Pippa Martinez and Squad Three
DISCLAIMER: Same as before, just add that I do not own any of the songs sung by Pippa and Connor in this chapter.
Pippa Martinez groaned as she watched the rain pour down outside the window of her dorm room. The wet made the castle horrendous to live in, and it was impossible to go for a run in the forest in weather like this, and that was what she had planned to do before lessons that morning. She hated not being able to run before her book classes, but the forest would be awful in weather like this. With a frown, she gathered up her uniform and slipped past her best friend, Issa, into the bathroom. The rain was still drumming down outside, and she pulled her wet hair into a messy bun, mentally running through her schedule for the day. Wicca with Willow, sparring with Buffy and Kennedy, Squad training with the girls…
Oh. My. Goddess. It was matching day. The day Slayers got matched to their watchers. That meant tomorrow was assignment day. She looked down at her uniform, remembering that they could wear whatever they wanted on matching day, and walked over to her wardrobe, flinging it open. Within moments, she had replaced her uniform with a white peasant blouse, a long gypsy skirt and her favourite knee-high purple Docs. She yanked on a black leather bomber jacket, and then bounced down the stairs to the Great Hall to meet with her friends, and take a look at the watchers. Pippa grinned as she spotted her squad over in one of the corners, joking and laughing. There was tall, quiet Rona; short, perky Vi and sensible, straightforward Shannon, all of whom were still haunted by the ghosts of Sunnydale. Then there was Sarge, all smiles and laughter; Issa, who hit first, and left the fight last; Min, the brain and Jazzi, smart and sassy. They were all laughing at something Sarge had said as Pip came and joined them. They gossiped for a bit, joking, laughing, making bad cracks about the last set of demons they slayed. Then the hall doors opened, and a mass of nervous-looking apprentice watchers followed Willow, Giles, and a small group of people she didn’t recognise – including one rather hot teenage boy – into the main hall.
“Welcome everyone, Slayers and Watchers alike, to the Day of Matching!” Pippa grinned at her friends. Hopefully they and their new watchers would get assigned to a hellmouth! That would be wonderful.
“As many of you will have noticed,” Willow continued, “There are some new faces here to aid in the matching process. It is my pleasure to introduce to you all Angel, Illyria, Wesley Wyndham-Price, Connor Angel and Charles Gunn.” Pippa’s eyes goggled. That was all of the LA team in one room. Helping them with the matching? That was so cool! The group of adults settled in around the tables that lined the hall, while the slayers and watchers began to line up to get their shortlists. She grabbed hers off Willow, and then hurried off to find the potential watchers on the list. None of them were particularly interesting. She sauntered over to the window, looking out calmly, taking in everything that she could see through the drizzle. There seemed to be some kind of vehicle travelling up the drive. A motorbike, she realised as it drew closer and closer. She strained to see the rider through the rain. The only things she could make out where a big black jacket and bleached hair. Was it Spike? She’d only heard stories, only read about him in the watchers diaries, and never seen him. But was it possible that he had returned? Come back? She smiled softly as she watched him get off the bike and take the stairs two at a time to get back up to the hall. There was a pause of almost a minute where she couldn’t see him climbing the stairs, and then the doors at the back of the hall flew open, and he swooped in. Dawn, coming to help with the matching, shrieked his name, and flew in to his arms.
“SPIIIIIIIIKE!” Pippa raised a sceptical eyebrow. So it was Spike. The things she’d read and heard made him seem like … well, like what she’d been looking for in a watcher, the thing that had driven her to making “Another One Bites The Dust” the theme song for going through her matching list. She made her way over to the pair, smirking as she realised that Dawn was instructing him on how to profile a slayer for secondary matchups.
“Pip! Come over here for a second!” Dawn cried, reaching out and grabbing Pip’s arm as soon as she could. With a smile, Pip bounded over to the pair. Dawn was fizzing with excitement at seeing her ‘big brother’ again, and now she just wanted to convince him that he could help the other slayers. “Spike, this is Pippa, Pippa, this is Spike.” Pippa blushed a little at the intense scrutiny her face was subjected to.
“Hi.” She said sheepishly.
“Hello, pet.” He replied, grinning. It was infectious, like laughter, that smirk. She found herself grinning too.
“I think there are questions involved?” Pippa said, one hand resting on her hip.
“Well, seeing as you went destructo with your watchers list...”
“Another one bites the dust…” She sang. He laughed outright at that one.
“Ok. Fyral apocalypse. How do you deal?” he asked.
“Kill ‘em all.” She said, without thinking.
“Too many for you to handle alone?” he queried.
“Get my watcher to help out a bit. Maybe call my friends together.” She said, smirking. The hand on her hip was still there, but now she curled it into a fist, and leant her weight into her opposite leg, sticking her hip out a bit. There would be serious quippage coming on.
