All cards on the table...within reason of course
Ok I finally updated, I know its been a while but I'm in final year of college and that has to come first. Big thanks to everyone who reviewed your the ones who keep me going...well you and my beta who threatened things that definitely go against the Geneva Convention if I didn't hurry up and post this.
Not too sure how I feel about this chapter, it's a filler but it has to be done if i wanna get the ball rollin so let me know what ya think.
P.s. Thank for the corrections in my spelling.
“So Luv what’s with the Pow Wow and why’s the cream puff here?” Spike asked as he flopped down on the sofa throwing a careless glare in Angels direction.
Buffy rolled her eyes at the male posturing coming from both Angel and Spike. They had been at it for the last hour and a half; it stopped being amusing after the first ten minutes. She glanced at Dru who was sitting next to her on the couch rolling her eyes in a rare moment of lucidity at their behaviour.
“Children, do behave or do you need a time out.” Buffy asked in her best school mistress voice and grinned outright as both vampires turned to glare at her and roll their eyes in turn as she stuck her tongue out at them. It was so much fun getting a rise out of them. She was about to tease them about the synchronicity of their reactions when Drusilla’s voice cut through them with a dreamlike whimsy.
“The stars cry tears of blood, shadows swallow the light whole, the False Ones will come down from on high to play and wreak their unholy vengeance on us all. Everything goes back to the beginning again” Dru stared off into space with a small smile on her face humming along to a tune only she could hear only to stop abruptly and cringe into the corner of the couch whimpering softly.
“Eh now pet, that don’t sound too bad, could even make a party of it. I’ll take ya shopping if ya like. We can buy you a new dress an’ everything.” Spike soothed
Dru ignored the tender ministrations of Spike who had come over and gathered her in his arms, rocking her soothingly as she continued to whimper and clutch at her head.
Angel and Buffy looked over at one another grimly; this was not a good sign. All of a sudden she stopped and her head snapped up.
“The lambs have arrived to the slaughter now all that’s missing is Death.” They all looked up at Dru’s less then reassuring proclamation as the doorbell rang but Buffy was the only one not anxious about the proclamations of Death’s imminent arrival. As far as she was concerned he couldn’t get here fast enough.
They had discussed the situation at length once Buffy had left but they were still no closer to understanding what had happened earlier on. Buffy had been dead, that much was abundantly clear as was the fact that she had been keeping more then her fair share of secrets from them. That had hurt. Finally at two in the morning they had left the library tired and frustrated. Now they were standing on Buffy’s porch just after the sun set not sure if they wanted to take the next step or not. No matter what happened here everything was going to change.
Ever impatient Faith rolled her eyes and knocked at the door when it was opened from the inside to reveal a smiling Joyce balancing a tray of refreshments that were suspiciously red in colour in one hand as she opened the front door with the other. “Hi come on in. Almost everyone is here now we’re just waiting on Adam now.” Joyce turned to lead them into the sitting room it took a minute for her words to sink in as they looked at each other bewildered. Who was Adam and why did Joyce seem to know so much about what was going on? After the whole MOO incident she tended to steer clear of anything Slayer related so this new all embracing attitude was a little alarming. They followed Buffy’s mom into the living room and froze. What ever they had been expecting this wasn’t it. Buffy was on the couch next to Spike and Drusilla trying to help Spike calm the psychotic vampire down while Angel hovered anxiously behind the couch. Joyce put the tray down on the table and was about to try and help when Giles pulled her roughly out of the way as Faith rushed forward stake in hand followed by Xander and Willow.
Joyce’s startled yelp alerted the vampires and Buffy to their presence and Dru’s head snapped up her human façade melting away in anger and pulled away from the Buffy and Spike.
There was a sudden shouted command in what sounded to Giles like Babylonian and the three charging towards the vampires seemed to hit an invisible barrier ricocheting off it and landing hard on the floor. Giles looked at Joyce in shock; she was standing next to him her left hand outstretched her face tight in concentration. She had cast the spell? This night was going to be more revealing then he had previously anticipated.
“Shouldn’t play rough with little girls, it’s not nice.” Dru hissed angrily after seeing Giles rough treatment of Joyce and started to get up when Buffy pushed her back down gently and nodded at Joyce to lower the spell so the others could get up.
