Imperium rising Chapter 6
Angel paced as he continued to argue with himself over what to do with the information he had gained the night before. It was a lot to take in and he was unsure what to do about it. One thing he did suspect though was the growing relationship between him and Buffy was over before it had even begun.
Whilst he felt sad and angry about this, he believed it was the best option to avoid whatever plan these so called powers that be had for him and the others. It had taken a lot of time and effort to gain the respect and trust of the majority of the group, especially Giles and Xander and to a lesser extent Cordelia and he did not want to lose that.
He did not want to ever see Angelus released back into the world, so that he could once again run amok, if Buffy chose to step away from him, he would understand and accept it. He finally sat down and ran a hand through his hair, before he grabbed the nearby glass of whiskey and then downed it in one go. He wondered if he could somehow get a hold of Whistler and see if he had any advice on what to do.
"Hey rat breath how's it going?" he was vaguely surprised to hear Whistler's voice from behind him. He turned around to find the balance demon leaning against the wall, drinking from his bottle of whiskey.
"I take it you know what has been going on?" Angel inquired, as he grabbed the bottle from him and poured himself another drink.
"You have to be blind not to, the powers are in an uproar, although its not like they can do much about it, as this is God who has stepped in and changed things," Whistler replied with a smirk, as he took the bottle back. "I suggest you listen to Metatron and just do as you are told as you'll live longer," he advised.
"I thought you worked for the powers?" Angel asked somewhat confused.
"That is basically true, however what you have to remember is that the powers answers to people higher than them and if they order me to do something even against the powers will, I would not hesitate to do it," Whistler responded.
"Things are shifting up there Angel and if the powers and elders do no reel themselves in, they may find themselves on the wrong end of the archangels swords and I have no interest in going down with them," he explained, downing more of the whiskey. "I would think you would understand that," he added.
Angel nodded, relieved that he was not the only one who was caught in the growing cross fire between God and the powers/elders group. When he had been alive, his father had tried to instill a strong belief in God and that had held, although it had not stopped him from being a drunk and interested in any woman that crossed his path.
Now he had true proof of God's existence and he had no wish to get on her bad side. He would take Whistler's advice to heart and do what he was told on both accounts, so from this point on he would call himself Liam.
"Don't call me Angel anymore, my name is Liam," he said before downing his own drink.
"Wise choice Liam," Whistler said with another smirk, before taking one last drink before putting the bottle down. "If you need any advice just call me and I'll turn up and remember no matter what, resist any temptation you may feel for the Slayer," he warned, before he vanished as he had appeared.
Liam sat back down and felt a little better now. He had made his choice and so he got comfortable on the couch and went to sleep, he would see Buffy and the group later tonight and tell them his choice.
Gabriel and Michael both shook their heads in disappointment as the vampire came to his senses and decided to use his real name. They had been hoping he would decide to continue using Angel as his name or just forget the warning Metatron had given him, so that they could drop in on him and scare him a little.
They had even made a bet with Rufus, Loki and Bartleby which they had now lost and they both noted the smug looks on the reborn Angels and the 13th apostle and sighed before forking over the winnings and hoping to get their own back later on.
"Come on guys you should have seen that one coming," Loki said with a chuckle and a shake of his head. "No vampire, especially one with an actual soul is gonna risk pissing off two archangels," he continued.
"Considering his previous ego that was not so certain this time Loki," Michael replied. "Anyway there is plenty left to bet on, but for now we have to go," he added, as he turned and left with Gabriel right behind him.
"I think those two have something planned," Bartleby mused, as he knew no one took the bets they made up here seriously, it was just something to pass the time.
"Most likely they do," Rufus agreed with a smirked. "And we'll probably be laughing our asses off when it hits, so keep an eye out," he added, before taking off himself.
(Sunnydale High School)
Giles looked up as he heard the doors open and he was surprised to see someone enter, who he was sure was not a student. He wore a black leather jacket and black jeans. His brown eyes were sharp and swept over the library, before coming to rest on him. He stood up straighter from where he had been looking at one of his many books.
"Hello, how may I help you?" he inquired, wondering who the young man was.
