Hail. Hail. The Gangs all Here!!
Aside from the vampire and his charge sitting on the stairs leading to the upper level of the shop, every other member of the eclectic groups heads were bent over one ancient text or other. Willow and Tara were sitting close enough together to be reclassified as a single entity as they whispered back and forth about any snippets they found. Buffy was flicking through a book in which the writing didn’t even have letters, but Giles had told her which squiggle represented the words: Glory, Dagon and Key. The slayer was under strict instructions to pass the book to her Watcher if any passage should contain all three or a repetition of any of them. Giles himself was speed reading his way through two texts at once, while the former demon Anyanka divided her attention between the shops ledger and McGivney’s Handbook for Demons: How to Dominate your Humans
. Even Scott was helping as best he could by surfing the net in search of any information that might have wormed it’s way there.
Not a one of them had found anything useful in their efforts against Glory.
They were so absorbed that they never even noticed Spike’s protective manoeuvring, nor the territorial growl that thrummed deep in his chest as amber flecked blue eyes remained fixed on the door. The first any of them knew something was going on was when the bell over the door jangled its announcement that someone had entered the building.
“I’m terribly sorry, but I’m afraid we’re..” Giles began only to stop as he saw who was standing in the doorway.
“Angel?” Buffy pronounced with all the longing for things past in her voice that could be compressed into one name. (“oh dear Lord. My cup runneth over!” Giles muttered under his breath as he decided that now would be an excellent time to start doctoring his whisky with some tea.) Dawn resisted the urge to roll her eyes, the whole Angel/Buffy debacle had been over for three years. You would really think her sister would have gotten over it by know, or should they be worried about her obsessive bent.
“God Angel, what is your damage?! Stop blocking the damn door!” Familiar strident tones came from behind the vampires broad shoulders. And with the jab of a perfectly pointed finger Queen C herself chivvied her ‘boss’ out of her path and strode into the shop oozing Hollywood glamour and Grade A bitch. She was followed by a muscular black youth and a slimmer dark haired man. It took Willow a moment to recognise Wesley in jeans and a t-shirt, never mind the loose confident posture the man now bore.
Cordelia took in the room and its occupants with a glance and a disdainful sniff. “Well? There better be a hell of a good reason for me dragging myself back to this God awful town. If I missed the sale at Sachs because She-Who-Seriously-Needs-Clairol-Therapy wanted to make pie eyes at His Broodness, I will sooo not be happy and Gunn’ll kick all your asses!”
“Cordelia.” Angel intoned in quiet warning as he locked eyes with his Childe. In that one glance the Sire communicated his wish to aide his Childe, his sorrow at their strained relationship and assurances that he wished His Favourite no harm; speaking in the way that only those who had lived lifetimes with each other could communicate. Spike’s own eyes widened in surprise before narrowing in thought and suspicion. Angel suppressed a sigh. It appeared there would be a long way to go before he and his Childe would be on good terms once more. “We’re here to help, not fight.” He told his assistant and the room at large.
“Yes, well. Be that as it may.” Giles returned as he placed his freshly polished glasses back upon his nose.. “May I ask what led you to the impression that we were in need of your assistance?”
The vampire turned his gaze to the Watcher, expressionless now. “Dawn told us.”
“WHAAAT!!” Buffy shrieked all thoughts of heartbreak and love lost and knights in shining armour riding into the sunset clearly forgotten at this piece of news. Leaping out of her seat she strode over to the teenager who cowered behind her vampire. “How could you Dawn? You didn’t have the right to-”
“The right? The right!” Dawn shrieked back as she straightened in her seat. “I
’m the Key Buffy! I
’m the one Glory wants. And I
am the one who will die if she gets me! So don’t you dare
tell me I don’t have the right to call for help from my friends!”
“They’re not your
“Oh don’t even Miss Like’s-To-Kill!” Cordy snarled as she stepped right into Buffy’s personal space. “It just so happens I like
Dawnie here. She’s not a total loss like the rest of the losers you surround yourself with. Hell, I wouldn’t even piss on you if you’re cheap polyester knock off caught fire!” She continued with a derisive flick of her finger at Buffy’s shirt.
“Why you evil loud-mouthed Bitch!” Buffy retorted.
“Ah, home sweet Hellmouth. Where the cheerleaders and chosen ones bitch!” A new voice entered the fray.
“XANDER!!” Dawn squealed as she made like a torpedo and launched herself at the former Scooby.
“Dawn-Patrol!” Xander grinned as he caught the girl easily and spun herb round as the teen giggled and peppered her friends face with kisses. “Happy to see me then?” He joked as he lowered her to her feet.
“Of course I have you big lump. Phone calls and e-mails just aren’t the same as having your very own Xander to hand.” Dawn replied as she snuggled into his side.
“X-x-Xander?” Willow stuttered softly as she stared wide eyed at the young man. This couldn’t be her Xander shaped friend, he wasn’t nearly Xander shaped enough!
“Hey Wills.” The man formerly known as the Zeppo nodded to the red head. “Summers, nice of you to call and let us all know where you were(!)” He drawled on seeing Scott.
Scott sighed and crossed his arms over his chest, and would firmly deny pouting if asked. “The idea being that I didn’t want any of you to know Alex. Tell
me you’re the only one here!”
“You only wish Oh Former Fearless Leader o’ mine.” Xander replied with a rather nasty grin on his face. “The Old Man’s been itching to drag you home for weeks. Doesn’t like having one of the pack out of range for so long. When I told him me and Murph were on our way here for Dawnie, he practically mowed us over getting here.”
“Logan’s here?” Scott asked as his stomach gave an unfamiliar and unsettling lurch at the thought.
“Yup. He and the others are setting up house at Deadboy’s old stomping grounds.”
“The Mansion?” Angel interjected as he eyed the boy.
“Mm-hm. So what say we all head over there and get with the whole reunion thing where there is more room?”