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The Girl Who Cried "Spider"

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This story is No. 6 in the series "A Willow in Thorns". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: The daughter of Cole and Willow is having spider problems. Cole wants to wait until the morning. So, Little Buffy asks her Grandpa Giles to help. This is an episode in my A Willow in Thorns series.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Charmed > Giles-CenteredzillagirlFR1514,180152,14520 Sep 0620 Sep 06Yes
Disclaimer

I do not own the characters of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, or Charmed.

Summary

Crossover between the Charmed and Buffy 'verses. The daughter of Cole and Willow is having spider problems. Cole wants to wait until the morning. So, Little Buffy asks her Grandpa Giles to help. This is an episode in my A Willow in Thorns series.

The Girl Who Cried “Spider”

It was getting closer. Definitely. It was big ... very big. Her hand itched. She could feel the energy building up. She just needed to throw one little energy ball. She was sure that would take care of it. But...

She clenched her fist and extinguished the energy building in her hand. No. She had promised Daddy she wouldn't kill any more spiders with an energy or a fire ball. They couldn't afford the fire insurance, he had said. She shimmied upright, clasping her doll tight to her chest, never taking her eyes off the thing. It was way too big for a spider. It looked like it just take a whole arm off. She shuddered in terror.

I shouldn't be afraid. I shouldn't be afraid. My daddy's a powerful demon. So am I. Don't be afraid, don't be afraid... It moved several steps closer to her bed. She let out a cry and shimmered out of her room. She wasn't going to stick around here to get eaten. No sir!

She shimmered into her Mama and Daddy's bedroom, straight to her Daddy's side of the bed. He wouldn't be scared. He'd kill that darn old spider! She peered over the edge of bed. She wasn't that tall and it was a very big bed. Her Daddy's back was to her, and she could barely see the red of her mother's hair on the pillow next to her father.

Like Buffy, her Daddy was still in his demon form. He was very big and red with black marks all over. She stood on her toes to reach his head. She could see the point of this ears. She loved him this way. It made her feel connected to him. She reached up to him, comparing her orange to his red skin. She, too, had black curlicues over her skin, but they were lighter as if drawn with pencil while his seemed practically etched into his skin.

She grabbed his shoulder with her talons and shook. “Daddy! Daddy! Wake up!”

Belthazor slowly opened his eyes. Sliding one hand down Willow's side to her hip, he peered over his shoulder. Little Buffy stood there, clasping a doll to her chest. The frilly pink nightgown looked strange on her small demonic form. He scanned her top to bottom. Her little orange feet peeked out from the bottom of the nightgown. The little talons on her toes, naturally black, had been painted a pastel pink. He suppressed a shudder.

“Buffy, what are you-- Do you know what time it is?” He groaned, but in his present form it came out as a snarl.

Buffy shrugged and pointed at the clock. “It's two-three-eight!” She smiled proudly, until she saw her Daddy's expression. If anything it got darker. “But Daddy, this is important!”

Looking over his shoulder at the clock, he realized she was right. It was 2:38 in the morning! He tried unsuccessfully to stop the growl from escaping his chest. What could be so damned important? Sometimes he really didn't think he had the patience for this whole parenting thing. He realized now why so many children were killed in the Underworld. “What. Is. So. Important?”

Why is Daddy being so horrible? She was doing the right thing. She hadn't thrown an energy ball. He should be happy she remembered her promise. “Daddy. There's a spider in my room.”

Cole growled quite out loud this time. He started as he felt Willow move uneasily against his side. No. He didn't want to wake her. “Now, Buffy, not this--”

“Daddy! It's a real, real big one. And I remembered not to throw an--”

“Buffy, Buffy. It's just too early. I'll get it in the morning. It's probably not as big as all that.”

“No, Daddy. It's--”

“Buffy.” He said firmly, staring coldly into her eyes. “I said in the morning. It's probably more afraid of you than you are of it.” And with that, he turned back over, nuzzled into his wife, and settled back to get more sleep.

