at the blonde girl who had just insulted her, standing by the fountain with her flock. She looks back at me, a bit sold on the idea. “So, how does this work exactly? I make a little wish and Xander gets it?”

    “Only when we summon a vengeance demon.”

    She plays with the pendant her friend gave her, still considering. One last push.

    “Yesterday a girl approached Xander asking if he was available. Apparently cheating on you made him look…”- what do kids say nowadays? - “… cool.”

    She rises to the bait. “Girls used to be revolted by him until I started dating him.” She shakes her head in disgust and dismay. “You know what, count me in. God, I wish that Xander Harris never again knows the touch of a woman.”

    “Done,” the meddlesome friend says, earning a horrified gasp from Cordelia.

    I turn around. Her friend isn’t there.

    “Oh my God!” Cordelia exclaims in horror. “Her face? Did you see it?”

    What? Rage fills me as I realize who Cordelia’s friend is. I give myself a well-deserved smack on the head. “Of course! She was a vengeance demon, you daft git!”

    “Who? Anya?”

    “We need to bring her back.” I shake Cordelia’s shoulders in desperation, my gaze falls on her pendant. “This. She gave it to you.”

    “Yeah, she calls it her good luck charm.”

    “It’s a vengeance demon pendant! Hand it over.”

    “No way.” She holds it in her fist protectively.

    “You got your wish. Now it’s my turn.”

    “Right.” Her features hold a detested condescending smirk. “You wanna get back at your imaginary girlfriend who cheated on you.”

    “I did you a favor!”

    “What favor? Look at Xander. Nothing has happened to him.” Her nose rolls up as if she just caught a nasty stench. “Is he wearing yellow sneakers with that outfit?”

    “See, it’s already working.” I’m this close to ripping that thing off her neck. “Now be a good girl and hand it over.”

    Her answer to that is a smug smile and a raised eyebrow.

    “Oi, told you I’m on your side.”

    “Do you hear that? That’s the sound of no-one caring.” With a light laugh, she turns around and walks away.

    Shocked, I stare at her retreating back and shake my head in exasperation. So much for sympathizing with that bitch. Though I have to admit, kudos for playing me like that. She’ll make a fine vampire.

    Now I gotta work on making me a vampire. I’ll find a way to get that pendant, but right now I should find the proper book to summon a vengeance demon. Better get started on gathering the right ingredients. The little witch, she can help me out.

    Striding toward their bench, I catch Rupert walking past the slayer and the others pointing at his watch. I stop for a second to make sure he’s out of sight – no need for him to know about my plans. Obviously he won’t take it well if he knew I’d be messing around with magic.

    Coast is clear. I make my way toward Willow.

    “Need your help,” I state at once.

    She looks up with a smile that disappears when Xander lets out a pained whimper.

    “What?” she asks, her and Buffy looking at him in confusion.

    He looks at his knee that has just touched Buffy’s shoulder then lets out a smile. “Nothing. Must be some electrical spark.”

    “Really? I didn’t feel anything,” Buffy says.

    “It’s nothing.” He pats her on the shoulder then jerks away in pain. “Ouch!” He looks at his hand, his eyes widening in incredulous confusion. “What the hell is going on?”

    Xander holds Buffy’s hand with his own, alarmed when smoke starts rising between their clasped hands. With a pained cry, he lets go of Buffy’s hand and looks at his. It’s badly burnt.

    “Oh God, Xander, that looks like a second degree burn,” Willow exclaims, horrified.

    Cordelia’s wish was granted, I see. And the silly bint isn’t here to witness it. As the disturbed three rush to the library to solve the new mystery, I realize Willow won’t be up to helping me with my problem either. Quite the selfish lot these high school bastards.



    ~*~*~*~
     
  11. Ethan Reigns

    Ethan Reigns Scooby

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    Sineya
    This is getting good. Keep it coming!
     
  12. cryptwarmer

    cryptwarmer I'm in charge of morale!

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    Black Thorn
    Loving this!
     
  13. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Thank you! :)


    Part 6:







    Buffy and Willow rush off with an injured Xander inside the school building, trying their best not to touch him as the latter cradles his burnt hand and blows on it to reduce the pain. Incredibly miffed, I drop my arse on the bench next to the neglected rucksacks and textbooks and curse my bad luck.

    Summoning a vengeance demon would require countless of hours – could be days – of searching for the right book in Rupert’s big collection of demonic volumes. Once found, there’s the other problem of needing to visit the magic shop after dear old pops sentenced me to a week worth of exile. There’s not a chance I can escape those window bars in my bedroom. Can’t also sneak out the front door when my jailer has literally made the living room his quarters for a nice cuppa.

    And then there is bleeding Cordelia and the pendant she nicked.

    Loud ridiculing cackles come soaring from the fountain. The blonde bird who had insulted Cordelia earlier and her flock are having a laugh at the expense of a freckled lanky boy with a laptop.

    A devilish smile curls up the corners of my lips. There’s my ticket to get that pendant out of Cordelia’s sodding clutch.

    Making sure my gelled hair is in place, I tug on my collar and saunter my way toward the little blonde. She shoots another sharp comment at the lanky sod, sending her lackeys into a fit of giggles. Hands tucked into my giant pockets, I face her, standing between her and her friends.

    Her laughter dies in her throat and a repulsed expression takes over her face.

