The Dark Side of Bliss
From a Summer of the end of the millennium an Oath will be borne from the darkness, to fight the very mother of her power, under the shadow of the city of the angels where the black sun of the earth burns.
Just the moonlight flickered through the half-closed binds of Buffy and Giles’ bedroom. The former watcher was lying on the bed, his head tilted on a side, his gaze locked on the blonde woman who was sleeping next to him.
He was watching how the soft, almost silvery moonlight, played with the woman’s skin, highlighting its golden beauty. Her hair was spread on the pillow, some long blonde curls, as soft as silk, framed her face.
Giles couldn’t help the soft smile that crept on his lips while he lightly stretched a hand to graze her cheeks. Buffy didn’t know he often spent hours just watching her sleeping. He studied her features, each time surprised by her beauty, each time surprised by how fast his heart beat just looking at her. She didn’t know how much he cherished those moments, when he had the chance to thank God for the fact she was with him.
He thanked God because they had found their way back to each other. He thanked God because they both had had the chance to love again…and because they had eventually chosen to take it.
On his lips he could still feel her taste, his skin still kept her scent, it enveloped him, filling his heart with sensations he had never experienced, not so deeply at least: he felt whole, he felt …home.
Giles’ smile widened while Buffy’s lips lightly parted open in her sleep. How many times had he watched her sleeping since they had known each other? He couldn’t say.
He recalled when watching her dozing off, after their long nights of patrols or research, used to bring a somewhat sad smile on his lips while his heart wrenched in his chest, and he was almost afraid to linger in those looks, almost fearing she could sense his feelings, the love that he, so silently, had felt for her.
He had always loved her…even before falling in love with her…there had always been a bond between them, a bond stronger than anything he had ever known or experienced, a bond written in their bloods, in their calling.
Even before their relationship changed, evolved they had been tightly bound to each other. They were Watcher and Slayer, bound to meet, chosen to fight side by side.
Yet…they had been much more than that; they had been much more than warriors chosen to fight against the forces of darkness. They had been mentor and pupil, friends…and only later had they become lovers.
Never in his life had he cared so much for someone as for his Slayer but he had soon found out that Buffy Summers had that effect on people.
Buffy’s hand went over her abdomen in a protective gesture, and Giles’ smile widened. A life was growing inside of Buffy… a life they had conceived together. The fruit of their love, their child. The initial surprise, when that doctor had announced Buffy’s pregnancy, had been soon replaced by joy. ...an absolute, pure joy that had filled him whole.
Their relationship had been still new under many aspects, and it still was, but the love between them, their bond had reached a point where they had both known it was unbreakable. It was fitting somehow, that they had created a life so soon.
None of them voiced it out loud but they both knew that there was a possibility, a concrete possibility that the time they had together could be short, very short.
He stretched toward her and leaned down to softly kiss her forehead. He placed his hand above hers, on her stomach. It was still flat; there weren’t signs that she was carrying their child.
None…except for her increased powers. He closed his eyes, burying his face in her hair, inhaling its sweet scent.
Buffy was getting stronger. He had noticed that, even before knowing she was pregnant…. how wrong he had been thinking that her increased strength had been an outcome of what she had experienced in Sunnydale’s tunnels.
It had been their baby.
It had been the Slayer’s response to the changes in her body.
It had been the gift and the curse given by The Powers That Be to the pregnant Slayers.
She was changing. No one probably would even notice the changes in her, as they had been subtle so far, but Giles who had devoted his life to the young blonde who was sleeping next to him, had. After all observing her had been his job, his reason of living.
The Watcher’s diaries, hadn’t given him answers. At least none he had been ready to accept: there had indeed been Slayers in the past, who had gotten pregnant. What he had found out during his researches hadn’t been very comforting, though.
Few of the Slayers, who had got pregnant, had survived the pregnancy. They had been killed or had just disappeared, without any seemingly known reason.
Yet, it couldn’t have been for lack of strength. Never had been Buffy that strong. Never had she been that determined.