“They didn’t mean it Dru, they didn’t know you were gonna be here they were trying to protect Joy.” Buffy explained crouching down in front of the vampire so she could look into her eyes.
“Silly children thinking we would hurt the sweet one, she bears our mark. To hurt her is to hurt ourselves.” Dru calmed down and settled back into Spikes embrace.
Buffy nodded solemnly and rose to her feet addressing the Scoobies. They were all glaring furiously at the vampires and her and were all brandishing some kind of weapon. “Yes they were very silly. But now they know that anyone who enters this house by my leave has my protection. No-one is going to hurt. No-one! Do I make myself clear?” The last part was directed straight at the Scoobies, Buffy glared at them until all nodded sullenly, Xander and Faith glaring at the vampires.
“What exactly are they doing here anyway?” Xander bit out rubbing his elbow as he watched the vampires making themselves a little too at home for his liking.
“We were invited same as you whelp so sit down and shut your yap and we can get down to business.” Spike retorted smirking at them all, gleefully aware of how much this was pissing them off. Just to drive the point even further home he nestled down on the sofa one arm thrown over Dru’s shoulder in comfort.
“Spike stop making this harder then this already is.” Buffy admonished tiredly retaking her seat next to Dru, Joyce and Angel took the armchairs on opposite ends of the coffee table leaving the couch opposite Buffy empty for the Scoobies. Buffy grimaced mentally, she really was getting too o;d for all this. Oh yeah this was gonna be a blast. “But he does have a point there’s too much to get through and not enough time for me to put up with pissing contests so everyone find a seat.”
Buffy paused unsure of where exactly she should start. “Well we’re waiting Buffy.” She scowled at the impatience in Giles tone.
“They’re here because I trust them.” Buffy announced without preamble
“You trust two psychotic, blood sucking creatures of the night both of whom tried to kill you on numerous occasions.” Xander asked in disbelief.
“Yes because they under stand the bigger picture.” Buffy explained patiently
“And that is?” Faith eyed the two vampires making themselves more then at home in the Summers living room suspiciously
“Balance, hell on earth is not exactly in their best interests seeing as how they wouldn’t be top dogs anymore not to mention the drastically shortened food supply. This war was never about Good V Evil Faith, it’s about balance and maintaining it. You need to look past the black and white and see the grey. I invited Spike and Drusilla here to help me contain the hell mouth.” When she saw that they still didn’t believe her she huffed impatiently. “Look the mouth attracts evil like fly’s to honey right? I asked them to come because they are among the most infamous vampires in history and they both have a reputation that more then proceeds them but more then that we have been friends for decades. I knew if they came here they’d be top dogs in no time and that meant they could keep everything else in town on a leash and keep me in the loop with what’s going on. Sure they pretended to kill me a few times but that was all part of the game.”
“So all those times you tried to kill us…” Giles left off not sure how to finish the question but Spike knew what he was trying to ask.
“Got it in one Watcher, we let the slayer know the details and let everything play out. Everything in town knows that you people are off limits or did you never wonder how you made it this far with no casualties, trust me your not that good.”
“What about all the times we were attacked then?” Xander asked
Spike waved dismissively, “Newbies, demons who are just too stupid for their own good or demons who saw a chance and thought it might be worth the risk. Don't get us wrong we're evil the only thing keeping me n' Dru from ripping your throats out is loyalty to the Slayer here. You mean nothing to us.”
“So what did Whistler want from you yesterday?” Giles asked getting down to why they were all here in the first place and avoiding the threat? Spike just issued.
Buffy took a deep breath and released it. “Ok first of all I’m immortal and no Xander not the evil undead kind.” Buffy replied before he could interrupt. “I’m just the regular just can’t stay dead kind, still got my very own pulse and everything.” She finished with a proud smile.
“But how?” Xander asked bewildered.
“Do you remember the start of the Slayer spiel, the part about the earth being older then we knew?”
The scoobies nodded confusion flittering over their features as they all waiting for Buffy to continue.
“Well there’s more to the story then the Council could ever fully comprehend.” Buffy’s eyes glazed over and when she spoke it was in a dreamy, whimsical tone, as if she was seeing something they never could. They all waited for story to start, even the ones who knew most were aware of the minuscule amount of knowledge she had shared with them.