    Leaning in slightly, I fix her up with my most charming smile. “Hello there, darling, how would you…”

    “No,” she interrupts pointedly and then starts strutting away with her lackeys trailing behind her, her scornful laughter ringing in my ear.

    “Oi, just wanted to tell you about Cordelia’s last fashion crime. Thought you might like to take a piss at her.”

    She spins around gracefully and shakes her head. “Don’t need your help, four-eyed creep.”

    She shoots. She scores. I take off my sodding glasses and almost throw them into the fountain, until I realize I can’t see the fountain clearly. Reluctantly putting them back on, I watch the bitches flouncing out of my sight.

    So, that was in all probability the most humiliating experience of my entire existence – including being clobbered by the slayer’s mum. Must be the William jinx, good thing I didn’t pour out bloody awful poetry by accident.



    ~*~*~*~



    Pushing the doors to the library open, I find Willow sitting alone reading through a huge book on the table. “You’re by yourself?”

    “Buffy took Xander to the nurse,” she answers absentmindedly, not taking her eyes off the book she’s reading. “I just came here to fill Giles in.”

    A frustrated cuss erupts from the office. There goes Rupert fussing about in the small space, going through the mass of books he’d packed in there. The witch, on the other hand, seems completely engrossed in her book. She barely notices my hand that snaps it shut.

    Flinching, she ducks her head in shame when she catches me glancing at the cover. “A spell book?” One eyebrow arches in amusement.

    “Huh? Well, I just… I figured, you know, with uh…” Her red locks fall on her face to hide her embarrassment. “I know I should swear off spell books after… but, this is serious. Xander is in…”

    “Take it easy, Red, you’re running out of breath there.” Pushing the book aside, I lean against the table and fold my arms across my chest. “I don’t think a spell would fix up Xander.”

    Her lips curl up in an offended pout. “I know I’m out of my league but if I concentrated…”

    “Have you ever summoned a demon?” Keep cutting to the chase. Best way to deal with this lot.

    “What?” She blinks confused yet intrigued eyes up at me. “No, why would I?”

    “This is obviously the works of a pissed off demon. We better find…”

    “What demon?” Rupert makes his way out of the office with a couple of large volumes in his hands.

    Closing my eyes in exasperation – almost had the witch begging and willing to help. Now I don’t see Dad there having an open mind about the subject, so I go for the quickest safe, “I’m just brainstorming.”

    “You seemed sure about this a second ago,” Willow comments, eyebrows furrowing in disappointment.

    “Well, it’s got to be a demon,” I reply. “Who else has the power to do this?”

    “On the contrary, my friend,” Xander’s obnoxious voice interrupts as he and Buffy walk through the library doors. “This has Cordy written all over it.”

    Willow jumps up from her seat, eyes widening at the sight of Xander’s hands. “What happened? Why is Xander’s other hand patched up as well?”

    “The nurse touching him made it worse, so we asked Johnathan to do it,” Buffy answers, dropping on the chair next to Willow’s.

    “Why Johnathan?” Willow asks.

    “He was passing by.”

    Rupert rolls his eyes. “She means why would Johnathan be any help to Xander, and as I’m saying this I have already arrived at the answer.” He walks towards Xander and touches his arm. Nothing happens. “Your skin appears to be sensitive to the female gender’s touch alone.”

    “It’s Cordelia, I’m telling you.”

    Willow frowns. “How do you know?”

    “Last year when she dumped me on Valentines, I used magic to get back at her.”

    Buffy shifts in her seat, sharing a doubtful glance with Willow. “I don’t see Cordelia doing something similar.”

    “Yeah, she’s not as pathetic,” I add, earning a look of disbelief and hurt from Xander.

    Rupert rubs on his forehead to ease what appears to be a major headache. “Well, if Xander feels strongly about his Cordelia theory, let him, well, investigate.”

    Xander points two appreciative fingers at the watcher for the support. “Way ahead of ya, big guy.” He fumbles out of the library in search of his ex while I shoot Rupert an irritated look. “What about my demon theory?”

    “I’m not discounting that possibility. It’s just that we have no leads.”

    “Fine. I’ll search in the demons’ section. Give it a whirl. Willow, lead the way.”

    She jumps from her chair and fortunately does as told. Don’t fancy them on my arse realizing I don’t know my way around this library, especially with William’s reputation as a bookworm.

    We head up the flight of stairs to the stack level. When we’re out of sight, I grab her shoulder to stop her on her tracks, and she looks back at me. “If we find the right book, will you help me?”

    Her eyes sparkle. “Sure. I’m up for it. Giles can get the ingredients and you and I can…”

    “I was gearing toward you and me doing it ourselves. No adults involved.”

    Her face falls. “Oh. I don’t know, Will. After what happened with me and Xander, I don’t see myself being reckless with magic.”

    “But you said, you’re up for it.”

    “I’m sorry. But if I’m gonna work on getting Oz to forgive me, I should be worthy of his and everyone’s trust.” She touches my arm in a show of apology. “Hope you understand.”

    I understand one thing; I’m alone in this ****ed up mission.






    ~*~*~*~





    Our search for the book has mounted to nothing. There were still more books to inspect when Pops wanked on the party to remind me that I have a math class to attend. Arguing that Xander’s condition is more important was not a good enough excuse to ditch a class. Willow promised to keep searching – and speaking of her, she did mention Rupert’s collection of demonic books back home earlier. Reckon I’ll have to find a way to get the bloke out of the flat for a better snoop around.

