He hovered over them, watching them sleep. Caleb Danvers and his new girl. This was the way to him, this girl. But with Caleb, it was always a girl. The people around him could certainly be used as leverage, but the girl was always key. Just like with Pogue. It was the girl that got him going. But with Pogue that was doubly so because he flat-out just appreciated females.
He had to vanish because Caleb woke up.
Caleb's eyes snapped open. He thought he'd sensed... something in the room with them. Them? Caleb grinned. He and Dawn had fallen asleep talking. They were lying in his bed. Dawn was snuggled up to him, and Caleb's arms were around her. He tightened them a bit and Dawn burrowed her cheek against his shoulder. She did not wake though.
He understood a bit better now. He'd have to be careful and tell the boys to be careful about using power in her presence. There was still something she was holding back from him though. Caleb didn't exactly like that, but he could wait. She'd trusted him plenty for their first 'we gotta talk' talk. She'd fallen asleep in his arms. She didn't rabbit away as she had before. She was no longer hiding. It was enough. It was more than enough for now.
Kylie giggled a little when she entered her room and saw Reid sprawled out in the bean bag chair in the room. His mouth was open and a slight snoring sound was coming from said mouth. So was some drool. Tyler leaned his head around her and looked.
Janice flopped off of her stomach and tossed her hair off of her shoulder. She had a dusty-looking text on her other hand. "I been trying to figure out that thing that had you from what you said earlier. I'm not getting anywhere really, but don't fret, pet. I'm on it. I'll get the son of a bitch. Nobody possesses my roomie."
"No." She said loudly.
Reid started awake with a snort. He held still though. Tyler gently nudged Kylie in and closed the door behind them.
"I messed up once. I didn't protect myself. I didn't protect the only real friend I've ever had."
"Janice?" Kylie moved towards her.
Janice touched the right side of her neck and mumbled something. A scar became visible. Kylie blinked. Janice kept a glamour on herself to hide a scar. Why? It looked like...
Kylie peered in closer. "Is that..."
"A vampire bite." Janice said quietly. "I cover it with a glamor spell. It's my shame. I don't like to show it. I should, I know, but I'm just not that strong about when I fail so fabulously."
Reid started to say something. Janice held up her hand to stop him.
She continued. "I got bitten. Dawn had to stake her date with a pencil. If it had not been for Rupert Giles, I'd be the witchiest vampire ever. If he was even planning on turning me. I might have just been dinner, you know." She looked away from all of them. "So I just get really careful about the people I think I should protect. I think with good reason."
Reid was off the bean bag in a flash and sitting behind her. He hugged her to him. "Damn, Janice. Everybody makes mistakes. This had to be years ago, right? I think you're being way too hard on yourself."
"Dawn could have died. I could have died. We both-"
"But you didn't." Kylie said before looking to Reid and then Tyler. "Could you guys excuse Janice and I? She needs girl talk, and I think I know who can help."
Reid gave Janice and extra squeeze before getting up and following Tyler out.
Janice finally looked at Kylie.
"Come on." Kylie nodded at the door.
Janice's brow was furrowed. They seemed to be outside the door of Kylie's aunt's room. Professor Owens opened the door at Kylie's knocking.
"Kylie? Is everything all right?"
"Can we come in?"
"Of course." Gillian Owens ushered then inside and shut the door behind them. "Have a seat."
It was a nice room, a nice living space. Kitchenette, sitting area with a small fireplace, bedroom, bathroom. Small, but not too small for one. Janice set herself on the short yet comfy sofa next to Kylie. It faced the fireplace. Gillian set herself in the high-backed chair nearest to the fireplace.
"So what seems to be the trouble?" Gillian asked.
"Aunt Gilly, can you tell Janice about... Jimmy?"
Gillian bristled. Visibly so.
"It's fine." Janice said as she got to her feet. "We'll just go. I don't want anyone upset."