“In a time before time, when the earth still retained her maidens blush there was no paradise, no Eden. It was a time when every horror you could never possible comprehend roamed the earth. Chaos and darkness reigned supreme. Out of the darkness came the shadow men, in order to fight this evil they choose a young girl from one of the tribes and chained her to the earth with metal and magic.
They took the very essence of the darkness they wished to defeat and bound it to her soul and in that instant the first slayer was born. She broke free of her chains and ran with a speed she had never possessed, she didn’t know what had happened to her. When the sun set the true extent of what they had done to her was discovered. The night sang to her and the slayer hunted, obliterating everything that dared oppose her.
She danced her death dance and the seasons turned, eventually she fell to an evil that overwhelmed her for she was one and the darkness was many. But the essence that the shadow men forced into her was too strong and didn’t fade with her essence, instead it sought out a new shell strong enough to hold it and when the sun set the next slayer danced her dance. And so the chain continued unbroken as the slayers danced and fell beneath the ever watchful moon. So it was, so it is and so it shall always be. This is our gift, out burden, our destiny.”
Buffy’s tone hardened as she moved onto the next part of her story and she stared unseeingly and the blank screen of the TV as the memories washed over her.
“Long after the time of the demons set and the time of man rose a new monster came from the sky in ships the likes of which we had never seen before, they called themselves the Goa’uld. They brought a Gate...the Chappa 'ai and even more of them came through that. They swept across the earth and we never had a chance. They fashioned themselves as Gods and enslaved humanity in their names, to them we were worth less then cattle. One day I was taken from the village where I lived in an attack. I was chosen from hundreds to be a host and was implanted with a symbiote. Unfortunately, for them, they had not anticipated the fact that I was a slayer, hell they didn’t even know what the slayer was. Because I was in effect already possessed there was a battle for dominance waged within me between the slayer and the symbiote. During that time I was effectively insane and unstoppable. Not even Ra himself could control me though it wasn’t from a lack of trying. He basically steered me in the direction of whoever he wanted dead and let me at it. I was one of the most feared Goa’uld on earth and in some cases beyond. I raged across the land and left in my wake, destruction, pain and death in unimaginable proportions. My victims wept tears of blood screaming for death weeks before I granted their wish and I gloried in their death cries. My crimes make would make Angelus look like nothing more then a rank amateur.”
Buffy’s voice hitched and she took another deep breath not even aware of the horrified silence that lay over the room, too far gone into the past.
“Eventually I was overwhelmed by enemies of the Goa’uld and killed only to the surprise of everyone; myself included I died but didn’t stay dead. Kind of a shocking way to discover I was immortal but what cha' gonna do.” Buffy shrugged negligently. “I stayed with the Tok’ra and began a very personal vendetta against the Goa’uld. Later I met Adam and soon after Jack and found out that they were like me so I wasn’t alone in the immortality thing.
“We waged war on the Goa’uld and drove them from the earth with an army of humans and demons; it really is amazing how mutual hate can unite species. The Chappa 'ai was buried never to be used again and me Adam and Jack have taken turns guarding it ever since. Unfortunately the Chappa 'ai has been not only found but it’s also been activated and trust me that is not of the good. The Goa’uld are like a plague of locusts if they come back we’ll get a first hand view of hell on earth and trust me it will not be pretty.”
Buffy blinked as if coming out of a trance and looked around at the stunned faces in the room. “That’s all you really need to know about what’s going on now, if I was to tell you my whole life story, well, you’d be dead before we got a fraction of the way though. I’ve been around the block more then a few times.” Buffy finished with a rueful smile swallowing back the torrent of emotions that threatened to overwhelm her before anyone else saw. She blinked and sent Dru a weak smile when she felt the raven haired vampire squeeze her hand briefly and give her a knowing look that the others missed.
Silence covered the room and Buffy squirmed uncomfortably as everyone’s eyes bored into her. She hadn’t meant to reveal so much but the story took control. Joyce, Spike and Angel were looking at her with love and pride and tears. The Scoobies…well they were the epitome of dumbfounded.
“So,” Faith began slowly scrunching her face in confusion. “B’s wicked old, a slayer, can’t die and was once upon a time was possessed by aliens who are back to try and take over the world. Does that pretty much cover everything?”
