Silence enveloped the room after the slayers and Angel had described the experience with the Sunnydale vampires. Giles rubbed his glasses, his frown deepening. He wished that Buffy was up to attending the meeting, but she had a headache and felt disoriented. Spike had insisted on taking her up to her room to rest. Giles hoped that was all Buffy was doing. Hopping into bed with Spike right now was not a very good idea. There was too much going on right now. Besides, what would the younger slayers think?
“Are you sure that these vampires looked like regular vampires?” He cleared all thoughts of Buffy sleeping with Spike out of his mind. Now was not the time to worry over his slayer’s love life. “There weren’t any special markings are features?”
“Positive,” Angel answered. “The only thing different about them was the unnaturally superhuman strength.”
“We barely got away,” Reese shivered, remembering how one of the vampires had grabbed her by her throat. If it hadn’t been for Angel…she didn’t even want to think what would have happened.
“This is quite disturbing, indeed,” Giles pinched the bridge of his nose, trying to sort all the information in his head. Everything was happening so fast. Sunnydale’s reappearance, Spike’s return, the First appearance, and now this. Seemingly normal vampires with enhanced strength. Things were not looking good. “We need to patrol…but not under these circumstances. These girls won’t last longer then a week.”
Gunn cleared his throat. He had been sitting on the couch, listening to the new information attentively and had come up with an idea that he hoped would work. “Why don’t we give the slayers some back up?”
Giles frowned. “What do you mean by back up?”
“Spike and Angel can join the slayers out on patrol, along with myself. Give the girls some extra muscle.”
“I like that idea,” Theresa eyed Gunn appreciatively. Not only was he cute, but he was smart. She couldn’t help but like him. “Three hot guys watching my back, I’m all for that.”
“Angel?” Wesley asked. “What do you think? Would it work?”
“I think so. I’ll have to talk to Spike and Buffy, but I’m sure that it won’t be a problem.”
“Wesley…I’d like to take a look at that collection of yours. Maybe there’s more information about the First and its minions there,” Giles cleared his throat. “There may be something there that was left out of my books.”
“Of course. I’ll go retrieve them now,” Wesley headed for the door, grateful to feel useful once again.
“I have an idea, too,” Willow raised her hand, her eyes bright with excitement. “Why don’t I teach the girls some magic?”
“What?” Faith asked. “Magic? Will, no offense, but they’re slayers. Not witches.”
“I know that. I’m not saying that they get fully involved in magic, just enough to give them an edged against the First and its minions.”
“I see your point and I must say that I like it. The girls can protect themselves a lot better,” Giles nodded in full agreement. How ingenious of Willow. He would never have thought of teaching the girl’s magic for self-defense. “But teach them only defensive spells. Remember just how dangerous magic is. Especially for beginners. Get with me tomorrow and we will set up a schedule. In the mean time, Faith…step up the training. The girls are going to need to be at full power in order to defeat the First.”
Giles couldn’t help but feel a bit relieved. Finally, they were getting organized. Maybe now they had a real chance of winning this for the last time.
Buffy yawned as she snuggled close to the sleeping vampire in her bed. A slight smile touched her lips. She had waited for way too long to get Spike all to herself like this. Granted, she rather not have gotten a concussion, but if the result was alone time with Spike…who was she to complain?
“You should be resting pet,” Spike sighed, his eyes half opened. “You need to rest.”
“I am resting. I haven’t moved from this bed,” She kissed him gently. “Where is everyone? I’m surprised no one came to wake up us yet.”
“Dowstairs discussing the new development.”
“What? Now? Without me? We should be down there,” Buffy began to set up, just to be pulled back down onto the bed with Spike now hovering over her.
“No you shouldn’t, Pet. You took a nasty beating. You are to stay here in bed for the rest of the night. Watcher’s orders.”
Buffy snorted in amusement, not at all surprised. She loved Giles, but he could be such a mother hen at times. “And since when have I ever listened to Giles?”
“Starting now, because I’m going to make sure that you do.”
“And how do you plan to do that?” Buffy asked, not intending to let anyone keep her in this room for very long…not even Spike. She was unprepared for the swift movement and the tingling sensation of Spike’s lips meeting her own. All thoughts of leaving her room to attend the meeting faded away.
“No fair,” she pouted when he had pulled away.
“I’m a monster, pet. I don’t play fair,” Spike smirked as Buffy rolled her eyes.
“It’s a good thing that I love you or I’d dust you over that lame joke alone.”
“I’m hurt,” Spike fell back onto the bed and covered his eyes with his arm. “I give the girl my best and she still wants to stake me.”
“Oh stop being a baby,” Buffy playfully slapped his arm, draping her body over his and laying her head on his chest. She sighed, feeling so full of love for the man below her. “I love you Spike.”
Out in the hall, Pike stood seething. He had overheard Buffy’s declaration of love and felt instantly betrayed. This time in Sunnydale was supposed to be his chance to make Buffy see that they belonged together. It was his chance to get her back. Now that chance had been snatched away by that dead, disgusting thing! It wasn’t fair!
“It looks to me that you weren’t dead enough for her, man,” Benny stood behind Pike, his mouth stretched in an evil grin, his brown eyes dark with malice. “You should kill the bitch and her friends too. They’d never see it coming, especially not from you. Just be rid of them all, man.”
Pike shook his head, trying to ignore the apparition. Benny was making regular appearances now, urging Pike to turn to the other side. Worse, Pike could actually feel himself weakening. The closer Spike and Buffy got…the more Pike wanted to listen to Benny’s evil suggestions.
“Go away Benny,” Pike sighed. “I really don’t need this right now.”
“But you know it’s true. She rather sleep with the undead rather then you. She doesn’t deserve to live, much less the title of slayer. I mean, what kind of slayer sleeps with the things she has to kill anyway?”
Benny had a point there. Really, what was Buffy thinking? She was supposed to kill vampires, not fall in love with them. He was going to have a talk with her. He was going to try to talk some sense into her, get her to see that this Spike was a bad idea. If she refused to listen…well then maybe Benny’s idea wasn’t too far off the mark after all.
“Go away Benny,” He went back to his room, putting his plans for Buffy to rest for the night.
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