“Ok. There’s a prophecy which states one of your friends is going to be vamp chow. What do you do?”
Pippa was a little shocked by the question.
“Ummmm. Stake every vamp in town and refuse to let the person out of their room on the appropriate day. Tear up a couple of demon bars for emphasis.”
He smiled at the idea.
“Someone threatens your friends…”
“I’ll rip their sodding tongue out I will!” Pippa snapped. He was grinning from ear to ear.
“You don’t have a watcher, right?” he asked. She nodded, and he turned to face Dawn.
“Who do I talk to?”
They were marching down the halls of the Academy, towards Willow’s office. Spike was towing her along slightly, holding her hand, and Dawn was following them, anxiously trying to convince Spike that this wasn’t a good plan. Spike didn’t seem to care, and swept into the office.
“Hello, Red. Can I have this one? I want to be her Watcher.”
Willow looked up, startled. She glanced at Pippa, then back to Spike, and then back to Pippa again.
“Spike, are you sure? You still have a lot of enemies in the Demon underworld, she might not be safe.” Pippa and Spike pulled almost identical faces, and then both of them started to talk at once. What Willow heard vaguely resembled:
“He’s bloody brill- I want to be- I like him – She’s exactly-We want to be a team.”
“I wasn’t aware you wished to be a Watcher, Spike.” She said, sounding ridiculously like Giles.
“Neither was I.” Spike replied, and the little cocky smirk appeared on his face. It made Pippa want to grin, and before she knew it, the same little smirk had appeared on her own features. She’d been right earlier. It really was infectious! Willow laughed at their identical expressions.
“I would have given Pippa to you without a second thought if you’d told me earlier. I think you two would make a wonderful pair.” She paused for a moment, like she was trying to decide something, and then said:
“You are the oldest and most experienced of all the watchers assigned to the girls in Pippa’s squad. If it’s alright with you, I’ll make you head of the squad.”
Spike raised an eyebrow at Pippa. She shrugged, her body language clearly stating that if she’d spoken, she would have said ‘go right ahead’.
“Sounds fine by me.” Willow wrote something down in the book open in front of her, and then shut it, and drew out a second book, checking a column towards the back.
“It’s all good. You two are set to slay.” She said, gesturing at the book, which had their names in it as a Slayer/Watcher team. “Keep an eye on her, Spike. She’s gonna go far. Pippa, hon, don’t let him go evil.”
All three of them laughed. Willow walked them out, and then, as she shut the door, Spike turned back to Pippa.
“I think you need to introduce me to your squad then, pet.” He said. She led the way back to the main hall, where the teams were meeting up to introduce their new watchers to the others in their team. Her girls had claimed a table in the centre of the hall, and someone, her money was on Jazzi, had bought cookies.
“This is us.” She said, gesturing to the girls. Spike seemed to appraise them from a distance, and then he joined her in walking over to the table. She slipped down in between Vi and Min, and took a cookie from the plate in the centre.
“Mmmmmm! White Choc macadamia, right Jazzi?” she said, mumbling the last half of the sentence through the crumbs.
“That would be the one, Pip. Where’s the Watcher?” Jazzi replied.
“Oh yeah! Guys, this is my Watcher, Spike. Spike, this is everyone.”
Vi, Rona and Shannon went flying off their seats to hug him. Vi actually ended up on the floor on her way over, but all the girls were so excited to see him it was just sweet. Pip finally managed to have proper introductions, and went around the table introducing each girl, and then each girl introduced their new watcher. Spike admitted he was the leader of the squad now, drawing yet another excited squeal from the Sunnydale survivors. He suggested they did a dinner as a bit of squad bonding, which was seconded by the other girls, as all of them liked the plan a lot, especially when Pippa volunteered to cook, as she was the best at actual dinner food in the group. It was then that the boy Pippa had noticed before came gliding over and tapped Spike on the shoulder.
“Dad says he wants to back to LA now, and that Blue’s going to send us back. He says if you’re coming, to get going.” The boy looked unimpressed with the whole plan. “I want to stay. The kids are all nice, and I can spar with the girls. And LA sucks, because all the monsters are scared of us and the firm never lets me fight anything and I want to stay.” This last little bit of babble made the entire table burst out laughing. He joined in a little after the others, but it was genuine laughter, not at all forced. Spike smirked at the boy, and then turned to the door, where the LA gang was waiting.
“I’m gonna be staying here for a bit, Peaches. Got m’self a Slayer, I did. Connor wants to stay too. You lot go home, and we’ll just hang here, k?” he called. Angel came storming over and tried to order Connor back to the firm with the others, but Connor refused to budge, and once the girls started pleading with Angel to let him stay, as they had recognised a kindred spirit the minute he had pulled puppy-dog eyes at them, he finally relented.