Buffy bristled. She reached up to shake him again. But all she got was another snarl and the slight smell of brimstone. Tears welled in her eyes. She didn't understand it. Why didn't he help? Daddies are supposed to take care of their little girls, right? She backed up and tiptoed out of the bedroom. Shoulders slumping, she sadly drug the doll behind her. As she entered the hallway, she slumped down and sat on the floor.

What was she going to do? She couldn't go back to bed. No! That thing was still in her room. She could go sleep in another room. With Ben-- or downstairs-- or-- Grandpa! That was it! If your Daddy won't help, shouldn't your Grandpa? She leapt up and ran down the hallway towards her Grandpa's room.

She reached up and started to open the door. She eased it open, and peered in. Looking around, she spotted her Grandpa. He was in his big comfy chair, his head slumped to one side, sleeping. A book lay across his lap. She giggled. She all but leapt at him. He would know what to do! He was sure to! Reaching up, she started to shake his shoulders as she stood between his legs. He was much shorter than Daddy so that made this much easier.

Giles woke up suddenly at the feel of the small hand shaking his shoulder. Opening his eyes slowly, he tried to focus on what was before him. A small orange face, black eyes (nearly obsidian), long sharp incisors – he started – a demon! He shook himself awake and straightened. Shaking his head, his brain finally clued him in to what it really was. Buffy. What was going on?

Looking around, he tried to peer at the clock. Narrowing his eyes, he shook his head. It was useless without his glasses. He had started patting the table next to him, when he noticed something floating right in front of his eyes. “Ah, yes, Buffy. Thank you.” After he put on the glasses, he focused on her face. What was this? She's upset. Quite upset.

Reaching down, he grabbed her and pulled her into his lap. Her menacing demonic visage was belied by the tears in her eyes and the fact that she was dressed in a pink chiffon nightie and holding a doll close to her chest. “Now, then, sweetie, what's all this?” He reached over and wiped the tears off with his thumb. He looked up and heard a shuffling in the doorway. Ben was standing there with an oddly paternal look on his face. His dark hair was tousled and he was dressed in a rumpled pair of pajamas. He was frowning as he strode in to the room to see what was wrong with his sister.

Giles smiled. The boy had all of his father's mannerisms. He sometimes wondered if Cole actually saw it. Ben was also extremely protective over his sister. Giles wasn't sure where it came from. However, he knew such love certainly wasn't a demonic trait, and he was thankful to see it reflected in his grandson. Ben reached up and grabbed one of his sister's hands. “What's wrong, Nanna? Tell me. Tell Grandpa.”

She looked up at the sound of her demonic name. She loved hearing it sometimes. Especially from Ben or Daddy. They said it just right. She smiled and wiped her eyes. “It's Daddy, he wouldn't help.”

“Wouldn't help?” Giles asked. “With what?”

“The Spider!” She wailed in response. “There's this creepy spider on my wall. It was crawling closer and closer towards my bed. I just knew it was going to eat me!”

Ben groaned, and was rewarded with a kick by his sister. “Buffy, I'm sure it wasn't as bad as all that.”

“It was! It was huge! Bigger than my head even!”

“Now, now, the size isn't important.” Giles tried to regain the peace. If all this stemmed from was a spider, it should be no problem to grab it and flush it down the toilet. He knew all too well that fears were groundless and irrational. After all, Willow was still (after all she had seen) afraid of something as simple as frogs. Buffy, herself, hated dummies. He had even heard that Angel was afraid of chickens, of all things. “Buffy's feelings are important. I suppose that since you're asking for help, you haven't tried throwing an energy ball at it?” She shook her emphatically to the negative. “Good, good, well let's go get this spider.”

Buffy tried to burrow into her Grandpa's chest. The last thing she wanted to do was look at that thing again. “Now, Buffy, you have to be brave. We'll be with you. But you have to show us where to look. It'll be just like when your mom and Aunt Buffy and Uncle Xander and I went looking for things. Buffy had to protect all of us. But your mummy came too, even though she was scared.” He smiled at her to comfort her.