    Walking down the school halls to get the math book from my locker, I notice bloody Cordelia standing by her nicely decorated locker. When eye contact is shared, I give her the finger. Bitch is taken aback by that, but doesn’t comment.

    She’s two lockers away from mine, taking out a math book – we’re sharing the same class. Hmmm, could use that to get that pendant. As I stand there, trying to remember the combination to open my locker with no apparent success, someone grabs my arm, spins me around and smacks me against the hard steel. Face to face with one outraged Xander whose death grip on my collar tightens by the second.

    “And hello to you, too.”

    “How could you?” the flat tone in his voice has nothing on the expression of pure murderous rage on his face.

    “Look this dashing and handsome? Well…”

    A second rough smack against the locker shuts me up. A few students gather around us to witness the fight.

    “I know you were behind this,” he spits out, eyes on fire. “Cordelia told me everything.”

    A glance at the stupid bint, who seems captivated in our conversation as well. “And you take her word over mine? I should be the one getting all pissy and offended.”

    “Cordelia has no way of knowing any vengeful demons. You, on the other hand, are an expert in demonology.”

    “I am?”

    This time the back of my head gets most of the abuse. “Stop being an ass!” I’ve never seen the boy like this before, harsh and hysterical and really, really brassed off. “You’re supposed to be on my side.”

    Tilting my head, I give the lad my most revolted stare. “Right. Because you’re such a prince.”

    “You’re my friend.” Sounding confused and wounded, his grip on my collar lessens, and I seize the moment to push him away.

    Narrowing my eyes at him, I remain calm, blasé and let out an aggravating soft sneer, “Here’s the thing, I don’t give bollocks about someone who cheats on his significant other.”

    The anguish in his eyes is easy to read, so is the flash of hurt passing over his face. “You think I deserve this, do you?” his voice comes out oddly devastated and almost tearful.

    “Frankly, yes.” The underlying steel in my voice contrasts his. “You’re a spineless, selfish nobody and could use some humbling.”

    The boy stares at me like his whole world is shattering before his eyes. His eyes blink away unshed tears, and he shakes his head. “I wouldn’t have done that to you,” his voice fails him, and the last couple of words emerge trembling.

    “Because I have the decency to break up with someone when it’s not working out.” He winces at the hard tone, his face reflects how broken and betrayed he feels. He gives a shaky nod before he slinks away with his tail between his legs.

    The students that surrounded us start cheering and clapping, seeming to add more salt to Xander’s injury. The boy quickens his pace, trying to get away from it all.

    Returning a couple of high fives and forcing a smile at the enthusiastic thumbs ups, I watch our audience scatter away with relief. Glad that drama is over. Wish I have asked Xander about the combination to this bloody locker, though. He was the one who opened it yesterday – looks like I lost that privilege now.

    “Thank you,” the soft spoken words startle me. Cordelia is suddenly standing right next to me – didn’t have that problem before I was stuck in this useless body. Used to sense a human approaching from a mile away.

    Looking at her grateful eyes, something tugs in my chest – most likely my human heart – though I don’t fight the sympathy that sweeps over me. No one seems to take notice to the poor girl’s pain. The very familiar pain that drove me to this hell town to win back Drusilla’s love and devotion.

    “He’s a git. Deserves what he gets,” the sincerity in my voice does surprise me a bit.

    “You standing up for me against him? Never thought I’d see the day.”

    No wonder ladies aren’t lining up to win William’s affection, saddling himself with that little wanker. Once the ponce gets back to this body he’d be thanking me for doing him a favor and getting rid of Xander.

    Cordelia reaches inside her purse and hands me the pendant. “Here. Hope whoever hurt you gets it, too.”

    I don’t waste a second snatching it from her hands. I give her a little gentlemanly nod which she returns it with a smile, walking away to class. Math book completely forgotten, I grin down at the treasure in my hands. Things are definitely looking up.



    ~*~*~*~
     
  14. cryptwarmer

    cryptwarmer I'm in charge of morale!

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    Black Thorn
    Gahhhh.....cliff hanger. This is SO awesome. LOVING IT
     
  15. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Thank you! You have no idea how feedback feeds the muse. :D
     
    cryptwarmer: I write fan fic, so I totally get it! Can't wait to read what happens next!
  16. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Part 7




    Rupert’s Citroen seems to have a mind of its own. Driving around an old trout only to dodge a mailbox accident and still remain on the main road. That’s as much self-control as your average teenager can muster. Thanking Dru’s stars that I’m still in one piece, I step on the brakes five seconds in advance to get the car to a complete stop before crossing a red light.

    Maybe this whole ordeal won’t be as stressful if I didn’t have to drive like I’m being chased by a pissed off cheetah demon. Not that this old dinosaur is capable of going as fast as speed limit. Still, old junk can’t function well on speed, but I have to get back to school before Rupert notices I nicked his car keys. Should have known better than to leave them unattended on the table in his office waiting to be pinched. He won’t see my logic, I’m afraid.

    Though the old sod isn’t as much observant as I used to think. He didn’t suspect much when I got him to leave the flat last night – an intense craving for a good Shepard’s Pie did the trick. He was extremely willing to please me and left me alone with his home collection of demonic books. It didn’t take long to find the book I wanted. Had to hide it in my room and read through it after a good old home-cooked meal – Old Rupes is quite a cook. Found what I needed to summon a vengeance demon and even more interesting information I have no use for.

