What makes an ally
A/N: In Sunnydale again, directly after the previous chapter. Yay, continuity.
Disclaimer: Don't own SPN or BTVS. I know, so sad.
Giles wasn’t surprised to find his Slayer barging into the library after closing hours- but she was certainly earlier than normal. When she started ranting about scary-psycho Hunters collecting Slayer body parts and thrust an unopened, creased and dirty envelope at him, he allowed himself a moment to clean his glasses before even trying to decipher her words. Experience had taught him that letting her rant it out before asking questions was more efficient in the long run. He took the envelope and opened it as she paced, waving her arms in the air for emphasis. He wasn’t even half-listening as soon as he had the letter in his hands- the words too important to bear distraction.
Eventually, the Slayer stopped her hysterics and watched him read, recognizing his expression as on of growing dread and feeling the same in the pit of her stomach.
“What? What is it?” She squashed the fear; she’d killed the man she loved. Nothing could be worse than that.
“Several months ago, the Watcher’s Council sent a team to Boston in search of the next Slayer.”
“Kendra’s replacement?” The words were harsh; describing any Slayer as replacement was unfair but Giles let it slide- Kendra had been her friend and Buffy had watched her die. He just nodded.
“They couldn’t find the girl but they did run afoul of something that got them all killed horribly.” He’d trained with some of them; knew them well, once, but the pain of their deaths had been overshadowed by grief for Jenny. “These Hunters claim that it was a Vampire named Kakistos and that he’s in Sunnydale, or on his way here, to kill the Slayer and her Watcher.”
“Just one Vamp, huh? We can handle one measly blood sucker.” Buffy made a staking motion and smiled, though it didn’t reach her eyes.
“It’s said that Kakistos is so old that his hands and feet have are cloven and that he no longer has a human face.”
“Like the Master?” He still visited her nightmares and she suppressed a shiver.
“Worse.” No-one had seen the ancient Vampire in two centuries, but Giles was sure he had an image of the monster somewhere. “If the Council have managed to rouse him and he truly is on his way to us, then we need to prepare. Kakistos is like nothing we have ever faced, Buffy- he has survived hundreds of wars and dozens of centuries… if these Hunters are correct then we have quite the fight on our hands.” But why were the Hunters warning them by letter? And through Willy the Snitch, of all people? Why not come directly to the library and speak with him, or better still- pick up the phone and call him? He didn’t recognize their names, but that wasn’t surprising. The Watchers had few ties to the hunting community, such that it was. The Council, Giles recalled, had always deemed Hunters to be a necessary tool in the overall fight, but one which did not warrant contact. A time or two, he knew, there were territorial contests over who turned up first to finish a threat, or kill a demon, but mostly the two co-existed without difficulty. No difficulty he knew of, anyway.
So why the cloak and dagger routine? He asked the Slayer as much and was surprised to see her expression change to one of disgust.
“Maybe because they heard just how much love I don’t have for Hunters? If they’re in town, it’s because they’re looking for something out of it. Willy said as much- he said these guys are worse than Cain.” She rolled her eyes, dismissive, but Giles felt something in his stomach clench. Worse than Cain could mean a lot of things, but he had a feeling he understood the barman’s message better than the Slayer. Cain was an opportunist; a collector. Worse than that, from a demon’s perspective, would be a fanatic; someone who hunted evil because evil existed, not because there was something to be gained from it. A natural ally of any Slayer, if she could be made to see it.
He said nothing, though, because she’d already turned her attention back to Kakistos and Giles obliged, telling her everything he could recall about the ancient Vampire and already beginning a mental list of which books might prove most useful in finding more.
When she finally left to finish her patrol, Giles retrieved the letter from his pocket and reached for the phone in his office. The phone number scrawled on the bottom of the paper was local and he dialed carefully.
“Yeah?” The gruff voice on the other end was almost exactly what he was expecting- suspicious, unfriendly and older. He was almost relieved that there was another adult on the phone.
“Uh, hello. Is this Robert Singer? My name is Rupert Giles and I’m-“
“I know who you are, Watcher.” There was a level of disdain in the word that Giles wasn’t used to. “You get our note?”
“Yes, yes, I did. My Slayer delivered it only moments ago. I must say, Mr. Singer, that this is quite worrying. Are you certain that it is indeed Kakistos that we are dealing with?” There was the sound of a scuffle on the other end of the line- as if the man were fighting with someone else for control of the receiver.
