Even the night’s noises had faded.
The air in Giles’ living room seemed still, no one dared to speak, as they
observed Xander. The young man was at the center of the room, his face
pale, he was lightly panting. He had just delivered the news of Buffy’s
Giles was leaning against a wall, clutching his glasses in his hands, his
Willow was sitting on the couch, her face in her hands, silent tears were
rolling down her cheeks, she covered her mouth with a hand and closed her
eyes, but blinked them open, she quickly got up from the couch and headed
toward the bathroom slamming the door shut behind her.
They all heard her throwing up and then her muffled sobs. Anya shot a
glance toward the bathroom, then her gaze fixed on Xander. He was lightly
shivering, she got up from the chair and got close to him, hugging him
from behind, circling his waist with her arms, Xander turned and pulled
her in wordless hug. He kissed the top of her head, and closed his eyes
for a second.
This couldn’t be happening again. Their family couldn’t be in danger…not
now that things were finally starting to work.
“Giles….” He said in a low voice. “I’m sure Eric…”
“Xander, do shut up” The older man didn’t raise his voice, yet it was
Xander didn’t think he had ever heard such a tone of voice on his friend…not
even after he had found out about that stupid spell he had asked Amy to
perform a couple of years before. To think he had believed he had been
Giles tilted his head up, his green eyes were darker, “What will Eric do?”
He said, “ He is one of them!”
Xander shook his head, breaking away from Anya. The former demon squeezed
his hand offering what little reassurance she could give him that way.
“Anya would you go and check on Willow?” Giles asked in a low voice.
Xander swallowed and turned to look at his girlfriend, she just nodded at
the older man; she gave another little squeeze to his hand then quickly
headed toward the bathroom.
Xander stepped toward Giles saying, “I’m sorry…I wanted to…”
“Nonsense” Giles said, “Eric was right Xander…they will keep coming, keep
harming us…” He shook his head and murmured, “I should have expected
that…I've been one of them half of my life…”
“You’ve never really been one of them” Xander stated simply.
Giles looked at him, surprised. Xander pursed his lips before asking, “Why
didn’t you tell us? About the baby…about the Obs…thingy”
“We needed proofs…” He bitterly smiled and spat, “They don’t need proofs…”
“Do you think…?” Xander started but couldn’t finish his sentence; he
shrugged his shoulders, and ran a hand through his hair.
“They will deport her…” Giles slowly said. “They will deal with her in
England, within the safe shield of the Council…”
“We won’t let them, Giles…” Xander said stepping closer to him. He grabbed
him by his shoulders and forced the older man to look at him, before
repeating, “We won’t let them…”
Giles arched an eyebrow at him; he was about to say something, when Anya
and Willow exited the bathroom.
Willow looked very pale, she ran a shaky hand through her hair and said,
“Ok, research time, we have to find out where they have taken her…”
“Eric will be here shortly and…” Xander started.
“Then what?” Willow asked stepping to the center of the room; she looked
at them then continued, “Do you really trust him with Buffy’s life? For
all we know he could be involved in all of this…after all it’s been him
who ordered Spike not to take the chip off, so forgive me for not giving a
damn about him, especially now!”
She looked at all of them, her hands clenched in fists; she swallowed hard
and wordlessly went to the desk, in front of her laptop, immediately
starting typing on it.
The furious knock at the door made them start. Xander swallowed and looked
at Giles before going to the door; he couldn’t help sighing in relief when
he saw Spike leaning against a wall.
He still had problems trusting the guy, that much was true…but that didn’t
mean he wanted him more dead than he already was.
Spike entered the apartment, grimacing. It was obvious he had been hurt.
He was bleeding from various wounds on his body, his right hand was
“Spike?” Willow hesitantly called, from the desk.
“Last time I checked…” He murmured. He turned toward Anya saying, “Be a
luv and bring us some blood, will you?”
“You’re alive!” Willow exclaimed, taking tentative steps toward him.
Spike cocked an eyebrow at her and slowly slid his duster off, muttering
under his nonexistent breath, “Not quite, Red….”
