The closed fist almost connected with Xander’s jaw. The
young man though quickly tilted his head on a side, dodging the punch.
Another punch hit him, on his chin this time. Xander shook his head, and
punched his opponent back.
“Cover your face, Xander…I shouldn’t be able to hit you” Giles said.
Blow after blow, Xander Harris kept training with Eric or Giles. His
training had begun shortly after Buffy and Giles had announced them Buffy
He had asked to train with Buffy. Years fighting on the Hellmouth had
taught him a few tricks, but he knew he wouldn’t be of much help whether
His best friend was pregnant…and he knew in his heart he would do anything
to protect her.
Much on his surprise both Giles and Eric had agreed on letting him train.
Although there were moments, like that, when his body hurt so much that he
wondered at his actions.
The only answer he had been able to give was that helping Buffy, being one
of the people who night after night helped the Slayer in keeping the world
safe, made him feel whole. It had given him a purpose.
Being a card-carrying member of the Scooby Gang had helped him finding
Gone was the insecure boy who had greeted Buffy in Sunnydale saying, “Can
I have you?” four years before.
Gone was the Zeppo, replaced by a young man, who had proven himself to be
of invaluable help on many occasions.
He had friends, real friends…whom he trusted implicitly. He had a woman he
loved wholly…and made him happy.
“Xander you’re letting your guard down” Giles’ voice called distracting
Xander from his thoughts.
They were training in Eric’s house. One of the largest rooms had been
purposely left empty; it had soon become the official training room for
all of them…especially since Buffy had moved in with Giles.
Eric didn’t seem to mind, though. Xander had noticed that very few things
really seemed to matter to him, including the place where he lived in.
“Sorry G-Man” He mumbled, dodging a punch and twisting Giles’ arm behind
“Very Good, Xander…” The former Watcher said pulling away from him and
Xander was surprised by his strength.
<Why should I be? He’s the guy who has made a living out of being pummeled
by the Slayer…>
Xander shrugged and looked around before asking, “Where are our two
resident vampire spies? Shouldn’t they be here?”
Giles threw a club at him, and Xander couldn’t help noticing Giles’
surprised look when he easily caught it; the older man arched his eyebrows
and said, “They were training on their own…in Spike’s crypt, I think.”
“Special training, uh? And what are we, chopped demon’s entrails?” Xander
began attacking Giles, but was soon disarmed.
“Don’t rush at anything, Xander…you don’t have to tire soon. Remember, we
don’t have superhuman strength”
“Got it…” Xander mumbled.
He wiped away some sweat from his forehead, with the back of his hand.
“I guess their training is quite different than ours.” Giles said. They
began sparring again.
“How different can their training be?” Xander suddenly asked.
He had watched the two vampires training for the last two months; he
hadn’t noticed anything different from his training, except that they
didn’t hold back with each other.
Watching the two vampires training together was a fascinating sight,
albeit a slightly disturbing one. Each blow was given with the precise
intent to hurt the other.
When Xander watched Spike and Eric training together he had troubles
believing they were friends and not mortal enemies.
He had troubles believing Eric was one of the few people Spike blindly
“I don’t think it’s for us to know, Xander.” Giles commented. He hit him
in the stomach with the club, and Xander almost doubled over in pain.
“Hey, what the hell was that for?” Xander managed to ask.
“You were distracted….” Giles said.
“And knocking me unconscious was going to help me, how?” Xander panted.
“It wasn’t supposed to…that’s the point! In a real fight, you would be
Spike’s chuckles interrupted him. Both Xander and Giles turned; Spike was
leaning against a wall, his hands in the pockets of his duster.
“Care to share the funny?” Xander asked through clenched teeth.
Spike took some steps toward them and said, “Was just thinking that none
of you heard me entering the room…if I were an enemy you would be both
dead, right now….”
“But Spike, I thought you liked us now” Xander deadpanned, playfully
batting his eyelashes at him.
Spike snorted at his words, “Don’t push it, mate…” He said. Yet, it was
clear he was still amused.