"Sit." Kylie said to Janice before looking back to her aunt. "Janice made a mistake once. She's still hanging on to it. I think your Jimmy story might help her get past things. Help her understand that everyone makes mistakes, even bad ones, and they can overcome. She won't tell anyone, Aunt Gilly."
"No, I wouldn't."
Gillian looked at the girl. How had she never noticed it before. Yes, this one definitely carried a burden. It was written all over her face. Perhaps she could lighten the girl's load.
"This is an exchange." Gillian started. "Nothing of it goes further than this room. Understood?"
"Understood." Janice and Kylie said in unison.
"Completely." Janice added.
"Kylie, not a word of this to your mother."
"All right, I'll tell you all about Jimmy Angelov, but first, Janice, you have got to tell me why you should know. What is it you think you've done?"
Janice looked at her and chewed her bottom lip a bit before she broke into the story.
"I don't THINK anything. I know what it is I have done."
That brought chills down Gillian's spine. Sweet Circe, what had this girl done?
Dawn noticed a girl watching her. Different from her nemesis. Gabrielle Delacour was all lights. This one was all darks. She didn't look friendly either. She kinda looked like a vamp. Her black hair hung in two braids around her pale face. She was watching Dawn intently. She seemed vaguely familiar for some reason. But Dawn had not seen her at school before now. She was sure of that. Perhaps the Mistress of the Darkness here was a late transfer?
"Oh wow. She's one of us." A voice Dawn remembered said in her ear.
She tried not to let on to Pogue and Kit that a ghost was next to her. They were pretty wrapped up in each other though, so it did not take much. Dawn turned.
"Amanda." She whispered. Amanda was here with her now. Amanda that had been the potential slayer when Dawn had suspected it was her. Tall goofy lovable Amanda who had died in the battle with the First. Dungeons and Dragons Amanda. Nice, kind, considerate Amanda who had not deserved to die.
"How... how have you been?" Dawn asked softly.
Something in Dawn's gut twisted painfully. Her eyes watered.
"Oh don't." Amanda whispered. "It's not so bad. Besides you're supposed to laugh at my jokes. If you don't, who will? No one else can see me. At least I don't think they can."
"I know. You're not used to this. I'm probably not helping. I'll lay off of the jokes for a while." Amanda changed the subject then. She looked to the girl Dawn had noticed watching her before. "She's a slayer, Dawn. I think Buffy sent her to watch over you. She's supposed to be covert about it, but that's really not her style... and oh! Oh noes. Trouble."
Dawn eyed Amanda. The ghostly slayer was grinning widely.
"This should be fabulously interesting."
Reid had just yanked the unknown slayer out of her seat and was poking her in the collar in a menacing manner. He was also gesturing wildly. Until said slayer went all 'slayer' on him. Two short jabs to his face. Reid rushed, her and he was flipped over her shoulder rather spectacularly. The girl planted a heavy boot on the center of his chest, produced a whisked crossbow from under the trench coat she was wearing and aimed it at his blonde head.
Caleb had entered the cafeteria in all the fuss. He was almost to her. He reached out to grab her shoulder.
"Don't." Was all she said in an unaffected tone.
Caleb's hand froze about an inch from actually touching her.
"Reid!" Pogue shouted.
Dawn could hear him stomping up behind her. "Don't."
"She's a slayer, Pogue. Someone sent her to watch me, and Reid noticed. I guess he didn't think her look was very friendly." Dawn sighed loudly and walked towards the slayer and Reid. That's when she noticed someone else in the doorway. She paused and scowled fiercely at that person then continued walking. "Hey, slaygal, Dawn here. Actually... that's Dawn Summers, watcher. Let's lower the crossbow and take our boot off of Reid, k?"
"You know this boy?"
"He's one of my friends."
She moved swiftly. The bow disappeared under the coat somewhere, and the girl turned to stand before Dawn with a blank look on her face.
"Buffy sent you?" Dawn asked.
"I can't believe her!"
"Listen, D, she's just worried about you, yo."