    Green light. Car takes its time to start and I’m showered with frustrated honks and angry cursing from the cars behind me. You’d think a small town would have more patient drivers.

    There it is. The magic shop. Just have to pull over without damaging this old wreck even further than it already is. Car looks like it’s leaking, but that’s Pops’ problem to fix.

    Deep breath. Last time I visited this small shop, I had to sneak in from the back. Won’t be a problem now with a body immune to the sun.

    The jingle of the door announces my entrance. The shopkeeper plasters a huge welcoming smile on her face. She won’t be this friendly if she knew how I sucked her brains out when I still had my fangs.

    “Hello, anything in particular I can help you find?” she asks so pleasantly that I’m tempted to kill her again.

    “Made a list.” ‘Cause that was how Willow got what she wanted last time without any fuss. A crumpled paper is tossed on the counter. She looks through my list with interest.

    “We have some of these and we’ll be getting black cat bones first thing tomorrow morning. However, the shipment of Yarrow flowers won’t make it to the shop until next month.”

    “So, what you’re saying is… you don’t have all the supplies?” the tiny crack in my voice makes it less intermediating. Either I’m a very late bloomer or having Giles’ genes in my blood means puberty will take an eternity to be over with.

    “I’m afraid not.” Her critical eye looks me up and down and doesn’t seem to like what it’s seeing. “I have to ask, why would you be summoning a demon?”

    Can’t fool a magic shop owner. Better give it straight. No dancing around the truth. “Got dumped. Want revenge.”

    She tilts her head, seeming to disapprove with my answer. “Hmmm I’m sensing hostile energy. Maybe instead of going through all this trouble to…”

    “Lady, I didn’t ask for advice. I asked for supplies. Customer always right and all that rubbish.”

    Taken aback by my aggressive response, she runs her fingers awkwardly through her short hair. “Right. So, uh, you want to purchase the supplies we already have?”

    “Yes, and I’d like to pay for the others beforehand.” Good thing little William prefers saving his allowance instead of spending it on the spot like most normal teens his age. Couldn’t believe the amount of cash I found in his wallet.

    I check my watch as she puts the materials in a paper bag. Should head back to school before the others notice I’m not there. Flinging the money at her – “Keep the change.” – I snag the bag and rush out of the shop, hoping the drive back would go smoother and with less racket.




    ~*~*~*~*~




    My little adventure goes unnoticed by the rescue rangers, all gathered in the center of the library reading though big book volumes. No one spots my smooth slip into the office nor the casual drop of car keys on the table inside. I join the rest of the gang in the silent research party, receiving welcoming smiles from Buffy and Willow and a nod from Rupert.

    Xander doesn’t look up from his book, though. Still pissed off over our encounter yesterday.

    No one mentions anything about my part in the whole dilemma. Seems that Xander didn’t tell them. Perhaps I should put him out of his misery, being a good old chap and not telling on me. The other interesting bit of information I found in the book back home was how to lift Anya’s curse off the boy. Destroying her power center – the pendant – should get Xander right as rains. It should also reverse all the wishes she’s granted, but won’t fix my problem though as I was cursed by another demon.

    But, where is the fun in that? The curse on Xander is the only amusement I got in this bloody reality.

    “I still can’t fathom how Cordelia came to know about this type of a demon,” Rupert comments in the midst of the heavy silence.

    Xander’s jaw clenches but he says nothing, nor does he lift his eyes from the book in his hands.

    There’s a tiny twinge of something inside my chest. I ignore it. You’re an evil bastard, Spike, don’t let William’s sodding humanity get to you.




    ~*~*~*~




    A few days pass. Healthy breakfasts in the morning followed by a silent ride to school usually disturbed with Rupert trying to make conversation. His attempts go unsuccessful and he attributes it to some candy incident that happened a while ago. I don’t correct him.

    School isn’t any better either. It’s either class or useless research in the library, same redundant Xander issue. On the plus side, Cordelia has been trying to chat me up. Poor lamb hasn’t gotten back on her horse yet with popular kids still making fun of her. Think I should take the girl on her offer, a snog or two with a good looking fellow as myself would boost her confidence.

    Tonight is another research night, but it isn't about Xander for a change. A new demon lurking and terrorizing the innocent. Or mostly Buffy, who looks determined to get back at it for hypnotizing her to her death. Girl’s luck streak didn’t disappoint, she was saved last minute by Angel. Haven’t seen the poofter since the curse. Can’t see him being welcomed to the fold after his soulless episode.

    Everyone is focused on the new demon crisis, except for a displeased Xander who keeps mumbling something under his breath.

    “Sorry, Xand,” Buffy says apologetically. “Urgent stuff happens sometimes.”

    “I know.” He tries to be understanding, but fails miserably. “I can handle having my problem on hold for a night.”

    Buffy smiles sympathetically and reaches to comfort him, but he jerks away before she manages to touch him. “Are you trying to kill me?”

    Buffy withdraws her hand hastily, her face stricken with embarrassment. “Sorry.”

    “Nothing in here,” Rupert declares, snapping his book shut and going up the stairs to the stack level in search of another.

    Willow’s gaze drifts from the watcher to glare at the two troublemakers. “C’mon, guys, the sooner we find this demon, the faster Buffy can kill it. If it was able to get to Buffy, guess how easily it can hypnotize a normal person.”