Xander didn’t want to admit that he was beginning to really like Spike. He
had a good sense of humor; he was a surprisingly patient trainer, and what
mattered most…he was making Willow really happy.
Yet there was a part of him who couldn’t help fearing him.
Truth was he didn’t want to trust Spike.
He couldn’t trust Spike.
No matter how many times he kept telling to himself that he had proved
himself to them for the past months, he couldn’t shake an ancestral fear
of his demon away.
He had lied to all of them for years, hiding his real identity…and he had
been pretty damn convincing.
It looked like he was the only one who kept remembering what had happened
to Electra. She had been an Eletti, just like Spike…and she was now the
current master vampire in Sunnydale…
She looked like she had vanished. They hadn’t seen her since that night at
the mansion. Yet, there had been an increased number of turned people.
They were having a hard time, trying to prevent her actions.
It looked like he was the only one who kept wondering what would happen
whether Spike or Eric lost their souls somehow.
It looked like he was the only one scared shitless at the idea.
Buffy trusted Spike. She had learned to trust him with her life. Among the
Scoobies, he was the only one who had had a glimpse at what had happened
during the attempted heta7tanatos, when Eric had used him to help Giles
and Willow breaking the spell. He had seen them fighting together…and how
much they had relied on each other.
None of them had ever told a soul about what had happened, but he
suspected the forced time they had spent together in the galleries had
forged a very strong bond between them.
Buffy trusted Eric just because Spike did.
Willow was in love with Spike. She had fallen in love with him, even
before knowing about his real identity, although he suspected that she
would have ever voiced her feelings if she hadn’t been taken.
She loved Spike so much that she had risked her life to save his.
Willow loved him enough to time travel to save him.
From what Xander had seen, she didn’t trust Eric that much. Xander didn’t
exactly know what she had seen or experienced when she had gone back in
time…but he suspected it was one of the reasons she didn’t like Eric.
Giles had learned to trust both the vampires, especially since they had
discovered about Buffy’s pregnancy. He knew though, that Giles didn’t want
to repeat the same mistake he had made trusting Angel.
As for Anya, she had grown quite fond of Spike when he had been poisoned.
She had been the one tending his wounds when he had been poisoned, she had
spent countless hours trying to ease the pain he had been enduring.
She probably trusted Eric; maybe it was because he was the older person
she had known since she had lost her powers.
Xander sighed, and tilted his head up, trying to ease the soreness on his
shoulders. Giles was a very good trainer; no wonder Buffy was such a
He noticed how Giles was looking at the blonde vampire. He frowned: they
were probably onto something. It wasn’t the first time he had caught them
sharing knowing glances for the last weeks.
He cleared his throat before saying, “Why do I suddenly feel like a third
“Careful, Harris or you could shock us with your insight …” Spike
“Oh, you’re so funny Mr. 00 positive” Xander retorted, harsher than he had
“Xander?” Giles said, interrupting him.
Xander shrugged. He grimaced in pain and said, “Ok, got it…uh…Spike, do
you know whether Eric hides some Tylenol somewhere?”
“You can ask him, he’s in his study” Spike informed him.
Xander nodded before muttering, “Don’t even remind me …we had to bring,
like, a hundred crates …didn’t all of you guys live in crypts?”
Both Spike and Giles arched their eyebrows at him, Xander raised his hands
in surrender and said, “Ok, I’m gone…witness me going!”
He quickly headed toward the door. He tried to ignore, the sudden knots
that was forming in his stomach.
Spike’s apparent amusement had faded the moment he had looked at Giles,
and behind the usual cockiness, he had glimpsed something akin to worry in
the vampire’s words and demeanor.
As for Giles, after fours years, he had become quite good at reading
him…and he looked like he was worried too.
They were hiding something from them…and he was going to find out what.
Although he feared he might not like it.
“Did you follow her?” Giles asked, as soon as Xander had exited the room.
Spike nodded and looked around before saying, “She sensed my demon…”
Giles closed his eyes and swore under his breath.