Dawn spun to face the person talking. "And you, you could have at least warned me, Faith. How long have you guyses been here? No wait, don't tell me. I'll just get pissed. I can't believe this crap."
She shoved past Faith and stormed out of the cafeteria.
Amanda sighed. "Well, that certainly could have gone better." She disappeared in a white mist.
The unknown slayer turned and looked down at Reid who had yet to move. "Why are you still on the floor? I didn't hit you that hard."
Caleb caught her attention. "Who are you?"
"Wednesday Addams." She replied blandly. "I'm a vampire slayer."
"Caleb Danvers." Caleb held out his hand.
She stared at it before looking at his face. "I don't touch people."
Kit and Pogue were helping Reid off of the floor and eyeing Wednesday suspiciously.
"I'm gonna go check on D." Faith said. Then she looked at Wednesday. "Try to behave."
Wednesday arched a brow.
"Just don't hit anyone and keep the crossbow tucked away, ah-ight?"
Faith received one curt nod as her answer. As she headed for the doors, Caleb fell into step beside her.
"What are you doing?"
"Coming with you." He replied.
"You must be the boy Red mentioned."
Faith looked at him. "Willow. Surrogate big sister type. Wicked powerful in the witch stuff. In fact, I have something for you and your buddies that she sent, but we'll deal with that after we deal with D, k?"
"I think I missed a portion of that due to your slanguage, but ok."
Faith grinned. "I might like you."
Dawn was pacing. She stopped and looked at Faith.
"I don't know if I'm ready to talk to you yet."
"Dawn... D, Red was worried, you know? Your boy is wicked with the mojo. And the vampires you guys staked? B and Giles think a slayer ought to be around. I broke it off with Robin, so they sent me and Miss Mary Sunshine back in there. I'm training her. She'll likely be the slyer stationed in this town."
Dawn disregarded all of that but one statement. "You broke up with Robin?"
"A while back truthfully. We were just hanging on for whatever reason."
"Don't sweat it, D" Faith looked at Caleb who was just standing and waiting patiently. "So... I hear your boy's all protective, yo."
Caleb blushed a little.
"Caleb this is Faith. Faith, Caleb. Faith is a slayer. A senior one. Powerful. Caleb is one of the Sons of Ipswitch."
"Yeah, so Red said. She worked up some wicked potion mojo with the help of that Snape dude that I think might solve that pesky Ipswitch aging problem."
Caleb visibly bristled.
"Oh? D didn't tell you who we all were? Severus Snape is the dude that taught your Professor Malfoy, and Sev is ten times the wizard brain Drake is." She looked back at Dawn. "Look, hang with your crew. I ain't here to cramp your watcher style. I'm gonna talk with Drake and Amy. Try to keep Wednesday out of trouble, since it seems like we might be here for a while. She's not a bad slayer, but she completely lacks any sort of people skills."
"We could show her around." Caleb offered.
Dawn gave him a look.
"I'm trying to be polite to your people."
Dawn almost snapped back that they were not her people, but she saw Faith looking at her out of the corner of her eye. And Faith looked... pleased. Like she was the big sister to Dawn's little sister, and she was happy in the choices little sister had been making. It was odd.
"We'll show her around." Dawn looked seriously at Faith. "Stay out of trouble."
Faith snorted. "Too late. Little sis, I was born in trouble."
Janice was a little crazy at the prospect of having a new person in their midst. Wednesday seemed slightly amused by her... in that 'I think I would have no problem killing you but then I'd be bored' sort of way.
The large group of them were hanging out in the student lounge. Even though she had trounced him earlier, Reid was being nice to Wednesday. Pogue practically had Kit in his lap. They usually weren't NOT touching lately. Caleb was holding Dawn's hand. Well, Dawn was letting Caleb hold her hand.