    “It didn’t get me, I got away,” Buffy defends weakly.

    “With Angel’s help,” Willow stresses. “Slayers aren’t above hypnotizing.”

    “It’s how Dru bagged your friend Kendra,” I add my two scents, looking at a picture of a Fyral demon. Wonder what happened to the two who used to work for me. Bet they won’t appreciate my recent alteration to a human boy.

    The silence that follows my comment becomes unsettling. I look up to find both girls blinking confused eyes at me.

    “Dru?” Buffy asks. “Who’s that?”

    I’m starting to master the adolescent eye rolling. “Drusilla? Insane, innate psychic powers, needed to have her strength be restored? That Drusilla.”

    Buffy and Willow exchange puzzled looks.

    “Drusilla,” I exclaim in exasperation. “She came to this bloody town last year with…” Stopping abruptly when I realize… she arrived with Spike. Who doesn’t exist here. Which means, Drusilla never stepped a foot in Sunnydale.

    “I don’t remember…” Willow begins carefully, trying not to offend me, “Maybe you came across her by yourself?”

    “Who cares?” Xander smacks the book in his hands on the table. “Can we get this over with and get back to my problem?”

    Buffy and Willow hurriedly drop their gazes to the pages in their books while I shoot daggers at the boy. Good thing I reconsidered reversing the curse. Git deserves what he gets. Now if only I know whatever happened to Drusilla in this reality. Angel must know. He’s her sire after all. Last time I saw the old bugger he was in the deserted mansion. Perhaps it’s time Spike drops in for a visit.




    ~*~*~*~
     
  17. cryptwarmer

    cryptwarmer I'm in charge of morale!

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    Black Thorn
    I love this one, had me laughing outloud. SO Spike.

    Typo? did you mean intimidating?

    Rescue Rangers...love it!

    SO Spike, but I feel sorry for Xander, and for Will when he gets back. :(

    I was so happy to see an update this morning. I've been checking every day!
     
  18. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Thank you for catching that typo. I won't be able to fix it here, but I'll correct it on my Live Journal.
     
  19. Ethan Reigns

    Ethan Reigns Scooby

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    Sineya
    Nice to see the breaks in the text as well. The solid wall of text is intimidating. The story is coming along great!
     
  20. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Part 8




    Bell rings. Math class is over. Spike is a free man. Literally. My jail time is served. Rupert has announced the good news this morning. Pushing the classroom’s door open, I dash out along the sea of pouring students toward the school hallway. Doors left and right are decorated with Christmas wreaths. Kids wearing Nancy Christmas wool-sewed pullovers. Christmas vacation is two days away. Freedom has never come at a better time.

    Passing through all the chattering about Christmas plans, I spot the three stooges standing by the girls’ lockers. I resist the strong childish urge to skip toward them and declare my freedom. Been a human juvenile for over a week now and some new unwanted habits are beginning to show.

    Walking with an air of poise, I stumble upon some serious conversation when Willow’s usual concerned voice asks, “Do you think something’s wrong?” She opens her sticker filled locker – though to be fair, every locker in this school is jammed with silly stickers. Even mine to my shame. “Maybe you should tell Giles.”

    Placing her book into her equally embarrassing locker, Buffy shrugs off her long coat and stuffs it inside as well. Don’t see why she was wearing it in the first place. Sunnydale is named “Sunny” for a reason, even if we’re in December.

    “No. I don’t wanna bug Giles,” she says to Willow. “He’s still kinda twitchy when it comes to the subject of Angel.”

    Stopping in my tracks before reaching them at the mention of Angel’s name. My plans to go and see the great brood couldn’t see light with Rupert guarding our front door like his life depended on it. He’s been extra careful at school, too, keeping taps on me wherever I went. Have started to suspect he knows something about my latest adventure to the magic shop.

    “Well, it must be that whole Angel-killed-his-girlfriend-and-tortured-him-in-front-of-his-son thing…” – Buffy notices me standing close by and gestures for Xander to shut his gob up. The boy looks over his shoulder and winces in embarrassment.

    Interesting. Angel must have done a number on old Rupes. Could being tortured in front of me have anything to do with the mysterious candy incident that’s still bothering Rupert?

    “Hi, Will!” Buffy pipes up. “So what does it feel like being a free agent?”

    Cool shrug. “It’s all right.” Glancing at the three awkward faces. “So, you were talking about Angel, I see?”

    Willow flinches, holding her rucksack to her chest and unconsciously pushing her opened locker’s door shut with her back. “We can talk about something else.”

    Another cool shrug. “Don’t mind. So what’s the old bugger’s up to?”

    Willow zips her bag close and slings it over her shoulders. “We’re thinking Angel is having the holiday blues.”

    The four of us start walking away from the lockers. I notice Xander keeping a distance between us. Still sore over my part in his distress. Well, good riddance. Least I don’t have to put up with his off-putting cheerful prattle.

    “I was shopping for Christmas gifts and we pumped into each other,” Buffy says, holding a brown paper bag close to her chest. “He was acting wiggy.”

    “So same old?” I ask dryly.

    A flash of hurt crosses over her green eyes. Though I don’t get the dirty look Xander received earlier. Reckon having my old man tortured in front of me is a legitimate reason to be resentful of her precious boyfriend.

    “So, Will, what are you doing for Christmas vacation?” Willow blurts out, always ready to break an uncomfortable silence.