Buffy laughed and nodded, maybe everything would be ok. “Yeah that pretty much covers the main points anyway."
“What about you Mrs. S are you unkillable too and what was with the mojo?”
“No I’m mostly a regular human. Buffy found me when I was five on the streets and took me in.” Joyce looked down for a minute until Buffy reached over and squeezed her hand in reassurance.
“After a while it was pretty clear that I had magical potential so she got me the training I needed to control it.” Joyce gave Buffy a fond smile and continued. “Eventually when I was old enough to understand she told me that some of the uncles and aunts that spoiled me rotten were immortal and so was she. Since I grew up around it, it was fairly easy for me to swallow. I remember having countless tea parties with Drusilla, Miss Edith and Spike when they babysat me while Buffy was on some trip or other.” Joyce shot the two vampires a fond look and was rewarded with a smirk and a dreamy smile. “First Buffy was my mother, then my older sister and then my younger sister.”
“But what about Mr. Summers?” Willow asked all but bouncing with curiosity.
Buffy and Joyce winced but it was Buffy who answered. “I left to take care of some business in Europe before Hank came on the scene and was gone for a few years. When I came back they were already married. I stuck around just in case. Unfortunately he never really took to me and the marriage dissolved soon after. I was asked to come here and Joyce came with me posing as my mother.”
Joyce snorted at that, “Thank God, I’m only sorry you weren’t there when I first met him then maybe you could’ve knocked some sense into me.”
“Don’t beat yourself up, you caught on fast enough…” Buffy stopped and her head snapped up to the door a slow smile blooming on her face.
“Adam? You mean the Adam from your story?” Willow asked, “And how can you even tell?”
“Yeah that Adam and immortals can always tell when one of our own kind is around.” Buffy answered absently still looking intently at the door.
She got up and headed towards it and opened it to reveal a tall black haired man with his fist raised ready to knock. When he saw Buffy he gave her a huge grin and opened his arms. Buffy lept into them and planted a sloppy kiss on his mouth before hugging him tightly.
“Ugh, sweetheart…air?” The man coughed and massaged his throat after Buffy loosened her grip so he could put her down. “I know we’re immortal love but I do still need to breath and not all of us are slayers.” He was over six feet of lean muscle with black hair and crooked smile that just screamed trouble.
“Whoops sorry…” Then Buffy was pushed out of the way as Joyce took her turn and laughed as she was swung round by the immortal.
A few minutes later after everyone was introduced and once again sitting Adam turned to Buffy questions in his eyes.
Buffy sighed and pinched her nose. “Yesterday Whistler paid me a visit. He told me that the Chappa 'ai had been unearthed and that it was active.
“But how, I thought Jack was watching it.” Adam asked genuinely confused.
“He was I’m not sure what happened exactly all I know is that it’s in the states right now and Jack is keeping an eye on the situation. The PTB’s planned this no matter what they said about direct intervention. That means something huge is happening, something that needs all of us involved. Jack would’ve never done something like this, not without some prompting.”
Adam grimaced and everyone else kept quiet watching the byplay between the two intently. Only the vampires and Joyce seemed to have an inkling about what was happening but they too held their tongues.
“So what are the chances that they have no idea what it is and we can just find it, steal it and get the hell out of dodge?” Adam asked hopefully
The look on Buffy’s face was answer enough so he took a deep breath and pinched the bridge in frustration.
“Right so we call the cavalry, and go get a handle on the situation, then we kick Jacks ass for making a mess of things and not telling us in the first place.”
Buffy nodded her agreement lost in thought. “So now we find out where the gateway is and who has control.”
“Oh we know that one!!!” Willow blurted out and blushed as everyone looked at her. “Ah I mean we found out, it’s in Colorado.” She muttered under her breath as she rooted round in her bag and took out some papers handing them to Buffy.
Adam and Buffy perused the papers getting paler and paler the more they read.
“Oh. My. God. Is he fucking serious. The military? What the hell was he thinking? Did he not learn his lesson with Alexander?” Buffy got off the couch as Adam continued to read and continued her rant in a weird mix of about seven or eight different languages.