“Fine. You can stay here, Connor, but I want to hear only good things from Buffy and Willow, and if you get into trouble, I’ll be right over to take you home. Got it?”
“Sure, Dad.” Connor spun around in his seat to talk to the other girls. Angel just shook his head, and made his way back to the others.
It was almost 1 by the time Spike managed to get the girls back to their rooms. Willow modified the castle to give him a room next to Pippa’s, with a joint lounge room in the middle. Pippa smiled sweetly at him, sliding past to her own room, to go to bed. He went to his own room, grinning as it reformed itself to look like his crypt back in Sunnydale, and then resetting itself into a large room with a four poster bed and a big oak wardrobe.
He had a Slayer to look after now, and he had a feeling that his life was never going to be the same.
[He woke the next morning to the smell of lemon tea and coffee from the joint lounge. Spike was a fairly light sleeper, and the smell had woken him quickly. He pulled on a t-shirt and joined Pippa in the lounge. She was still wearing her pyjamas, a blue t-shirt that was a little too big and slipped off one shoulder, and a pair of black footless tights. She smiled as he came in, looking up from her book. Terry Pratchett, he noticed.
“Morning! Kettle’s boiled, and I made coffee, ‘cause I wasn’t sure what you liked.”
She looked down at the book again, and then back up when she realised he hadn’t moved.
“What’s up?” she asked.
“Nothing. You’re not what I expected, you know.” He glided past her to the little kitchenette and poured himself a mug of the coffee.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” she demanded, putting the book down on the coffee table so that the pages remained open to the one she’d been reading.
“You make coffee, just in case I want it when I wake up. You read Terry Pratchett. You wear t-shirts with joke slogans on them to bed. You dress like a more hipster version of Willow when I knew her while she was at high school. And yet, I knew you were supposed to be my slayer. It’s … unusual.”
She raised an eyebrow. He rolled his eyes. She grinned.
“I know. It was like when I saw you. You wear leather jackets, have this huge bad-boy vibe going, listen to music I barely knew existed, gave Billy Idol his look, have a cockney accent that is way cooler than mine, but … your supposed to be my Watcher. I just knew it.” She sipped her tea, and picked up her book again.
“Now, if we’re quite done, I was just getting to the good bit.” She said, beginning to read again. He picked up the coffee he’d poured and began to scan the room for where she kept the books. When he spotted it, he made his way over and picked up a copy of Nightwatch, which had always been his favourite, and sat down on the couch opposite her. She looked up as he sat down, and the two of them began to read together. It made him smile to think that he, William the Bloody, Slayer of Slayers, was now sitting opposite one, drinking a cup of coffee she’d made for him, and reading Terry Pratchett in quiet harmony. Pippa picked up her mug, and tucked her legs under her, rested the cup on her knee, and turned a page. He looked over at the girl, and suddenly knew what it must be like for Giles, to keep guard over a girl who was so likely to die, and yet to know it was your duty to protect her. He wondered if he’d become her father-figure, like Giles had to Buffy. She looked up, like she knew he’d been studying her, and smiled. He returned the smile, and then went back to his book.
“Oh, Spike? We’re supposed to be posted today. The girls really want a Hellmouth, but we don’t know what we’ll get. Perhaps we could do the dinner tonight? That way we can talk to the squad about our new assignment while we do our little bonding thingo.” Pippa looked up, a little worried. Spike just shrugged and smiled at his young Slayer.
“Sounds good. Speaking of, when would we need to be down there to get the aforementioned assignment?”
“Oh, about 12. Then we’ll need to come back up here so that I can do dinner for the girls.” Spike nodded, and padded to the kitchen for a top-up.
At 12:10, the two of them had made their way down to the main hall for the assignment announcements. They looked like the perfect Slayer/Watcher team, with Pip in her full Slaying gear – a pair of black skinny jeans, knee-high purple Docs, a black bomber jacket and a black t-shirt with a ‘You Can’t Stop the Signal’ logo – and Spike in his big black jacket and red silk shirt over his normal black t-shirt. Pippa screamed in-built violent tendencies with a side order of killer sarcasm, while Spike yelled bad-boy. The two of them oozed confidence and slayablility. Pip dropped into the table between Min and Rona, picked up a cookie, and asked if anyone had been assigned yet. She and Spike had been fashionably late, and that meant they had missed the first ten minutes of the assignment.
“No. We just got the patented Summers ‘Don’t die and destroy evil’ lecture. Buffy looks like she’s ready to stake Spike for being late though.” Sarge said quietly. Spike smirked. So did the other girls. That smirk really was infectious.
