Ch 5. In Which the Puppy Eyes Don't Work
If you think I own them, read the reality check back in chapter one.
18 days after the events of chapter 4. Buffy never told the others about the people staying in the mansion, and Xander hasn’t returned to the scoobies.
Xander collapsed, sure he’d never be able to move again. As his tormenter drew closer all he could do was groan. “No more, please,” he begged pitifully.
“Do the puppy eyes normally work when you’re fighting for your life, boy?” came the cold reply.
Xander shrugged. “Not normally, but occasionally and that’s enough to keep using it.” He sucked in a breath as a blade pressed coldly into his stomach.
Diane laughed, leaning into Greg, both of them watching Delvin prod Xander back to his feet. He winced in sympathy for the other new Immortal. He’d only been at this for five months, but the first month was the month of muscle pain and frustration. It was interesting, though, seeing as Xander had chosen for his weapon, not a sword, but a two-headed battle axe. Xander did have it a bit easier than Greg had at first though. While not out of shape, Greg hadn’t been as physically active since working graveyard in a lab for the last couple years as he had been before moving to Vegas. Xander worked construction and was used to fighting at least. And hadn’t that been a revelation. Immortals he could write off as a genetic mutation of some sort, but the fugly that that exploded into to dust when Xander poked it in the chest with a stick? Not a mutation. And then there was Spike. The chipped vamp was off doing whatever he did first thing in the evenings. The first week they were there, Spike had been on eggshells, especially around the two older Immortals. Apparently sick of it, Xander had dragged the vampire beyond hearing range of the rest of them and the two hadn’t come back for an hour. When they returned, Spike had loosened up enough to joke and tease the others, but he still seemed particularly careful of Delvin.
A clamor of metal to the ground and the scent of sweet blood welcomed Spike back into the house. He fought the urge to run to the room where Xander’s heart was shuttering to a stop. His only consolations were that this training would make the pup last for eternity if he learned it all right and that Delvin’s “kills” were usually quick and clean and recovery time was minimal even for an Immortal. Sure enough, even as he gripped the door to steady himself against the bloodlust, a rush of air and stuttering heartbeat signaled Xander’s return. Briefly, he wonder what kept an Immortal’s soul in it’s body when the body was temporarily dead.
“Ahhhh, shit,” was the first thing Xander said, after spitting out a mouthful of blood. He’d gotten used to dying during practice, but that didn’t mean he enjoyed it. Delvin and Diane didn’t believe in pulling their attacks unless it was a neck shot. He glanced up to the chiding expression on his teacher’s face. “I know, I know, I have to watch for the left.”
Delvin smiled, reaching down to pull the disgusted young Immortal to his feet. “Yes, you do. How many more times will you let me kill you like that?”
Xander just grumbled and grabbed a damp towel from a chair to wipe the blood away. He’d stopped wearing more than a pair of jeans, old jeans, after the first spar. He spotted Spike at the door.
“Got killed again, did ya?” Spike teased, unable to keep his eyes away from the tantalizing rivulets of blood the boy was wiping away from his chest. Wonder if the boy will let me have the towel when he’s done, he thought briefly.
“I’ll get it eventually,” Xander said with a lopsided grin. He knew it was hard on the vamp, being around so much spilled blood, but Spike wouldn’t appreciate his pity. “You’re back early. What’s up?”
“Saw the scoobies. The Watcher asked about ya. Apparently, the Slayer never told the others where you was, and ‘e’s been worried. I told ‘em I knew how to get a message to ya, and he’d like to see ya.” He hesitated. “The witch think yer still mad at her and are just avoiding her, but she’s worried, too.”
Xander chewed his lower lip for a second. He looked back at Delvin. “I think I need to go see Giles, or he’ll come looking for me. Can I tell him about all this?” He waved his hand over the den they’d converted into a gym and sparring room.
“That’s your choice.” Delvin turned jade eyes on Spike. “You said, ‘watcher.’ He’s the Slayer’s?”
Spike nodded. “And speaking of, your watchers bought the place on Smithing. Seems they’re not bringing anyone new in, figure that two can watch the four of you.” Delvin had asked Spike to keep tabs on the Immortal Watchers and keep them as safe as he could when he was around them. Spike had done a fairly good job of it, eager to prove himself.
“Thank you, Spike,” Delvin said. “Alexander, Slayer Watchers don’t always know much about our kind, so just tread carefully. He will have heard of us, but how much is fact…” When Xander hadn’t protested the use of his full name, Delvin decided that it was the name he’d use for the young man. “Make sure of his knowledge before you tell him. They most assuredly know enough to behead you.”
Xander nodded. He wanted Giles to accept him, but knew enough to know that he might have to get past the slay-first-poke-it-later-to-find-out-what-it-is mentality. He threw his towel in the hamper. “I’m gonna shower, then head to Giles’s. Spike, you doing anything for the rest of the night?”
“Nothing planned, whelp. Want me to tag along to our dear Rupert’s?” Spike offered, trying to ignore the calculating look from Delvin. The Immortal trusted him half the time and the other half…not so much. Especially when it came to Xander.
“Yeah, if you don’t have to go beat up demons or something.”
Spike shrugged. “Go shower. I’ll wait. You go out smelling like that and you’ll learn the real meaning of demon magnet.”
Xander blushed brightly and swiftly exited. Greg laughed. He liked Xander. They shared a similar sense of irreverent humor. Spike, he had an insane urge to introduce to Grissom. Spike wandered out of the room and the three Immortals sat in comfortable silence. Greg, however, was unaccustomed to silence, comfortable or uncomfortable, and therefore was the one to break it several minutes later.
“I want to go out tonight, too, if only to eat. I’m going crazy here,” he declared, pushing his teacher off of him. She rose gracefully.
“I don’t see why not,” Diane said, stretching. “We can all go out, maybe have Alexander and Spike meet us when they are finished.” Her shiny black hair fell into her face and she pushed it back impatiently. “But first, I’m shaving my hair off. We can go in an hour.”
Xander laughed when he heard Diane’s declaration of intent. He was still dripping from his quick shower but he really wanted to get this over with. “You know, I think the G.I. Jane look would work for you. You guys see where Spike went?”
“Probably outside to smoke away the scent of your blood,” Delvin commented. “He has a shocking amount of control, but he’s not made of stone.”
“Nah, but he is my friend,” Xander replied firmly, verbally waving away what he knew was another warning about letting Spike too close. Delvin was ancient and wise, maybe but he was also an idiot. If Xander could see it, a blind man could: Spike was in love with Delvin. Or maybe William was. Xander had learned enough about vampires in general and Spike in specific to know that the lore was wrong. The human soul didn’t depart upon the change, it got put into a coma, buried underneath bloodlust and a powerful demon. Spike’s soul made an appearance every now and then after the chip made him stop and think before attacking, but moreso since Delvin had come to town.
Waving goodbye to the other Immortals, he bounded out of the house, and sure enough, found Spike smoking near the gate.
“Ready to go, droopy?” Spike asked, relieved that the fresh blood smell was gone.
“Lead the way, fangless.”
AN: So, I wonder what Giles will say. Love it or hate it, let me know. Just don't be too mean or I'll sic Delvin on you.