“Yeah, it’s Kakistos alright and he’s heading right for your girl. We’ll be sticking around until this mess is cleaned up, so if you need help, you call this number and you let me know.” Giles couldn’t help but be a little relieved.
“What I really need is someone fluent in Latin who won’t use my books as a coaster.” There were rings on more than a dozen ancient tomes that were going to be there until the end of the world and it annoyed him every time he saw it.
“I’ll be there in ten.” And he hung up, leaving Giles blinking at the receiver in surprise. He hadn’t meant that as a genuine plea for help (hadn’t expected a Hunter to be fluent) but he was pleasantly surprised, nonetheless. Having another adult around (there hadn’t been one since Jenny) would be a godsend, especially as it was likely that Buffy would run straight to the others and they’d descend on the library within the hour, like a pack of hysterical monkeys. Even as he thought it, he knew it was unfair but there was something to be said for the company of people his own age- mostly, that he didn’t get enough of it. Plus, the opportunity to question one of the Hunters without Buffy around, worrying unnecessarily, was something he couldn’t pass up.
“You’re not going.” Faith stated, voice calm and steady and not betraying the fact that she was blocking the door, stopping Bobby from leaving. Bobby scowled at her and reached forward, lifting her gently. She might be Slayer-strong and fast, but she still weighed almost nothing and he knew that she’d never hurt him.
“You know as well as I do that this is our chance to find out what they know. If he knows nothing about you or Dean then we can all saunter into the library like we’ve been going there our whole lives.” Sam, standing behind Faith, made a face and replied for both of them.
“You shouldn’t go on your own. We don’t know anything about this guy!”
He knew they were worried; he knew they loved him and they were afraid that he would be eaten alive by scary Watcher-monsters. That was the only reason he didn’t just leave without saying a word.
“I can handle myself just fine. You tell your Daddy where I’m gone when he gets back, and you’ll see- John will agree with me.” That gave them pause, just for a second. The thought that John might think it was a good idea was enough to stop them. He’d say no to any of the kids going in there, but he might actually agree that Bobby should go.
“You’ll be armed, right?”
“Knives, guns and holy water.”
“And you’ll call if you need back-up?”
“What are you, my mother? I’ll be back in time for you to tuck me in and sing me a lullaby.” And with the last of his patience used up, Bobby sauntered out the door to his car. Sam and Faith watched as he drove off, taillights gleaming.
“We’re following him, right?” Faith shouldn’t have bothered asking- Sam was already pulling on his jacket and pocketing his favourite blade.
“Of course.” He closed the front door after them, locking it in what was probably a futile attempt to protect their belongings. The house was warded against demons and any human that broke in would likely take one look at the collection of weapons in the living room and run, fast. They didn’t have a car, so they would have to walk to the school and normally Sam would be nervous of doing something so stupid on a Hellmouth but his sister was a Slayer and there was another one patrolling the same town. He was quietly confident that they could handle anything that got thrown at them and he was certain that if he suggested differently, Faith would kick his ass herself.
They weren’t far from the school, anyway, just twenty minutes at a pretty slow walk. Enough time for Bobby to get there and get inside and not see them as they picked the lock to the rear entrance and snuck inside. Sam had memorized the map of the school during their tour so he led the way to the library, careful to be as quiet as possible, even as Faith crept along beside him, soundless. Before she’d been Called she hadn’t been nearly as stealthy. In his less gracious moments, it really annoyed him, but as he grew taller and stronger he was really beginning to appreciate his sister’s extra muscle.
“Do we have a plan?” Faith shrugged, noncommittal.
“Stay in the shadows and only interfere if we hear Bobby screaming?” Her brother laughed and carefully closed the door behind them. He left it unlocked, just in case. They had to be able to make a quick exit because if they weren’t home before their father, he’d kill them. Slowly, using many variations of the ‘I’m so disappointed in you’ stare. Not even Dean would be able to deflect the wrath of John, if they were caught sneaking around on the Hellmouth at night, alone, without leaving word. But, of course, they weren’t really alone- they were with Bobby. Sort of. Just because he didn’t know they were there, didn’t mean he couldn’t look out for them anyway- Bobby was awesome that way.
The found the library easily and ducked into a classroom down the hallway, within easy reach of their uncle and the Watcher who may (or may not) try something. Neither of them mentioned the fact that Bobby was plenty able to handle a few humans on his own, either by talking his way out or by smashing his way through them. That kind of logic wasn’t for people who really, secretly, wanted some revenge on the shadowy international organization that had left their brother bruised and battered.