"You're British," the younger man replied with a smile. "I don't suppose you know a Buffy Summers do you?" he asked, shocking Giles with the use of his Slayer's name.
"Who are you and how do you know Miss Summers?" he asked, wanting to make sure this new comer was not a threat to Buffy or the others.
"My name is Pike. I'm an old friend of Buffy's from LA," Pike replied more sure than anything that he had come to the right place, although he still did not know how he knew where Buffy was or why he had come to see her. "We used to go out for a time before she moved here," he added.
Giles quickly racked his brain for any mention of the name, before recalling a short report Merrick had filed about a young man, who had gotten involved in Buffy's calling, who was called Pike.
Merrick had stated he believed the young man had potential. Of course the council had dismissed Merrick's report as pointless, but then Merrick did not answer to the Council, as he was a watcher unlike any before him. The myths surrounding the man were many, but one he did believe was true was he would be back.
Merrick showed up every so often to find what would turn out to be the best Slayer in years and train her. Sometimes he would die in the line of duty and in others he would simply vanish, but he would always return. No member of the Council could control him or order him about. He was above the Council and was classed as the first true watcher. How he continued to return from the realm of death was not know, but the speculation was he was revived by the powers or someone linked to them.
Turning his attention back to the young man he decided to ensure this was indeed Pike, before he allowed him to see Buffy and the gang. It would not do any good, to allow an enemy into their inner circle, especially now.
"I do remember reading about you Mr. Pike in a report from a gentleman of your acquaintance," he replied.
Pike smiled, sensing he was being tested by what he assumed to be Buffy's new watcher. "You mean Merrick, the old dude, as I used to call him," he shot back. "Good guy, a little strange, but he was loyal to Buffy and in the end gave his life to protect her," he stated. "That affected her badly, but she came through it alright to deal with Lothos and his minions," he explained, as he took a seat at the table.
Giles relaxed slightly as the young man certainly seemed to know a lot about what had transpired back in LA. He then recalled what Metatron had said to Buffy the night before about them redirecting one of her old friends to Sunnydale, to turn her attention away from Angel. Clearly Pike was the one he had meant, he wondered how Buffy would react to this.
"A pleasure to meet you Mr. Pike, I believe Buffy will be quite surprised to see you," he finally said, as he also took a seat.
"That's what I am hoping," Pike responded. "I want to surprise her and please it's just Pike," he added.
The Mayor looked up as Alan walked into the office, still going over whatever report he had in his hands. He folded his hands together and waited for his deputy to speak. A few minutes silence followed before Alan looked back up, he looked a little nervous and he began to suspect he had bad news. Alan had always been a little high strung, but he was someone he could rely on to get things done.
"I just got the report back from most of our spies and so far nothing has turned up at the school," he reported. "No strange actions have been reported about the Slayer and her friends, however I am still waiting on three more reports that have yet to come in," he added. "It is possible the demon was over stating matters last night," he suggested.
"It is possible I suppose Alan," the Mayor conceded. "These demons sometimes over react to things, but still better safe than sorry," he added. "I do not want my plans disturbed at all. We only have another year to wait before the ascension can begin," he added. "Wait for those three reports before closing the investigation down, but keep a close eye out for this chaos mage," he ordered. "If he comes back, I would like a nice chat with him," he added with a cold smile, which sent chills up Alan's spine.
"Yes sir, I'll see to it," Alan said, regaining control of himself and focusing back on the job at hand. "We have a few sightings of some new demons in town, as well as a report of a possible former minion of the vampire Lothos, also heading in our direction," he said, moving on to other topics.
"Have our people keep a close eye on these reports. Lothos' minions have not been very active since their master's demise, so I wonder why one would be coming here," the Mayor mused.
"I don't know yet sir, but I have ordered our people to have a look around and see if there is anything or anyone that might draw one of them to town," Alan quickly responded.
"Capital thinking Alan," the Mayor replied with a smile. "Is that all?" he inquired.
"Yes sir, everything else is running smoothly," Alan answered.
"Good, glad to hear it," the Mayor said. "Very well Alan carry on," he said, before going back to his reading, whilst Alan quickly left.