“What happened?” Giles’ voice made Spike turn.
The blonde vampire looked at him for some seconds, then he swallowed and
said, “I tried…I really did…”
Giles nodded, although, as Xander noticed, he avoided to look at him, the
former watcher put his glasses on and said, “Eric was going to follow them
to find out their hiding place”
“Just once, I’d like the bad guys to play in an open field” Xander
“Can’t say I don’t agree with that,” Spike mumbled.
He took a mug from Anya who had just returned from the kitchenette, his
gaze fixed on Giles when he slowly said, “They injected her with the same
compound they use for the Cruciamentum…” He paused, “They shot her with a
"Fucking bastards!" Giles swore, and Xander couldn't help blinking in
surprise at the older man's use of swearings.
"What.... how…" Willow trailed; she had got close to Spike, her hand on
his uninjured shoulder.
“Watchers found out about that compound centuries ago. Never known
how…they’ve been using it to administer that bloody test…” He stopped for
an instant before hissing, “A Slayer and a vampire taken down by ‘effin
Xander shook his head, and slowly sat on a chair. He tilted his head down,
hiding his face in his hands, while Spike’s words, kept ringing in his
ears. “What are we gonna do?” He eventually asked, tilting his head up.
“I think we’re going to set some major ground rules” Willow said, her hand
was still resting on Spike’s shoulder and Xander couldn’t help noticing
how part of the tension and the pain, in the vampire’s body had faded.
Giles’ cold voice added, “We shall declare our independence from the
bloody council, once and for all…”
It stood out on an extremity of a deserted beach, just outside Sunnydale.
It was old and it looked like it hadn’t been used for a long time.
Eric was surprised and puzzled by what was going on. He could sense
strange vibes coming from that old lighthouse, strong magical shields,
confused them, but not enough not to be noticed by the vampire.
His skin itched with the mystical energies he could feel in that place.
The Slayer was still alive and so was her baby. He had been able to
clearly hear their strong heartbeats, when those men had carried her
unconscious body inside.
He understood now, more than ever, why TPTB had made sure vampires
couldn’t sense or hear whether Slayers were pregnant. That tiny heartbeat
held something ancestral, something which had stirred his demon’s predator
instinct and only the tight control he had on it had stopped him from
coming out from his hiding place to attack her.
He wondered whether William had heard it, he wondered whether he had been
staked. Eric shook his head blocking that thought and its implications out
of his mind. He looked around, there weren’t any men guarding the
perimeter outside the lighthouse, which put him on the edge.
He got closer to the lighthouse, but his body shook as if electrocuted. He
fell on the cold sand, gritting his teeth.
“What are they up to?” He wondered while rising on his feet. Something
wasn’t ringing a bell…. something wasn’t right, that wasn’t the procedure
when dealing with pregnant Slayers. Yet, the scenario looked somewhat
He shook his head and closed his eyes beginning his chants. He didn’t know
what their plans were, exactly …that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to find
He loved a good challenge.
The woman's blood was warm and thick; its sweet taste flew into Electra's
throat, feeding her, filling her with an almost physical pleasure.
The woman was weakly struggling against her body; her short nails were
digging in her shoulders, Electra smiled against the woman's neck, while
her body was slowly going limp into her arms.
Electra felt that woman's heart coming to an abrupt stop; she held her
lips against the woman's neck for some more seconds, before letting her
The body fell on the pavement and her head made a strange noise that
reminded Electra of a broken egg's shell.
Entering the parking lot had been easy; another matter altogether was
entering the prison. Not that she was going to have problems with that.
She shrugged her shoulders, and closed her eyes, slowly chanting the
spell. Her face, her whole body slowly morphed, it changed in that of the
woman she had just drained.
She looked around before quickly hiding the body. She took a long look at
the bleak, gray building. The dreams had already started; she had made
sure they did. They were cryptic enough to piss anyone off, especially
someone who was desperately striving for redemption, for atonement.
"First rule…surprise the hell out of your opponents…” She whispered.
She slowly headed toward the building, a smile creeping on her lips while
<All of them…>