Ben tried not to make any more noises. He knew she was really afraid. He didn't want to upset her anymore though. He did wish she would get over this silliness. A lot worse things had attacked their home when they lived with Uncle Angel and Aunt Buffy. Much slimier and smellier things.

Buffy straightened up, took a deep breath, and jumped off her Grandpa's lap. She liked the sound of that. Being like her Mama. She'd love to be like Mama. Pretty and smart and brave! She could do it. She thought maybe she could. She looked at Ben. He wasn't looking disgusted with her anymore. “Nanna, you can do this. I know you can. You'll just be like the little engine that could. All right?”

She giggled and shook her head up and down happily. “I think I can! I think I can!”

Giles rose carefully, many creaks and pains erupting in his legs and back. He hoped he wouldn't let the children down. But he figured his old body had a few miles left. As he moved about, looking for something to grab the spider with, his knees popped and crackled. He felt heat rush his face as he heard the children chuckling to themselves. It was so humiliating getting older, it really was.

He finally settled on some paper towels from the kitchenette. He came to a stop as he looked at Buffy's face. Her eyes were wide and she was shaking her head ominously. “Grandpa! There is no way that'll work. I said it was BIG! I mean BIG. Maybe we should get a crossbow or a flamethrower or something.”

Ben snickered. “Nanna, if you're going to use a flamethrower, you should just throw an energy ball. We're trying to do this in a way we don't get in trouble and burn the curtains down like last time.” He stopped laughing at the sound of the snarl from his sister's lips. He sometimes forgot his sister was a demon too. She was just so girly.

Giles thought. It wouldn't hurt to humor her a little. The one thing he never did was underestimate their intelligence. Not with their parents. He looked about the room for something in case the spider was actually as big as she said. However, the only spider he knew of that size was a tarantula that was native to South America. He spotted his weapons chest in the corner. Ah, the very thing. He opened the large chest and removed a large dagger. Perfect. Turning around, he smiled at her. Spying the dagger, she nodded happily.

“That's better, Grandpa. I just hope it's big enough.”

He laughed inwardly and herded the children into the hallway. They creeped quietly down towards her room, none of them wanting to wake up the children's parents. Giles looked towards the master bedroom. Perhaps he should've woken them up? It felt so wrong creeping around the house without letting them know. However, it was just a spider, after all. What could go wrong? He shook his head as he cast his mind back. Just how many times did Buffy, Willow, and Xander complain when he had said things like that. Saying that he had jinxed it.

They approached the door which was still sealed tight. He looked at Buffy. “You ready?” She nodded silently, backing behind her brother. Not too ready, it seemed. He smiled at her. “Good. Good. Now, where was it when you last saw it? Near the bed you said?”

She nodded. “Yes, up on the wall, it was crawling towards my bed. Over where my head was.”

Giles nodded absently as he began to ease open the door. He couldn't believe it, he was trying to sneak up on an arachnid. Incredible. The room was dark except for the moonlight streaming in through the open curtains. Most children insisted on having the windows covered. Not Buffy. The moonlight soothed her. Scanning the room, his eyes found the walls bare. He stepped into the room, Ben following close behind.

Glancing back, he saw that Buffy had stayed outside the room. She was hesitating outside the room. Ben, however, was close behind him. Good, good. “Now, Buffy, it was over in that corner. Right?”

Ben scanned the room as his grandfather talked to Buffy. Nothing looked really out of place. He thought he saw something move suddenly under the bed. He decided to shift to demonic form. His eyesight was much more suited for the hunt in that form. He could feel tension building inside. His father explained that his type of demon had been bred over centuries to hunt witches and other innocents. That these were just instincts he felt.

Giles looked forward again as he felt Ben move ahead of him. Perhaps he should pull him back? He thought not. It was a good chance to observe his demonic instincts. He rarely had a chance to observe them in Cole. Not that he wanted to encourage the boy to work on his witch-slaying skills. Still, it was fascinating. He started as he realized that Ben had changed form into a demon. Now, why? Did he sense something other than a spider? Or was he just hunting?