    “Whatever old Rupes wants. You?”

    “Being Jewish. Remember, people? Not everybody worships Santa,” she huffs over-sensitively.

    “No need to get your knickers in a twist.”

    She pouts.

    Walking to the student lounge, I can see Cordelia sitting on a couch and chatting with a friend. Nice to see her talking with someone. Apparently she didn’t need my snogs of pity to get back on her feet.

    Dropping the school bag on the floor next to the couch opposite to Cordelia’s, I slip on one side with Willow climbing to the other side. Xander stands uneasily glancing at us and the empty spot between us. He decides it’ll be less awkward to drag a chair to Willow’s side of the couch and keep his distance.

    Buffy takes that paper bag over to the Holiday Food Drive collection box behind our couch. She starts pulling cans of food out it and putting them in the box. Ever the charitable, selfless slayer.

    Xander tenses when he sees Cordelia sitting at the opposite couch. He flashes Willow a nervous grin. “Well, I’ll be enjoying my annual Christmas Eve camp-out.”

    Not that anybody asked or cares to hear, but Xander’s motor-mouth doesn’t stop there, “See, I take my sleeping bag outside and I go to sleep on the grass.”

    Willow smiles politely. “Sounds fun.”

    “Yeah, I like to look at the stars, you know? Feel the whole nature vibe.” He notices Cordelia approaching us and drops his gaze to the floor.

    Cordelia stands tall next to his chair, eyebrow up and looking smug. “I thought you slept outside to avoid your family’s drunken Christmas fights.”

    Xander looks up at her, clearly expecting no less from her. “Yes. And that was a confidence I was hoping you’d share with everyone.”

    The humiliate Xander hour has started early today. Temptation gets the better of me. “So, Cordelia, hope your Christmas plans are more interesting than the pathetic lot.” Pointed stare at Xander, who looks away.

    Cordelia smiles with her chin up high. Even her friend looks at her with triumph. “Well, I’ll be in Aspen. Skiing. With actual snow.”

    Buffy joins us, hands draped on the back of the couch. “I hear that helps.”

    “It must be a drag to be stuck here in Sweatydale, but I’m thinking of you.” I try to hide my smirk at the envious glint in the eyes of ‘my friends.’

    Cordelia doesn’t have a problem showing hers. “Okay, I’m done.” Twirling around, she struts out of sight with her friend by her side.

    She’s something, isn’t she?

    Buffy doesn’t seem to think so. “She certainly has reverted to form.”

    “It’s not her fault,” Willow defends like the saint she is. “After what happened, we gotta cut her some slack.”

    Xander is about to spout some defensive rubbish when I speak up, “Good old Willow with her Christmas spirit.”

    He closes his mouth shut. Lips thin with stung pain.

    “Hello, still Jewish. Chanukah spirit, I believe that was?” Willow reminds me again. “Anyway, forgiveness is pretty much a theme with me this year, ‘cause of the…” she trails off when a boy comes up to us.

    He glances over at Xander, who responds by scraping his chair back and away from Willow. Must be Willow’s scorned boyfriend.

    He returns his gaze to her. “Hey.”

    Willow smiles up hopefully. “Hey.”

    “Can we talk?” he asks quietly.

    Willow slips off the couch and starts following him to an empty classroom nearby.

    Buffy takes Willow’s place on the couch with an eager smile. “Think they’ll get back together?”

    “They should.” Another pointed glance at Xander. “Willow deserves happiness.”

    Unable to take it anymore, Xander wordlessly rises up to his feet and starts walking away.

    Buffy bites on her lower lip. “We shouldn’t have said anything.”

    “Why? Should be happy for her. It’s what any decent person would do.”

    “I know, but he isn’t getting back with Cordelia. And he still got that severe case of inflammable. I can see how unfair that must be for him.”

    She’s got a point. Though I don’t voice my agreement.




    ~*~*~*~





    Ridden with guilt, Buffy helps Xander researching in the library. Books scattered everywhere in the stack level, Buffy and Xander, all cross-legged with a large book on their laps, devouring every detail with penetrating interest. I, imitating the two notwithstanding, am mostly trying to fight drifting off and falling over the book in my lap and hitting my head on the floor.

    “Guys!” Willow races up the stairs with excitement. “Oz and I are back together!”

    “That’s great, Will!” Buffy throws her book aside and jumps to give her friend a hug. She pulls back all slayer-like serious. “What did he say? Dish it out. Gimme the whole dish.”

    Willow’s grin can’t get any bigger. “Well, at first…”

    Xander suddenly closes his book, keeping his finger on the page he’s reading, and leaps to his feet before storming out of the place.

    Willow’s eyes grow wide and she starts after him, trying to stop him, but catching herself when realizing one butterfly touch from her will scar his flesh. She settles for staring at his retreating back over the balcony in complete sorrow.

    Once Xander walks out from the library, Willow turns her sad eyes to Buffy. “Oh, poor Xander, I didn’t mean… he’s obviously upset with me.”

    Buffy places a gentle hand on her shoulder. “Willow, you’re allowed to be happy for working things out with Oz.”

    “Still, he’s got to deal with being cursed and here I am gloating and shoving my happy life in his face.”

    Buffy smiles sympathetically. “All we can do for him now is research.”

    “Right. On with the research.” She drops to the floor with Buffy and both of them resume the useless research.