“Don’t give him that much credit, I don’t think he was thinking and he’s a colonel by the way, in the air force.” Adam bit out glowering at the paper in his hand as if it was the source of all his problems.
Buffy stopped and stared at Adam in disbelief and reverted back to English. “Jack, Mr. I can’t follow a simple suggestion let alone an order to save my life, Mr. Rule Book? What Rule Book? Is a colonel? I’m gonna kill him, then I’m gonna wait till he gets back up and kill him again. In fact I’m pretty sure that could keep me happily entertained for a few centuries before it got old.”
Everyone watched in amazement as Buffy moved onto Chinese to emphasis her fury (now that was a language with inventive insults) before falling gracelessly back onto the couch looking at Adam expectantly and pouting at the same time.
“So road trip?” She asked wearily
Adam nodded shaking her head in the abrupt shift in moods, she really hadn’t changed.
“Right!” Buffy sat up determinedly and turned to Joyce. “You’ll be able to keep a handle on things here while I go kill Jack right?” Joyce nodded unconcerned by Buffy’s statement and Buffy turned back to Spike and Drusilla. “William I need you and Dru here to stay and keep an eye on things here. Joy can handle it but I don’t want anyone getting any bright ideas while I’m gone kay? Angel you too.”
“You mean you don’t want us to come with?” Spike looked mildly put out at that.
“Hush love knows what she’s doing she does. Has to follow the white rabbit down the rabbit hole. Needs to leave a trail of bread crumbs is case she gets lured off the path and into the forest. There are bad things in the forest that’ll gobble her right up. Needs to know someone will fetch her and follow the trail if needs be.”
“Uh what’s crazy talking about B?” Faith asked eying the raven haired vampire warily as she hummed softly to herself with her eyes closed.
“They’re going to be our back-up. I don’t like the military being involved so Spike, Dru, Angel and Joyce are our safety net, it’s bad enough that they know about the Gate I’m not letting them get their hands on magic too. Can you imagine the chaos that would cause for everyone? Na uh, no way.” Buffy shook her head emphatically
“Aw pet didn’t know ya cared so much.” Spike pretended to choke on a sob and wipe a fake tear away. “I think I’m gonna cry.”
“Yeah well suck it up because the only reason I don’t want them getting you is because you still owe me 2000 bucks, don’t think I’ve forgotten about that mister.”
Spike scowled and gave her the finger which she promptly ignored.
“Hey Spike, Angel how’s the undead life treating you these days.” Adam asked eyes twinkling at the byplay between Buffy and the vampire.
“Eh same ole same ole chaos mayhem, bloody destruction getting my ass handed to me by this chit you know the usual.” Spike retorted with a dismissive wave of his hand ignoring the death glare Angel shot at him.
Adam nodded. “Glad to know some things never change. And how is my princess of the Night?” Adam asked before picking up Drusilla’s hand and pressing a kiss on her knuckles.
Dru giggled at the gallant gesture. “She is well the stars sing to her their secrets and she tells Miss Edith while having tea and crumpets.”
Buffy came back in with more food and a beer for Adam, he took it and grinned at her. “You know me so well.”
Buffy just rolled her eyes and snorted softly. “More then I want to that’s for sure. Before we go I should probably introduce you to everyone. We have Xander, Willow, Faith the Slayer and Giles our Watcher. Say where did Wesley go?”
“His orders finally came through from the council he has been recalled” Giles informed her smirking when she sighed in relief.
“Thank God for that, at least that’s one less thing I have to deal with.” Buffy frowned when she noticed how tense Adam was. “What’s wrong with you?”
Adam shot Giles a wary look and replied in a language Giles couldn’t even name. Buffy frowned and replied on the same language and everyone watched as Adam visibly relaxed.
“Right so back to the current crisis vampires and Joy are staying here. Immortals, i.e. Me Adam and anyone else we can pick up in Washington en-route, we’ll sort out the current disaster. Anyone else, well that’s up to you.” Buffy looked over at the Scoobies with a small smile. “This isn’t your fight, and it never was. You have to make up your own minds on this one.”
The Scoobies looked at one another for a minute before smiling and Faith elected herself spokesperson. “Well I have no plans for the weekend. Besides hot military men…you even have to ask?” Faith asked with a wicked grin. And really that said it all.