You Sit On A Throne of Lies!
Once again, many thanks to Greywizard for beta-ing this story!
Thank you to *everyone* who has read, tracked, and reviewed- you definitely keep me inspired to keep writing!!!!!!!!
Spike’s face was still as stone as the eyes of Jean-Claude, Anita, Andrew, and Dawn turned to him. His mind pondered on how to best answer Jean-Claude’s question.
If he denied knowing them, then it might make it harder for Jean-Claude to link them to the Slayers. Of course, if he admitted their relationship, he may be able to give them protection. Spike has always been a gambling man, so he was willing to take his chances.
“Why do I care?” he restated. “I care because I know them from my life, before. Neither of you are allowed to touch them. I am officially declaring them under my protection, so sod off, mate.”
Dawn and Andrew grinned happily; Spike felt the guilt from not acknowledging her earlier lift from his shoulders.
“You intend to put these two humans under your protection?” Jean-Claude looked amused as he studied Spike and reclined in his chair.
“Yes,” Spike answered with a note of finality.
Anita’s eyes narrowed at Spike as expressions of anger and concern flitted across her face.
“When did you start thinking that you’re all big and bad, Spike?” she asked with a cruel smile. “When did you start thinking that you could order *us* around?”
Something snapped within Spike’s core.
Six months had passed since he came back. Being stuck tied to Anita Blake as a ghost had been alright as non-corporeal gigs went -- He had enjoyed haunting everyone in the palace of poofs and was a bit relieved to not be trapped in some hell dimension. Then a few months ago, Anita had somehow made him flesh and blood and he had endured her orders; he didn’t bloody see how to get out of it after all.
But not anymore.
Snarling, Spike flew towards Anita and grabbed her arms. “When did I start thinking I was all big and bad? I’ve *been* the Big Bad, bitch.” Her eyes widened in terror as soon as she realized she had an angry vampire pinning her. She didn’t have to be afraid for long, because Jean-Claude threw Spike one-handed against the wall. Spike jumped to his feet and growled as he raised his arms to incinerate that lacey-shirted prat. He could feel the power crackling within him and smiled with great satisfaction as he aimed at Jean-Claude.
Except that blinding pain made his knees buckle and he screamed. Jean-Claude roughly yanked him to his feet and sneered. “You forget yourself, Spike. Ma Petite ordered you long ago not to bring harm to me. Perhaps you have remembered your old ways, but you are still bound to her.”
Rage coursed through Spike. “Trust me, mate. Once Anita’s witchcraft wears off, I’ll wear your insides as a hat.”
Jean-Claude laughed softly. “Ma Petite? Perhaps Spike should be made more comfortable?” he suggested with a raised brow.
“Sit down next to your friends, Spike. And shut up,” Anita ordered coldly.
Spike helplessly jerked himself to the sofa and sat down next to Dawn, all the while glaring at his mistress. Anita moved to stand in front of Andrew and grasped his chin roughly to force him to look at her.
“Who sent you?” she demanded. “Who was the bitch that killed Damian?”
“I don’t know,” he squeaked. “Who’s Damian?”
“Hmm, let’s see. Tall, red-haired, your friend staked him?” Anita slapped him. “Don’t play stupid with me.”
Spike rolled his eyes. “Simmer down, Zombie Queen. Andrew can’t help but play stupid, it’s not his fault.”
Andrew beamed at Spike. “Aw, thanks, Spike. That’s really sweet. Can I just say how nice it is to see you again?”
Jerking her shoulder into him, Dawn hissed, “Be quiet, Andrew!”
“Andrew, Andrew,” Anita said soothingly. Her dominant side caught a whiff of Andrew’s weakness and she was ready to pounce. “Listen, all I want to know is who that was and what you people are doing here.”
“I’m no Lando Calrission !” he declared bravely. “I shall not sell out my friends.”
“Who is this Lando?” asked a puzzled Jean-Claude.
Andrew cleared his throat. “Lando Calrission was a dear friend of Han Solo’s; actually he was the original owner of Han’s ship, the Millennium Falcon, until he lost it in a bet, until he sold him out to Darth Vader. Han, Chewie, and Leia came to Cloud City and Lando was all like ‘hey guys, good to see you, welcome, hey Leia, what up sexy lady’ and they were all like ‘cool, what‘s up.’ And then he invited them to a delicious brunch when whoa! Darth Vader was just chilling there and totally captured them. Which was so not cool, because Lando sold them out just so that way-”
“Enough,” interrupted Jean-Claude with a wave of his hand. “They were right about you -- you are rather annoying.”