    Not me, though. I’m not wasting any more minutes pretending to look for something I’ll never find. Springing to my feet, I make my way down the stairs, wondering where Old Rupes is. We’re supposed to be heading back home now.

    Plopping myself on one of the chairs with legs propped on the table. Maybe I can leave without him since I’m not grounded anymore. I’d have hit a few bars if silly old William was smart enough to work out a fake ID. If memory serves me, Rupert does have some good liquor at home. Isn’t worth the risk of being locked up again, though.

    The library doors swing open as Xander returns with disappointment clouding his face. He stops at the sight of me, a series of muddled emotions run through his features. He starts making his way towards me, opening the book in his hand.

    “Look, I found something here.” He shows me a picture with a sketch of Anya’s pendant. “I, uh, went to ask Cordelia about it, but she already left school.”

    Looking up at him, I can see how he’s trying to force a lump down his throat. “Was it… it says here it’s the symbol of Anyanka. I’m assuming that’s the demon’s real name. Was she wearing it when she granted Cordelia’s wish?”

    Casual shrug. “I didn’t notice.”

    “William, please…” the tremble in his voice is unmistakable. He’s plainly on the verge of breaking down. Could be fun to play with him a little. But it’s too much energy and I do feel a bit hungry.

    “Yes,” I lie instead.

    “So, um, do you know where I can find it? It can help with putting an end to the curse.”

    Boy isn’t so daft after all. But hungry or not, I don’t feel charitable enough to help him out. “Sorry, mate, it disappeared right with the demon.”

    He nods as if he expected that answer. “Okay, then, uh, do you know how to summon it back?”

    “I didn’t summon Anyanka. Just told Cordelia what she’s capable of.”

    He licks his lips, looking desperate and at his wit’s end. “But you know about her type. You must know how to break the curse.”

    “Just heard of them. Never really read about them.”

    He doesn’t look like he believes me, but he’s obviously too proud to argue. “Guess I’ll just show Giles what I found,” he says with a voice tempered with steel.

    As he walks away, I start reflecting on why I keep torturing him. Then I remember those daft poems in my drawer.




    ~*~*~*~




    Best quirks about being human is the appreciation of delicious food smells. My stomach rumbles at the aroma emanating from the kitchen. Rupert, still hasn’t changed since coming back from school, is already there fixing me something healthy and tasty for dinner. Must admit it isn’t really bad being the man’s son. Better than being stuck with someone who doesn’t know their way around the kitchen.

    “Don’t forget to remind Xander about Christmas Eve,” Rupert says from his place near the stove.

    I rest the book I’m reading on my lap and frown in the direction of the kitchen. “Xander?”

    “You invited him to spend Christmas Eve with us.”

    Inward snort. Of course pathetic William did. Can’t get any more subtle than that. Intruding his loser of a crush on a family traditional night so he’ll get acquainted with the father. How smooth and pitiful. “Oh, he’s got plans.” On with a quick save. No need to tell him that things aren’t hunky-dory between me and the boy.

    “With who?” He’s not going to let it go now, is he?

    The sudden knocking on the door saves me from an unwanted conversation. Flinging the book aside, I jump to my feet and race toward the door.

    Door swings open and Angel’s mopey face greets me.

    I feel a sly smile working its way to my lips. “Lookie who drops by.” I lean against the door frame, arms crossed, and stifling a laugh at his kicked puppy expression.

    “William, is your father in?” trembling pathetic voice so low, I can’t keep the laughter in anymore.

    “Who is it?” Rupert calls from the kitchen.

    “Angel,” I answer back.

    Sounds of flustered movements arise from inside followed by Rupert rushing to the door with a towel on his shoulder. He pushes me back protectively and stands before the miserable sod. “What brings you here?”

    Can’t recall hearing that tone in the watcher’s voice. Dangerous and filled with resentment. His hand reaches back and holds on to my arm, giving me a slight push to keep me hidden behind his back.

    “I’m… I’m sorry to bother you.” Angel’s tortured eyes are starting to get on my nerves. Makes me wish for that smug bastard back. Least he wasn’t this pathetic.

    Rupert’s hand on my arm starts shaking as a bitter laugh rumbles from his throat. “Sorry. Coming from you that phrase strikes me as rather funny. ‘Sorry to bother me.’”

    The sarcastic tone drips with bitterness. The protective hand squeezes my arm. Something inside squeezes as well. Nancy human feelings threatening to take over again. What is it, Spike? Getting all sentimental about being shielded from the scary monster by big strong daddy?

    Trying to ignore those pesky feelings by focusing on Angel, who has the decency to look ashamed. “I need your help.” His face droops even further at the ridiculous request.

    “And the funny keeps on coming.” Wish I can see Rupert’s face, but it’s impossible from where I’m standing.

    Swallowing his pride, Angel carries on, “I understand I have no right to ask for it, but there’s no one else.”

    Rupert’s death grip on my arm loosens somewhat. “All right. But you don’t get to be invited.”

    Angel nods. “Fair enough.”

    “William, go to your room,” Rupert orders as he lets go of my arm.

    “You’re joking, right? Now that things are starting to…”

    “Your room. Now.” He looks back with furious eyes that look far more intimidating without his glasses on. Miffed, I start heading to my room, feeling too aggravated by a number of things. Somehow Rupert’s command and missing the interesting conversation aren’t as disturbing as Angel not recognizing me as Spike. Starting to wonder if Dru actually exists in this reality.