He kissed her forehead pulling her closer to him, while the words Spike and Eric had told him about pregnant Slayers echoed in his mind.
He had talked to them, shortly after they had found out Buffy was pregnant; they had been the only ones he had found the courage to voice his doubts, his worries to. After all, the Eletti’s job was aiding the Slayer.
He sometimes had troubles reminding to himself that both vampires were after all watchers, just like him.
He had been surprised when he had found out they had already known Buffy was pregnant.
~ “She is pregnant, isn’t she?” Eric’s voice greeted him, when Giles entered Spike’s crypt.
Giles started, before stepping at the center of the crypt. Spike was sitting in front of him. Both the vampires were sitting on the floor, meditating, their eyes closed.
On Spike’s skin there weren’t traces of what he had just gone through. His human blood had been an effective antidote against the poison he had been injected with.
“How did you know?” Giles asked getting close to them.
It had been two days since Electra had hurt Buffy. No one knew about Buffy’s pregnancy yet, they had decided to wait for a few more days before telling the news to their friends.
The dark-haired vampire just shrugged. He opened his eyes and said, “She isn’t the first pregnant Slayer I’ve met…”
“Did you know about it?” Giles asked looking at Spike.
The blonde vampire slowly opened his eyes before saying, «No, I didn’t…I had just noticed her increased strength. Vampires can’t sense whether Slayers are pregnant»
“I know, it’s part of their powers” Giles said noticing the way Spike briefly looked at Eric. ~
Buffy moved in her sleep, moaning something he couldn’t understand. Giles pulled her tighter at him.
~ “Her increased strength is just the first step,” Eric said in a low voice.
“First step toward what?” Giles asked, trying hard to ignore the painful knots that were forming in his stomach.
Spike and Eric exchanged a long glance, then Spike slowly said, “Pregnant Slayers can become…dangerous…the first sign is usually an increased strength…then their dark side slowly comes out...”~
Giles shook his head, trying to shake away those words from his mind, but it was useless, they mercilessly kept echoing twisting his heart in a painful vice.
~ “Dark side? Are you talking about the Obscuritas? It’s just a tale” Giles exclaimed, feeling suddenly breathless.
“It isn’t” Eric said. Giles frowned when Spike swallowed and clenched his jaws.
“What can we do to avoid it?” Giles eventually managed to ask ~
Buffy nuzzled her face against his chest, and mumbled against his naked skin, “‘love you, Rupert…”
Tears filled Giles’ eyes at her words, he couldn’t help it. Buffy made a point of telling him she loved him as much as she could, and each time her words had the same effect on him: his heart seemed to want to burst out of his chest for the sheer bliss he experienced with her.
He brushed the soft skin of her back and whispered, “I love you too, Buffy”
Giles felt Buffy’s lips stretching in a smile, against his naked skin, she kissed the side of his neck and teased, “Then why don’t you show me how much you love me, Watcher-boy?”
Giles looked down at her just when Buffy tilted her head up to look at him. She seemed oblivious of what was happening. On her face he could just read peace, wholeness. In her eyes he could just see happiness; he could only see love.
<I did this…I made her happy>
Giles thought and couldn’t help the surge of male pride that seemed to fill him whole.
<As happy as she’s making me…>
He lowered his head, and covered her mouth with his, surprised and delighted, as always by the way she responded to his kisses, by the way their bodies responded to each other. As if they had been made to fit together.
~ Neither Eric nor Spike answered him, there was a short silence, then Eric said, “We’ll have to protect her for the next months…” ~
He pulled away from her and long looked at her.
~“We’ll have to protect her, mainly from herself…” Spike added.
Eric nodded at him before adding, “She’s the only one who can avoid it…” ~
He was going to do whatever he had to, to protect her, to protect their baby, to keep her sane.
They had arrived to Sunnydale a week before. Arrangements had been made, the place had been chosen.
The word of the Slayer’s pregnancy had reached the Council, setting the procedure in motion.