(Sunnydale High School)
Buffy walked back into the library somewhat perplexed by her sudden attention in class. She had been intently reading the text book instead of staring out of the window, as she normally did during certain classes, but this time she had listened to the teacher and done the work assigned, much to the confusion of Willow and Xander who sat beside her in class. Their looks of shock and confusion were almost amusing, but she was just as confused by this change in her personality.
Listening to the conversation of the others she failed to notice Pike, as he stood up from the desk and waited for her to notice him. It wasn't until she noticed all sounds had ceased, that she looked up and was shocked to see a face from the past standing before her.
"Pike," she said, pleased beyond measure to see him and relieved to know he was still alive and kicking. She quickly pulled him into a hug which he quickly returned.
Since they had parted ways she had worried off and on if he had gotten himself killed fighting her fight. He had been committed to this war just as much as she was. In fact Xander and Pike had a lot in common, both were or at least had been normal people who had learned the truth about the world and once they knew that truth, had made the choice to fight with no desire to ever quit.
They would never walk away from the fight, as long as they believed they were needed. She admired that about them both and yet it worried her much about how many risks each of them is willing to take. They both could be classed as reckless to the extremes; still Xander was now in a completely different boat after what had transpired on Halloween.
"What are you doing here?" she asked, as she finally broke the hug and stepped back.
"I don't really know, but I felt the need to come and find you and make sure you were okay," Pike responded, still wondering why he had become so concerned about his ex.
"I do believe we can answer that, but that can wait until later," Giles interrupted them. "Buffy, maybe you should introduce your friend to the group?" he suggested.
"Of course I'm sorry. Pike I'd like you to meet Xander, Willow, Cordelia, Max, Aura and Amy and that is Miss Calendar," Buffy introduced her friends. "They all know the truth of who I am and help me in the fight," she added. "Guys this is Pike, he used to help me up in LA, as well as being an ex boyfriend," she continued.
"You seem to be expanding your team Buff," Pike said, amazed to see so many people involved in her calling now. "I thought it was supposed to be a big secret," he added.
"They all found out at different times and like you, committed themselves to the fight," Buffy responded. "We've taken down some dangerous enemies since I got here and it's the fact we're a team that has made us so effective," she added. "This town is built on the Hellmouth so there is a higher volume of vampires and demons here and on my own with just Giles, I doubt I would have lasted long," she admitted.
"Well you can consider me also part of the team as I doubt I'll be leaving anytime soon," Pike told her, clapping her on the back with a smile. "By the way what's with the change in hair color?" he asked with a straight face. "I thought you said you'd never go back to your natural color?" he added.
"You might as well sit down as it's a long story," Buffy said, running a hand through her now dark hair. "At least with it being lunch, we can get through it all," she added, as she sat down next to Pike, who had already taken a seat.
The others all soon joined them, not exactly sure what to make of the new comer, but they could tell Buffy seemed very happy to see him and they could tell he meant what he said about helping them out.
Giles began with reminding them what Metatron had told them about one of Buffy's old friends being redirected here, which explained why Pike had felt the urge to seek Buffy out so much.
Explaining who Metatron was however was much harder, as was what had transpired during Halloween and before that, the events leading up to it. Including some of Giles' past and the fact he knew the chaos mage behind the spell.
Pike took in everything he was been told and whilst some of it seemed far-fetched, it gave him a sense of hope that maybe they were not alone in the fight.
He guessed that if demons and vampires existed, then the idea of Angels and God should not be that difficult to believe in. In fact he thought he should be relieved they existed.
"Sounds like you've moved up in the world Buff," Pike finally said. "And the war seems a whole lot bigger," he added more somberly. "Still I'm in," he added, before standing up. "I better get out of here before I'm caught, plus I need to find a place to stay," he added.
"I'll see if my mom will mind renting you the spare room when I get home," Buffy told him with a smile. "Tonight you'll find us at the Bronze, it's the town's only nightclub, so you'll find it easily enough," she added.
"I'll see you tonight then," Pike replied, before he turned and left the library.