Andrew shrugged sheepishly and Dawn bit back a smile.
“Way to come to a conclusion, Captain Obvious,” she said smarmily.
“It’s about the only thing he can do around here, what with Anita carrying his balls around in her purse like this season’s newest accessory,” Spike joked with a devilish grin.
“I am the Master of the City, dammit. You will show respect,” Jean-Claude stated forcefully. Spike just snorted in response.
“Jean-Claude, what would a slayer be doing here, anyway?” Anita gave Jean-Claude a questioning look. “They’re a terrorist group and banned from the States. Why would they be in St. Louis?”
“A terrorist group?” Dawn said disdainfully. “That is a load of bullshit cooked up by the Vampire Council! You actually believe that, Anita Blake, Ms. Vampire Executioner?”
Anita paused and gave Jean-Claude a hard look. After all, she was no fan of the Vampire Council. “What does she mean by that?”
Jean-Claude shrugged gracefully. “I do not know what she means, Ma Petite. You know that I am not closely associated with the Council, not since I escaped from Belle Morte’s clutches.”
“You sit on a throne of lies!” Andrew said shrilly. Judging by his surprised expression, those words had come out louder than he had intended. He shivered slightly at the furious gleam in Jean-Claude’s eyes.
“What do you mean by that?” Anita asked.
“What he meant by that is that your lover boy knows exactly what went on with the Vampire Council cock and bull story," Dawn snapped, more that a little put out by this idiot bitch's attitude. "A little over five years ago, the world went from having one slayer to hundreds. His li'l Vampire Council freaked out that the slayers were going to wipe them off this earth, so they came out of the coffin and smeared the Slayers.” Dawn paused and took a deep breath to make up from speaking so quickly.
The silence was deafening for several minutes. Finally Anita asked, “So the Slayers did not do those terrorist attacks?”
“They would never hurt an innocent. They fight on the side of Good. They fight the evil vampires who use their powers to manipulate humans to steal blood, hurt, or kill them,” answered Andrew, a bit pontifically.
Face wrinkled with concern, Anita turned to her lover. “Jean-Claude, is this true? The Vampire Council did this? You knew this? You knew that the government has been imprisoning innocent girls who are just trying to do their job?”
“Innocent girls?” Jean-Claude laughed. “One of these innocent girls murdered Damian, in cold blood! You almost died in the process! You wish to defend them?”
“Uh, technically, it was not in cold blood. We only went to Guilty Pleasures to look for Spike. It was your friend who was using his powers to illegally bite a human. Faith had to step in. Wouldn’t you have done the same?” said a rather logical Andrew.
Anita sighed deeply and sat back down.
She'd figured out long ago that the world wasn’t all black and white. But tonight’s revelations were revealing even more shades of gray than she cared to know. She used to hear about the mythical Vampire Slayer back when Manny taught her how to hunt vampires. At the time, she had always wished she had been a slayer; it sure would have made hunting easier. When the Slayers had come out in full force, she had cheered -- happy to see every last undead S.O.B. staked.
Of course, her thoughts on that had changed a lot in the last couple years. She had definitely met some evil vampires (like Vittorio), but there were many who were her lovers, her friends; people she cared for deeply. Maybe Damian had been in the wrong, but maybe not. Thanks to that Faith bitch, though, she would never really know.
This was a grey area, all right. No question about that at all.
“So you all came here for Spike?” Anita gave him an appraising look. Who would have thought the snarky Englishman would incite such loyalty?
“Yes, that’s all we want,” Dawn stated. “We came here for Spike. Now that we have him, we’ll be on our way.”
Jean-Claude laughed scornfully. “Perhaps you did not realize, but you two are tied up. Spike is ours. He’s a valuable asset to our organization and will not be leaving here.”
Spike grunted. “Listen, bloke, I’m sick of being here and bloody tired of the both you. I’ll be taking off. If you want to set someone on fire, buy some kerosene and a Zippo.”
The Wicked Truth walked into the room before Jean-Claude could respond.
“They will arrive at 2:00 A.M. as you wished. There are five of them total. The Commander-In-Chief of the Slayer Army, Buffy Summers, her second-in-command Faith, an old man, a one-eyed man, and another girl who was not a slayer.”