They had all been trading a bit of their stories, some more open than others. Wednesday was all about the one word replies. Janice was prying, but Dawn could see the slayer would not share until she was more comfortable with the group. She was the only slayer their age at the school. She was away from the council. She was out of her element, and Faith had let on that Wednesday had not been a slyer for very long. All of that had to be a bit daunting. Plus, add in that Tyler and Kylie were so quiet and that Pogue tended to be distrustful of new people, it wasn't exactly going swimmingly.
Suddenly Janice jumped up and moved to the stereo. "I think we need to dance. Loosen up here."
The four guys looked horrified. Wednesday looked bland. Dawn was noticing that was her usual face though... impassive. Dawn wasn't too keen on this idea either. Because unless it was a bit of grinding, her rhythm tended to be a bit off. She flashed back to certain cheerleading tryouts and shuddered.
Reid was giggling though.
And with good reason. Janice had settled on the local mullet rock station and was doing some fabulous air guitar. Maniac. Perhaps they needed to cut back on her sugar intake. It was infectious though. Kit managed to get Pogue dancing. Though they were decidedly closer and moving to their own much slower beat. Reid proved to be just as big of a spaz as Janice. Kylie joined the fray, red hair everywhere. Tyler shook his head no with wide eyes and remained firmly seated next to Wednesday who was also refusing to dance.
"Get your asses up!" Janice hollered at Caleb and Dawn.
Caleb allowed Dawn to pull him to his feet, and a memory snuck up on him like shadows at sunset. Sarah. Joan Jett. I Love Rock N Roll. He backed away from Dawn with a tightness in his chest. Almost instantly Reid, Tyler, and Pogue were looking at him. Pogue's eyes said he knew exactly what had just happened.
He shook his head and smiled. "Sorry."
Dawn cocked her head to the side as she knew something else was going on here as well.
"I'm all right. Really."
"Well, is zis not just... quaint?"
Dawn rolled her eyes. Why now? She'd recognize that slight French accent anywhere. Gabrielle had been avoiding her since right after school started. Why couldn't she continue to do that? It was working for Dawn so far.
The blonde's eyes landed on Wednesday. "So zis is zee freak."
Wednesday raised one brow. Then she looked at Dawn. "Is murder always a crime?"
"I do not zink zose who are not magic should be allowed at zis school."
"I'm not magic." Dawn said in a challenging tone.
"Like I said-"
"Is leg breaking allowed at this school?" Wednesday deadpanned. "Can I maim her?"
"Are you zreatening moi?"
Wednesday rose slowly and faced Gabrielle. "When I am actually threatening you, you will know it."
"Look, Gabby, just go." Janice snapped. "We were having a nice time then you started talking... which is usually the case."
"You do not own zis room, Jan-neice."
Reid sighed loudly and sat down next to Wednesday and Tyler. He put his face in his hands. He was muttering to himself. "You don't hit girls, Reid. You don't hit girls, Reid. You don't hit girls, Reid. If there's one things your parents taught you, it's that you absolutely do not hit girls even if they're annoying as all hell."
Tyler pursed his lips not to smile. He noticed one corner of Wednesday's lips twitched... as if she might smile.
Gabrielle looked at Caleb and smiled winningly. Dawn rolled her eyes with very little subtlety.
"Goodnight, Caleb. I hope to see you in class tomorrow." Gabrielle purred.
"Oh gross." Kylie whispered.
Reid was making a face. "He was thinking of skipping, Gabby. Bad luck. See ya next time, buh-bye. Oh wait, no, that'd be ar revoir, right? Bon voyage?"
Gabrielle glared at Reid before she turned, blonde hair flying, and left. Everyone else kind of sat there digesting what had just happened for a moment. It was the new girl that finally broke the awkward silence.
"If you would like me to kill her for you, Watcher Summers, I'm sure I could make it look like a suitable accident." Wednesday said calmly.
Reid chuckled and nudged her in the arm with his elbow. Roughly. Like a guy would do to one of his guy friends. He figured as a slayer she was tough, and she could take it, but Wednesday glared at him in a way that suggested if he ever did that again, he would lose his arm in a 'suitable accident'.
end part 6