He moved forward, edging towards the bed, when he felt arms grasping the tails of his cardigan. Buffy. She didn't want to be in the room, but it looks like she didn't want to be alone either. He turned and smiled comfortingly at her.

What happened next happened way too fast for Giles to process.

Ben saw a movement – a blur under the bed – out of the corner of his eye. He turned, summoning his athame at the same time. His grandfather swiveled at the flash of the ritual dagger appearing in his grasp. He took a sighting and threw the dagger, knowing it was too quick to have a perfect aim.

Buffy was startled when she saw her brother summon his athame. Well, whatever it was, she wasn't going to be caught empty-handed. She summoned hers as well. She was so intent on whatever her brother had spotted that she didn't notice her grandfather swivel from her brother to look at her. It was that moment of distraction that opened him to attack.

Ben nearly cursed when he realized his athame had missed the target. He watched in horror as the whatever it was darted and latched onto his grandfather's leg. He was practically frozen as Grandpa fell to the ground crying out in pain.

The thing was big. Buffy was right about that. But it was NO spider. Sure it had eight legs but there the resemblance ended. It was about the size of a dinner plate and was a greyish-green and covered in scales. Each of its eight legs were about the size of a large sausage and seemed to be oozing with some horrid yellowish ick. On the central body – there didn't seem to be a separate head – there were several eyes ringing the outside. They were weird. They were yellow and each one seemed to move on its own. It was as if there were several little creatures inside controlling each eye. Ben shuddered. It was horrible.

He looked for his athame. He couldn't spot it. It had to be under the bed. He looked to his Grandpa. He really didn't have the time. He couldn't burn it. It was attached to Grandpa's leg. He could see blood dripping on the floor and Grandpa's face was turning a funny grey color.

Buffy screamed when the thing – the horrid spider – had attacked her Grandpa. It had dug into his leg and it was probably eating him right now. She knew she was right to get away from it. But now it was hurting Grandpa. She looked down at the athame in her hand and then at the horrible, terrifying thing. She was terrified. She looked to Ben. He had lost his athame when he'd tried to kill it. He was frozen to the spot. One of them had to act.

What would Mama do? What if Aunt Buffy couldn't help? Could she... would she... be able to attack on her own? Buffy made the only decision she could. She leapt forward and started attacking the horrid creature with her knife. Some of the yellow stuff got on her skin. She shrieked in pain. It burned! She could hear skin sizzle like eggs in a frying pan. But she kept on attacking. She had to.

Ben gave up on his athame and ran forward to help his sister. He looked to his Grandpa – he had fallen backwards. He wasn't groaning or screaming anymore. That frightened Ben. Grandpa looked – well, he looked dead. Ben swallowed the tears and reached for the creature. He looked sharply at Buffy when she first shrieked. Looking down at her hands, he saw that the yellow ick was burning her hands.

He started to grab at the thing as she stabbed it. He pulled at and realized it was latched on real tight. He got a cold feeling when he realized its teeth or whatever were deep in his Grandpa's flesh. He just hoped it wasn't poisonous. This wasn't going to work. They were going to have to work fast. But what could they do?

He grimaced as the yellow ick started to eat through his skin too. Mama was going to be real upset. A smell hit his nose a horrid burning and chemical smell. It took him a while to realize it was the smell of their flesh burning. Ick. He and Buffy exchanged a glance. This was way too slow. They needed to get this thing off Grandpa and then get a doctor! Buffy's eyes were filled with tears and he didn't think it was just because of the pain. Grandpa was just too important to lose.

“Buffy! Give me the athame! I want to try something.” She nodded and passed it quickly over. Part of her skin had sloughed off and was wrapped around the handle. Ben tried to suppress a shudder, his sister was being so brave. He hoped she'd be okay. He took the athame and forced it in between the creature and his Grandpa's leg. If he could only get some kind of leverage. He pried it in there and began to shimmy it up and down.