“Excellent. Call Richard to bring his wolves to help guard and enlist others,” Jean-Claude directed. The brothers nodded and left the room.
“Spike, with all the politics of our world, you know I am in need of great warriors. Now that Anita has formed a triumvirate with you and Nathaniel, you especially cannot leave. If you do, all three of you will suffer, because you must learn how to control your new powers together.” He saw Anita looking deep in thought and grabbed her hand.
“You know this is true, Ma Petite.”
“And what do you intend to do with Buffy and the others?” Dawn asked nervously. She did not like the idea of Jean-Claude of gathering a bunch of weres before her sister and the others came.
An evil smile slid over his face.
“They intruded into my territory and killed an important member of my Kiss. They will have to pay a penalty. Besides, I have been hearing about the Slayers Buffy and Faith for many years. It will be a pleasure to capture them.”
Spike jerked but due to Anita’s orders he couldn’t get up.
“You’re a right bastard, you know that, you bleedin' ponce? You better not touch a hair on her head -- or any of them! I won’t be Anita’s whipping boy forever and the day that stops, I’ll carve your dead heart out with a spoon!”
Giving him a cold look, Jean-Claude replied, “The day you are no longer Anita’s whipping boy will be the day when I kill you, Spike.”
A couple hours later the Scoobies rolled into a parking lot near the Circus of the Damned.
Faith killed the engine and looked at Giles in the passenger seat. “How much longer?”
“Erm, we have about ten minutes until the deadline.” Giles sighed. "Unfortunately, with such short notice, my contact won’t be able to arrive for a while longer.”
“Will?” asked Buffy. “How are you feeling?”
“Well, I know we’re out of time, so I’ll have to make it work," Willow replied. "But I wish I had longer to work on the spells. With Giles’ help and that other person he knows, we should hopefully have enough power to pull it off. It’s a shame I don‘t have any coven members here.”
Willow shrugged and then smiled. “Should be fun, at any rate. I haven’t had a chance to do big magics in a long time!”
Everyone laughed at her enthusiasm.
“Alright-y then, you funky party weasels ready to make some new friends?” joked Xander with a twirl of his finger.
Buffy opened her car door.
“Okay, guys. Let’s kick some ass.”
*“You sit on a throne of lies!” - Not mine, that’s from Elf (starring Will Ferrel). But its definitely one of my favorite quotes of all time ;)
Please review~ I love getting feedback in order to continually improve and make this the story that you want (I know how many readers got their hate on for Anita and I want to make this the story *you* want!)
And yes… We are ALMOST THERE! The big meet-up happens in the NEXT CHAPTER! I know, I know… you are all very excited ;)
CHALLENGE: The next chapter is entitled “Anita Blake and her Magical _____”. If you guess correctly at what that blank word is you win an all-expense paid trip to Vegas! (ok, really, no… But you will get to see Anita gamble with the lives of all her many amores in upcoming chapters! Hahahah). Trust me, I’m done with the next chapter (just waiting till 11 is done before posting in case I need to make any changes) and it was *so* much fun to write ;)
STILL TAKING VOTES ON THE FATES OF THE CHARACTERS! So far the updated results are as thus:
JC-9 votes (One reader said JC never dies off in these stories… Should I change that? ;)
Nacissus-8 votes (Should a Scooby make this S&M jerk their submissive bitch? :)
Anita- 7 vote (Anita, Anita, the lady we love to hate. Should we put her out of her misery once and for all or give her one more chance?)
Richard-6 votes (Richard… Still not sure if he’s going to be on Buffy’s side during the final battle… If he doesn’t choose wisely he may *wish* that Raina was the worst chick he had ever met)
Sylvie- 1 vote
Jason- 1 vote
ALL AB peeps: 3 votes (plus intense suffering beforehand)
Kill off everyone that tries any kind of overly-complicated power-play politics- 1
Asher-11 votes (DAMN! Y’all love Asher, don’t you??? Think this beautifully scarred vamp deserves another chance?)
Anita: 8 votes (but everyone wanted her to get really hurt and/or lose powers)
Richard- 7 votes (Oh Richard, we love you, we hate you…)
Nathaniel- 4 vote (His hair died, should he?)
Wicked Truth- 3
Donovan (Swan King)- 1
Valentina (ratted and squashed)
Nathaniel’s creepy hair (thank you over-protective Spike!)