Charles Dutton entered the room; he was carrying a crate in his hands, filled with weapons and jars. He lowered it to the floor taking a look at the room: it was circular, there wasn’t any furniture in it, the other men were painting everything from the ceiling to the floor in a bright white.
“Is she really pregnant?” He asked, waiting for an answer.
The man in front of him, who had started checking on one of the crates, tilted his head up and said, “The hospital’s records don’t lie, Charles. She it three months pregnant”
The man ran a hand through his dark hair and closed his eyes. Part of him had really hoped it was a mistake. “Has she shown the symptoms?”
The other man, a young blonde, pursed his lips before saying, “No, she hasn’t. We have observed her, so far she has just shown an increased strength.”
“Which is to be expected in someone who has been a Slayer for six years…” Charles said.
“I know that.” The blonde man closed the crate and observed it for a second before saying, “But I think we both know that we can’t take such a risk. You heard the orders. Mr. Laughton will be here in less than a hour, he’s been specifically sent here to conduct the procedure.”
“I did. I heard the orders…and honestly? I don’t really like them. We are supposed to protect the Slayers. You’re right though, I don’t fancy another rogue Slayer …” Charles said.
The blonde man sat on one of the crates that were sprawled on the floor of the room and said, “I don’t like them either…but Charles, we have sworn to protect the world from evil…” He patted a pocket of his coat and continued, “we’ll have to act very carefully…you’ve been informed about how strong they can get…we have to stop this madness before it’s too late”
Charles shook his head, and went helping the other men painting the walls. He didn’t talk; no one did as those words still echoed in the room.
A look at the other men confirmed that they had been all thinking the same thing.
What if it was already too late?
The orders had been clear.
It didn’t happen very often that one of the Gheraiouses screwed things up; usually they were well aware of the risks, of the consequences.
Yet for the past months three Eletti had blown their covers, of them one had gone rogue.
The Slayer was pregnant with her watcher’s child, yet, the gheraious hadn’t told all the truth. The gheraious had started making his own rules.
That’s why he had been called.
The vampire watched, outside the gheraious’ house.
He had arrived to Sunnydale a few days before, unnoticed.
That was his job although, usually, it was hard not to notice his figure, unless he wanted to.
The Eletti were taught how to be invisible, how to walk in the shadows, how to become shadows among the shadows, or as they loved to say, the little spot of light within the darkness, and he had always been one of the best among them.
He had been contacted, shortly after the Slayer’s pregnancy had been discovered. Only later had he found out what had been really happening on Sunnydale’s hellmouth.
His orders were clear, although he still hoped not to set things in motion. He still hoped that the Eletti were being too anal about their rules, as they always were.
Part of him couldn’t blame the two vampires for following their hearts, that was until he recalled what the Eletti were supposed to be, how far did they usually go to protect their secrecy, their rules.
He couldn’t shake away the loathing for their choices.
~ Raise your left hand Xavier ~
The vampire heard footsteps approaching. The Gheraious was coming home from checking on the Slayer and the Watcher, as he always did.
He slipped in the shadows, his tall figure disappearing completely, a hood covering his blonde hair. The gheraious tensed for a second in front of the door of his house, he turned and Xavier wondered whether the other vampire had sensed his presence, fully knowing it hadn’t happened.
The older vampire looked around, but after a few more seconds, he entered his house, without turning the lights on.
<Do we all spy on each other, now? >
He wondered slipping further into the shadows. He could almost see the gheraious, wandering the street with his eyes, hidden behind the blinds of one of the windows of his house.
Looking for him.
He sighed, and left.
No one had said becoming an Eletti would be a walk in the park.
~ To stand against the darkness~
Yet things could get more ugly than they already were. He was surprised the two resident Eletti hadn’t felt it.
Did they really think that what had just happened would be something less than a prologue?
~ To be the light within the darkness~
Xavier lightly shook his head, as he left; Eletti who followed their hearts definitely were not a good equation. Eletti who started making their own rules were only bound to create chaos.
He hated that part of his calling. He hated being the spy among spies. The shadow among shadows.