    ~*~*~*~




    So, turns out, the brooding ninny is wondering why he’s back. He should be stuck in a demon dimension suffering for eternity – no arguments there. But somehow, he was sent back, and now he’s dreaming about his glorious past and dragging Buffy along with him. She doesn’t seem pleased with that, arguing with Rupert to find a solution to the whole crossing dreams mystery.

    Playing with the telephone wire next to Rupert, I listen silently as Buffy tries to convince the watcher that she won’t be going on dates with Angel. So any chance of a soulless lunatic terrorizing Sunnyhell again are out of the question. She just wishes to be out of his dreams.

    Rupert doesn’t look pleased with the whole ordeal. Can’t blame him really. However, he puts his glasses on, a sign of a watcher ready to hit the books.

    “So, we’ll help him?” Buffy asks hopefully.

    Rupert tries for a smile but fails, seeming to realize he’s got no choice. “Yes.”

    “William?” She looks up at me expectantly. The shrug I give brings a smile to her face.

    “Where do we start?”

    The three of us turn our heads to the door where a bashful Xander stands, hands in pockets, face remorseful and hesitant. He starts elaborating upon the surprised looks he receives, “Look, I’m aware I haven’t been the mostest best friend to you when it comes to the whole Angel thing. And, um, I don’t know, maybe I finally got the Chanukah spirit.”

    Buffy looks grateful.

    Rupert springs on his feet and gets down to business, handing each one of us a book to research.

    Heading out of his office, Buffy looks at Xander. “Are you sure this is how you wanna spend your Christmas vacation?”

    He gives a half-hearted shrug. “Not that I can spend it in the arms of a lovely woman. Unless I have a death wish.”

    “Sorry about putting your problem on hold yet again,” she says sympathetically.

    “Hey, Buff, urgent stuff happens all the time, right?” With an unconvincing grin, he attempts to lay a comforting hand on her shoulder, but stops himself midway.

    Both of them stand awkwardly for a second, only to be saved by an excited Willow bouncing her way into the library. “Hey, guys, what are we doing?”

    “Starting a new research party. Theme’s Angel and whatever bloody purpose he should serve.” Buffy flinches at my dry tone. Perhaps Harris can fake being all selfless and giving, but I’m already brassed off. Another tedious research session that won’t benefit me in any way; if it’s not about Xander, then it’s about Angel, two wankers I don’t give a bollock about.

    Throwing myself on a chair at the research table, I open the book and stare at the first page, completely aware of the eyes staring at me.



    ~*~*~*~







    Yawning for the tenth time, I leave my place behind the checkout counter and walk into Rupert’s office with my useless book tucked under my armpit. One look at my pissed off face, Rupert sighs, taking off his glasses with one hand and rubbing his forehead with the other. “We haven’t found a thing yet. Everyone must be exhausted.”

    “Everyone is asleep,” I correct him with a nod at a sleeping Willow on the chair behind him.

    “Very well. Suppose we could use a break. Go up and see if Buffy and Xander are also sleeping.”

    Trying to find an empty spot to drop my book on his messy desk, I eventually give up and place it on the floor. After long hours that have dragged to what seems to be centuries– the highlight being Harris running to fetch us pizza and drinks – I’m all in favor of stealing one of Rupert’s finest liquor collections and getting myself legless.

    Behind a stack of books, I find Buffy sound asleep on the floor surrounded by a pile of books. Here we are wasting a good day on her pathetic boyfriend and she sleeps it away.

    My steamed up metal rant is interrupted by a faint sound of a hiccup. Really soft, most likely to be missed has the library not been so terribly quiet. Curiouser and curiouser,my mind croons as I step over Buffy toward the other side.

    Peering over a stack of books, all careful and quiet, I feel my eyebrows going up to my hairline.

    There, sitting at the far end of the wall, legs crossed, face hidden in his hands, back hunched, is a crying Xander. His soft sobs hidden in the palms of his hands. His body trembling slightly as he clearly tries to repress the sound in order not to attract attention.

    My first instinct is to throw a scornful remark. Get him all embarrassed and defensive. But then I catch that stray tear that manages to slip down his face and stains his trousers.

    Just then, I feel it, that small foreign tug at my chest that I kept resisting all week. This time I can’t bring myself to brush it off. The soulless vampire persona I’m clinging desperately to is slipping away.

    That recognizable sight of lonely suffering opens the gate and my human emotions start flooding all over my conscious. The boy has been strong enough to keep his guard up when nothing in his life is going well. Willow gets to have another chance at love, but he doesn’t. Willow gets out of this mess scott free, but he has to pay the price. And to top that, everyone has got someone to spend Christmas with, except he doesn’t. And I never made it much easier on him, making sure to throw a jab at his expense at every turn. Never showing sympathy to his condition and I’m supposed to be his friend.

    It’s worth to note that I am starting to. Not only do I feel sympathy, but also admiration. The abandoned opened book next to him reminds me that he gave up researching his curse to help Buffy save the vampire he despises.

    That must take a lot of willpower.

    I watch him pour his heart out, as silently as possible, but don’t step in. Can’t bring myself to give him the comfort he needs, not that I think it’ll be welcomed. Not after everything that went between us for the past week.



    ~*~*~*~
     
    cryptwarmer: how long have Giles and Will been in the states at this time?