There! One leg is detached. Only eight more to go. He looked up as Buffy shimmered out of the room. Well, she must have a good idea. I'll just work on this. He looked to the bedroom door. He didn't hear his parents moving down the hall. He really couldn't believe they were sleeping through all of this. Dad was going to owe Buffy one serious apology when this was all over.

A Second! He growled under his breath as he started to move on the others. He wrinkled his nose at the smell coming from his grandfather's flesh. A sudden blue-white flash in the room distracted him as he looked up. Buffy was there but so was -- “Uncle Xander!”

Xander was horrified. There was some really gross spider thing attached to Giles' leg. And Giles didn't look like he was doing too well. He looked around. Where the hell are Will and Cole? Have they been hurt? His heart contracted at the thought of anything happening to Will.

He crouched next to Giles. Putting his hands over Giles, he used his White Lighter senses to detect his life signs. He felt the energy flowing from Giles. Not as strong as it should be, but still stable. That's good. Looking down at his godchildren, he noticed Ben was working tirelessly to pry the damn thing off of Giles while Buffy seemed to be holding the free legs away from Giles. His nose wrinkled at an acrid, burning smell in the air. What was that? Then he saw. Ben and Buffy's hands. Oh, dear God! The flesh was just hanging off. Something seemed to be burning it off, almost like an acid.

He turned around again. Where the hell were their parents? “Ben, where are your parents? Are they hurt?”

Buffy snorted angrily. “They're sleeping. Daddy wouldn't come when I asked him to kill the spider. I told him it was BIG.” Xander shuddered as she watched her pull loose flesh off her palm when it got in the way of holding the remaining legs.

“Six!” Ben exclaimed. “Only two left, Nanna. Then Xander can heal Grandpa.”

Xander smiled at the exultation in the boy's voice. “Yeah, Ben. First, I'm going to wake up your mom and dad.” He turned to run when Ben screamed.

“No, no, Xander! We don't have time. Almost done.” Buffy started prying up one leg while he worked on the last. All of sudden it was free and they fell backwards. They screamed in joy and shock. Two of the legs were ripped off as Buffy fell one way and Ben was left with the remainder of the horrible creature.

Xander fell to his knees. For a short time, he froze as he looked at the horrible wound on Giles' leg. It was horrible. It was burned to the bone and even the bone didn't look to good. He shuddered and placed his hands over the wound. A bright blue-white light emanated from his hands and bathed Giles' mangled leg. He could hear the children moving behind him. He dreaded trying to clean them up. They were both part-demons, he didn't think he could heal them at all. Certainly not in their current form, and it seemed that the damage was done in that form.

Giles' leg started to heal; it took quite a bit longer than normal. Xander attributed that to the fact that he had been harmed by evil. The same damage inflicted in a strictly temporal fashion would probably have healed much faster. He saw his old friend start to breath in a more steady manner and he breathed a sigh of relief.

He got up and turned to the children. Ben was holding his sister as she stared at the thing. They had placed it in the waste paper basket. They were looking at Xander with tears in their eyes. He knelt by them and took their hands in his. He tried to use his energy to heal them. But all he got was the resistance between his celestial energy and their demonic energies. Damn!

“What the hell is happening here!” “Ben! Buffy! My babies!”

Xander spun and saw Cole (well, Belthazor) and Willow in the doorway. He couldn't believe it. “Where the hell have you two been!”

Belthazor snarled at the accusation and moved forward. He was stopped by a small bundle of fire and energy. “Daddy! I told you! I told you about the spider! It was big! Why didn't you come? Why?” The demon melted at the accusation in his little girl's voice. At the tears cracking her voice. Cole knelt and tried to pull his daughter into his arms. She pulled back and ran to her brother.

“Baby, baby. I thought it was just a spider. Really I did.” Cole's voice cracked. He looked around the room. The blood, the damage. He heard Willow shriek as she caught sight of the damage to Ben and Buffy's hands. Cole shuddered. What had he done? And could he ever make it up to them?

The room was silent as the grave except for the convulsing and gasping of Cole's sobs.

The End

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