Chapter 4: In which Buffy gets told...off
If you think I own them, go back to Chapter One and read the disclaimer.
Greg was fairly vibrating with energy as Delvin’s new student led the way. “So we’re staying in a mansion? And Spike’s a vampire? Like a real vampire, not like the ones in the blood bars, like that guy that Brass arrested that thought he was a vampire?” Said vampire was staring at him wide-eyed. “What? He worked at a clinic and filed his teeth to points and killed a girl that thought she was a vampire too.” He snickered. “The C.S.I.’s gave me funny looks when I offered them the wooden stake to take with them. Um, no offense, Spike.”
Spike shook his head slowly. “I didn’t know they made babblers outside of the hellmouth anymore. You’ll fit in well.”
Xander laughed. “Yes, we’re staying in a mansion. Yes, Spike is a real vampire, and he get threatened with stakes all the time, so don’t worry about it. By the way, this mansion also belongs to a vampire, but he’s not planning on coming back any time soon, and my ex talked him into letting us use it.” And hadn’t that been an interesting conversation. ‘Yeah, Cordy, I’m Immortal. No not a vamp, an Immortal. Ask Deadboy, he should know about us…” Yeah, that was fun. “She’s a seer now. Official messenger girl for the Powers that Be.”
“What kind of demon is she?” Delvin asked, absently noting the demons tailing them, the weight of his sword comfortable on his back.
“What?” Xander frowned. “Cordelia isn’t a demon.”
“She’s not?” Delvin now focused on his student. “Are you sure? Not even half?”
“Uh, yeah. Grew up with her. Think I would have noticed.”
Delvin shook his head, a few black hairs escaping from his braid. “And she only recently became a seer?” Xander nodded. “If she doesn’t get rid of it, she’ll last maybe three years in that case. Or it will drive her insane or kill her. Pure humans aren’t meant to carry such burdens. Immortals and demons can handle it and humans with some demon heritage.”
Xander looked at Spike. “Wasn’t Drusilla a seer before Angelus got to her? She was all human, right?”
“She has a succubus about three generations back in her family tree,” Spike replied, for once not bent out of shape about Dru. Hey, goody me, I’m moving on, he thought. “Wasn’t the visions drove her insane anyway,” he mumbled, wondering what his princess was like before Angelus got a hold of her. Imagining her as a sweet, innocent church-girl boggled his imagination.
Delvin scowled at the reminder of the vampire that had killed his friend and turned his body over to a demon. He asked, “Where is she anyway?”
“’ell if I know,” Spike replied, lighting a cig. “Wasn’t good enough for ‘er anymore. Left me for some ugly demon that still ‘ad ‘is edge.” He tried not let on how much that hurt still. Xander smiled at him sympathetically, and they rounded the corner to the mansion.
Greg whistled. “I like.” He was trying to ignore the unignorable tension between the vampire and Delvin. “So, are we living here for a while? Are we decorating or just staying a week or two?”
“We’ll be staying at least a year,” Diane replied, smiling at her student. His bubbling enthusiasm was so refreshing after so long. Delvin’s new student looked to be of the same type. “Delvin has to stay with his student, and I’d rather not leave him.”
“Cool!” Greg bounced on the balls of his feet. “Can I get a job in town, or shall I just be your love slave while we’re here?” He leered playfully at his teacher.
Xander choked, and Diane laughed musically. “Why not both?” she replied. “You can work during the week, and I’ll chain you to my bed the rest of the time.”
“Don’t worry, Xander,” Delvin whispered, seeing the panicked look on his student’s face. “Sex isn’t a requirement for the student/teacher relationship. Not for me anyway.”
“Oh, good,” Xander said, relieved. “Um, not that you aren’t good-looking for your age and all…wait, how old are you? I know you knew Spike before he was turned… And do I have to ask permission to work? Cause I have a job, and I don’t want to quit…” His babbling stopped with Delvin’s hand over his mouth.
“I’m around four thousand,” Delvin decided to answer the questions in order. “But you are never to tell that to another immortal. The older an Immortal is, the more their Quickening is desired. And while we are on the Hellmouth, I have no objection to your working, so long as you let me know where you’ll be. If we were anyway else, I wouldn’t let you, but Immortals avoid places like this, and you know how to fight demons. You aren’t my slave, you’re my student. I’m responsible for protecting you until I’ve taught you all that I can. Speaking of, do you work tomorrow?”
Xander fumbled with the keys to get the main door opened. “Um, no work on Sundays. I do construction. Depending on the weather, it’s pretty Monday to Friday type work.”
“Okay, we’ll get your things from your old place in the morning then,” the older Immortal replied, smoothly taking the keys from Xander and opening the door. “Old fashioned,” he mumbled. “Cleaning this place up for inhabitation will be a joy, but the layout is idea.” Plenty of room for training, large enough for the four Immortals to have enough space. And surrounded by cemeteries. Holy ground, ironically, was quite easy to find on a hellmouth. Something to do with the high death-rate, and all the ritualism of the various demonic cults. It was all holy to someone.
“Alright, what are you people doing in here? Xander!?”
Spike groaned as everyone looked up to see the Slayer on the stairs.
“Buffy,” Xander replied, remembering that he was still mad at her. “Deadboy gave us permission to be here. Somehow I don’t think he did the same for you. Anyway, we’re moving in, and you’re trespassing.”