“This doesn’t mean a thing, though. All the Slayers should be able to do
that…and they were in the past…” Spike said.
Giles opened his eyes and nodded, “That’s true, unfortunately, we are
talking about a pregnant Slayer.”
Spike shrugged, “We can’t leave her alone. This time Red was with her…” He
trailed and shook his head.
“I know, it could happen again…and she could be alone,” Giles added. He
took a deep breath. Spike’s news about Buffy’s heightened senses wasn’t
~ There’s so much you don’t know about them, about your own powers. ~
Giles couldn’t help a sharp intake of breath, when something he had told
Buffy a long time ago, came up in his mind.
It looked like a lifetime had passed since that night at the Bronze; they
had known each other for less than twenty-four hours. How she had refused
her calling back then. How scared she had been of her powers, of her
~ A Slayer should be able to see them anyway. Without looking, without
thinking. Can you tell me if there’s a vampire in this building? ~
Although she had already been a Slayer for almost a year when they had
met, and she had killed Lothos, her powers had yet to fully blossom.
~ You should know. Even through this mass and this. . . din, you should be
able to sense them. Well, try! Reach out with your mind. You have to hone
your senses, focus until the energy washes over you, until you, you feel
every particle of. . .~
How far she had gone. Her powers had blossomed, even before she had gotten
pregnant. She truly was a powerful Slayer…and Giles for the first time
since they had met was beginning to fear her powers.
He was beginning to fear the effects they could have on the young,
wonderful woman he was in love with.
“Perhaps she should quit patrolling for a while, at least” Giles
He frowned when Spike shook his head, “Don’t think it would be of any
help. She has to channel her powers somehow… pummeling all of us into
unconsciousness wouldn’t help her. ”
“What do you suggest?” Giles asked, surprised by his own words.
Was he really talking about Buffy’s pregnancy and safety with Spike?
<Not Spike…you are talking to the Eletti who has been doing his job long
before you were even born>
He had to remind to himself. Yet, although he intellectually knew he could
trust Spike, it was still hard for him to do so.
He chose to ignore the voice in the back of his mind, which kept telling
him, that part of his distrust toward the vampire was caused by jealousy.
Although he usually refused to even acknowledge it, there was a tiny
glimmer of jealousy in him, whenever he looked at Buffy and Spike, since
the truth about the vampire’s real identity had been uncovered.
His jealousy wasn’t of romantic nature. He had no doubts about Buffy’s
feelings for him…and only a blind man wouldn’t see how deeply Spike loved
He hated to admit that he was jealous of the bond, which had formed
between Spike and Buffy for the past months. At times he almost felt like
the blonde vampire had become Buffy’s de facto watcher.
It was Spike who usually went out patrolling with Buffy. Each night she
trusted him with her life and the life of their baby. They made an
excellent slaying team.
He couldn’t help recalling that Buffy had been the first one to volunteer
to go back in time when Electra had poisoned Spike.
He felt like Spike had taken away something from them…from their bond
since his real identity had been uncovered. He knew it was petty of
him…Buffy kept training with him, every day, she was now, more than ever
his Slayer…and Spike was just doing his job, what he had been chosen for,
yet, he couldn’t shake that feeling away.
He sighed and Spike seemed to sense his inner turmoil because he said,
“You are a watcher, her watcher…what would you do if you weren’t in love
Giles blinked but said in a low voice, “I’d suggest she kept patrolling,
at least until we had proofs …”
Spike just nodded. He turned his back at him and took off his duster, then
placed it on a bench, which was on a side of the room. He stopped though,
when Giles asked, in a quiet voice, “Have you ever met a Slayer who had
reached the Obscuritas?”
Giles could see the blonde vampire nodding his head, yet he didn’t turn,
he just said in a low voice, “Once… ”
“What happened?” Giles asked.
“The term Obscuritas says it all: she had reached it and there wasn’t
anything human in her any more…” Spike slowly said. He turned toward him,
his face a cold mask. He shrugged and said, “She was the second Slayer I
bagged… the one who put the demons and warlocks together to end the