“Alright! Let’s get going. Squad five, we’re keeping you here to help train the others. Squad six, you guys are going to take New York. Squad seven, you guys are headed to LA. Squad three,” here Buffy paused and glared at Spike, who just kept the smirk on, “You guys are going to Cardiff.” There were grins, high-fives and general congratulations passed around the table. The girls had really wanted to be assigned to a Hellmouth, and to be given one with such a high rrate of mysterious happenings was an added bonus. They stayed for the whole ceremony even though it was only a formality now, and at the conclusion, went their own ways, each one promising to come to Spike and Pippa’s suite for dinner that night, until only Pippa, Spike, and Connor remained in the room.
“Hey, I was wondering,” said Connor quietly, looking up at Pippa and Spike slightly shyly, “If I could come and help out? I don’t have a proper set of room’s and I really would like to help and I’ve gone back to babbling…” he finished, and then Pippa was tugging on his hand to pull him up to the suite and Spike was asking him where the stuff he had was, and whether he had enough stuff to stay and then vanished from the back of their little group, leaving only Pippa yanking on his hand. She pulled open the door, and then turned.
“Wait here for a second. Reconfiguration can make your head spin to start with.” She took a step into the suite, and crinkled up her nose. There was a blur, and then the room appeared to settle, taking the form of a large dining room with a kitchen at one end, the bench set so that the person working in it could see the main room, and talk to the people within it.
“Come in!” said Pippa cheerfully, dumping her jacket on the table and rolling up her sleeves. She opened the fridge and bent down to see what was in it, clicking her tongue and swaying back and forwards while she decided.
“Potato salad, I think. And pesto. And fish fillets. And quiche. And then maybe a lemon meringue pie.”
“Oh my Goddess, Pippa, are you cooking for an army?”
“No. Jut for the squad. I mean, have you seen what they eat?” Connor laughed, and Pippa set him to chopping ingredients, while she boiled potatoes and filled the quiche and pie dishes with pastry. She turned on the stereo while they cooked, and soon the two of them were singing along with Pippa’s favourite bands while they cooked.
“LONDON!” sang Pippa.
“TOKYO!” Connor sang back. They kept going, bouncing the list of cities between them.
“Boston, Frisco, D.C., Chicago, Baltimore, Toronto, Memphis, Rio, Dublin, Mexico, Paris, Here we go!”
Spike walked in the front door to find two teenagers singing into whisks like they were microphones.
“Everybody knows there’s a party at the end of the world!” they sang. Spike dropped his coat of the table next to Pippa’s and walked over to the open counter.
“Got a pick me up for a fanged-up watcher in there?” he asked, inclining his head towards the fridge.
“Maybe if you’re good and help with the cooking, there could be chocolate.” Pippa said, with a smirk. Spike rolled his eyes.
“One cup of blood, coming right up!” she said, whirling around Connor to get to the fridge. The song ticked over to A Little Less Sixteen Candles as she came back with the microwaved blood.
“I confess, I messed up, drop it I’m sorry, but you’re still around.” She sung, sliding the cup down the bench to where Spike was sitting. He picked it up and saluted her with it.
“And you know, you’re dressed up, hey kid, you’ll never leave this town.” She sung. Connor stepped up from the side of her, whirling her around in a circle and then dipping her as he sung the next set of lines.
“But you’re just the girl all the boys what to dance with, and I’m just a boy using too many chances.” Pippa cracked up laughing. He stands her up straight again and she goes to check the fish that’s in the oven, while he returns to whisking the pie filler at the other end of the kitchen. Spike slid down so that he was sitting opposite the boy.
“Mess with her,” he said looking deadly serious, “and I swear I will end you. Got it?” Connor went white, and nodded.
“Yes, sir. I promise.” Pippa turned around and raised an eyebrow at them both, and then shrugged, pulled the fish out of the oven, and sung along with the next line.
“So say what are you waiting for, kiss her, kiss her.” Connor blushed from the roots of his hair. Pippa was completely oblivious to him, and kept singing.
The rest of the afternoon passed without incident. Pippa and Connor sung their way through the cooking, with Spike occasionally joining in. Pippa vanished into her rooms to prettify. She re-emerged to set the table, dressed in a pretty knee-length purple dress cut in a Goddess style with her purple docs and her blonde hair loose around her face. The other girls filed in slowly.
First was Vi and Andrew. Then came Shannon and Matt, followed by Rona and JJ. Then was Sarge and Issa, with Tommy and Carl, their respective Watchers, and Min and Jazzi, with Seb and Mark.
The dinner went surprisingly well. Connor bonded with the rest of the squad easily, and te girls loved their new Watchers.
It wasn’t till the next day, when Buffy asked them to deal with a demon rising from the Edinburgh Hellmouth, that things started to go downhill.
A/N: Wow. Looooooong chapter. Not all of them will be this long unless my muse has another field day :)
Pippa and Connor sing Hello Brooklyn, by All Time Low (which will make a comeback), and A Little Less Sixteen Candles by Fall Out Boy