Buffy stood up and crossed her arms. “Excuse me? Who are they and why would Angel let you move in here? You and Angel never got along anyway.”
“Excuse me,” Delvin replied, stepping in front of Xander. “Maybe since, as Xander said, this is our place now, you should be telling us who you are and why you’re here before you demand anything.”
“I don’t know who you think you are, but I don’t have to tell you anything,” Buffy said staring down at the rude (and very attractive) man. “And I was talking to Xander.”
“And I am talking to you,” Delvin said, growing annoyed. “Xander, who is this?”
“This is the Slayer,” Xander replied. “Her name is Buffy Summers, and I really don’t know why she’s here.”
“Ah, I see.” The Romanian prince turned to the irate slayer. “My name, Ms. Summers, is Delvin Phoenix, and while I can understand that a Slayer is unaccustomed to anyone standing up to her, you are annoying me. Your one-time lover let us have the location of the key and will soon be sending us the deed to this lovely place.” He stalked toward the frozen girl, steering her toward the exit. “You’ll have to find some place else to reminisce about your time with him. I do not appreciate the obvious disrespected you have for Alexander, and I will not tolerate it under my roof. Leave. If Xander wishes you to come back and visit him, he’ll let you know; otherwise you are not welcome here.”
Buffy found herself outside with no real recollection of walking out. She started to reach for the door handle but thought better of it and began walking back to the college. Why had Angel given away his house? She thought about calling to ask, but she’d been the one to insist on no contact. She decided to tell Giles about everything in the morning. With a pang, she realized that she’d gone all grumpy-Buffy again and forgotten to apologize to Xander for yelling at him earlier.
Spike couldn’t help the smirk on his face. Delvin had put Slutty so perfectly in her place that she hadn’t even realized he was there. His smirk slipped. Delvin would make him leave now. And Immortals being as human as they were, next time he came, he’d need an invite to get in. Maybe he could convince William’s old friend to let him come around to see the whelp.
Unknown to Spike, Delvin was thinking similar things. Most of him wanted to throw the vampire out, or better yet, just stake the damn thing and be done with it. But another, fairer part of him reminded him that Spike had been the one to bring the boy to his attention and he obviously meant something to Xander. The Slayer hadn’t even glanced at Spike, and that made no sense to him. But, then, this Slayer didn’t seem too bright. The part of Delvin that really missed William had notices that bits and pieces of the human’s personality had surfaced beneath Spike’s.
“Alright, everyone go pick a room, Xander make sure which ever one you pick has one near it that I can use; we’ll be cleaning those out first,” he said. “I’ll be up in a second.” Xander led Diane and Greg up the stairs, and Delvin turned to Spike. “I have to make a decision. Xander seems to care for you and you for him. Why? He’s not a donor; there are no marks on him and you’re not that obsessive so I know he’s not bonded to you. So, why do you care what happens to him, a delicacy?”
Spike sighed, knowing Delvin would accept nothing but the truth here. “For several years, I wanted to kill that boy. Still wanna kill most of his group, but not him. Even back then though, I respected him more than the Slayer or the Witch or the Watcher. You can’t have an unarmed human with no power and no training face down a master vamp and not respect ‘em. The boy’s always been more than he seems and his little friends never realized that.” He couldn’t look at Delvin anymore. “He kinda reminded me of William, only stronger. Hated him for that, but I can’t anymore. If William had been more like Xander, Dru wouldn’t have turned him. Hell, if I had been more like Xander, Angelus couldn’t have controlled me like he did. Me and the whelp, well, we’ve got to be friends in the last couple months. Don’t have my nest anymore. Darla’s dead, Angelus is all souled, Dru left me, don’t know if Angelus’ other childer are alive or dust, but they never much stuck around anyway.”
Delvin was having a hard time maintaining his hostility. He is not William, he reminded himself. “So why not create a new family? Why spend your time with humans?”
“Never made a childe in me unlife,” Spike replied. “Anyway, couldn’t now if I wanted to.” Painfully he recounted his encounter with the scientist of the Initiative, knowing that Delvin had to know that his student couldn’t be harmed by this vampire. When he wound down, Delvin was looking sick.
“Are they still around?” Delvin asked. Humans experimenting on the supernatural, well, that was every Immortals’ worst nightmare.
“Nah, the Slayer and her gang and me all worked together to take them out. Now I help them out a bit for the money for blood from the butchers and the local demon bar. That’s how me and Xanpet started hanging out. The Watcher’s alright, but Xander’s the only one that acts like…oh hell, I don’t know. I wouldn’t even kill the others now unless he really wrote them off. It’s like,” Spike struggled to explain. He was no good at this sort of thing. His only consolation was that his hearing told him that Xander was too far away to hear him. “He makes it like I’m in a family again. And he likes them.” He peeked at the Immortal. “I’ve never done good with the alone thing.”
“Okay,” Delvin whispered. His every sense and instinct developed over four millennia telling him the vampire was telling the truth. “You are welcome here. You can even have a room for all I care, but you hurt him intentionally in any way, and I’ll do what I should have done one hundred and twenty years ago. Understand?”
“Yeah, Delvin,” Spike gasped, fighting tears. “Thank you.”
AN: Don't worry Spike will make us all pay dearly for witnessing him in a moment of weakness. Was it too sappy? Delvin's a hard guy to convince, so Spike had to make it real.