Old Friends, New Allies, Same Old Problems
Hi guys... So it has, once again, been a while. So like, graduate school sucked my brain, soul and wallet dry. Anyways, that craziness is over, so I actually have the mental capacity to let these characters take up space in my brain again.
I've loved getting reviews, even after I totally failed to post anything... well at all, for quite some time. Honestly was not my intention. Some clues are getting dropped in this chapter (some of you might actually be able to figure out where some of this is going), and the next one we might even find out a bit more about what's going on ;) I don't want to drag it out too long, right? (I mean plot wise, obvs I've dragged out the whole writing and posting of this story... but so not on purpose)
As always, thanks to my lovely and patient beta vidicon
who has to deal with me sending chapters at random intervals and totally unrevised because I am so excited to have it done.
Thanks to alynambered
for a few last minute adjustments.
(And review ;) )
Xander heard Dawn’s end of the conversation. The two of them had been locked up in her bedroom for the last several hours in an effort to escape from the fight that had been brewing between Andrew and Kennedy. Willow was acting as a complete failure in the part of an unbiased mediator. Xander shifted a book out of the way and scooted closer to Dawn, as her expression grew more serious.
She had called Buffy to let her sister know about what they had found out so far. Her reaction to Spike answering Buffy’s phone had, at first, been pleasantly surprised. However, as Dawn and the vampire spoke Xander could see things were not well on the other end of the phone.
Spike was doing his best to break the news of the Slayer’s disappearance to Dawn as gently he could. It wasn’t something he wanted to do in the best of situations, to have to do it while in a secret military base that was miles under a mountain with a good half dozen guns pointed at him really added to the atmosphere of the situation.
Of course, it had been a little funny when his pocket started to buzz with the opening notes of Part of Your World
from The Little Mermaid
. He had forgotten that he had pocketed the Slayer’s phone. It was only with the most careful and deliberate of movements that he had answered the phone.
“Lil’ Bit, we’ll get your sister back,” he soothed.
By this time Xander had pressed his face next to Dawn’s so he could hear what the peroxide vampire had to say. “It’s that stupid tie guy, isn’t it!”
“You’re with the one-eyed wonder?” Spike snorted into the phone.
Dawn slapped a hand over Xander’s mouth, preventing him from taking the bait that would have had the two Y chromosomes spiraling into a ‘he started it’ brawl.
“Spike. So not the time.”
“Habit, love.” Spike said with some degree of apology, something only the Summers women ever got from him. Mentally he shifted gears, silently proud of how well Dawn was handling this crisis. She wasn’t the screaming mess she would have been a few years ago. Rewarding that he asked her what she had called Buffy for.
“Not much yet,” Dawn answered sadly. “We already told Buffy everything we found out about Tie Guy. He and his best friend had a midlife crisis together and wanted to bring back a fashion disaster of the 80s.” Spike nodded towards Jack. Cocking his head a bit, the two silently communicated and Jack stepped forward.
“Hold on, Bit. Cracker Jack, did Buffy tell you everything team Scooby found out on the tie guy?”
Jack’s eyebrow rose a bit at the nick-name Spike had bestowed on him, but he ignored it for the moment.
“I think so. Even if she didn’t, I’ve had SG-1 finding out everything they could about him. He was the one lead I had.” Spike nodded and then spoke into the phone again. “Get that Bit? So anything else, that maybe government types wouldn’t have access to?”
Dawn bit her lip and frowned.
“Well, Giles is working on something. He found a book, if you can call it that, but it needs to be translated. Unfortunately neither of us are that strong in Ancient Mayan. He’s working on it now. We think it says something about shadow men and blood. He thinks maybe it ties into vampires that undust.”
“Where’s the Watcher now, Niblet?”
“He’s in the library.”
Spike hadn’t visited the current residence of Team Scooby, but he had spoken to both Dawn and Buffy, when she lived there, enough to know its general lay out. The library was out of the way, a separate part of the dwelling that jutted off the garage. He didn’t doubt that the Watcher retreated to it frequently, given the rest of the house’s occupants. He had only asked the question because it was often the case that one or more of the Scoobies were to be found out globe trotting, collecting more mini-slayers. At lease Buffy had timed her kidnapping for a time when both the Watcher was readily accessible and he wasn’t wrapped up in Team Angel shenanigans.
After a few more exchanges Spike hung up Buffy’s phone.
Jack looked at the vampire expectantly, a drowning man looking for a life vest.
“They have a lead, but its pretty small and its in Ancient Mayan.” Spike cut straight to the chase, he didn’t miss how the resident nerd-in-glasses lit up at the mention of Ancient Mayan. He paused, taking in the rest of the room, having reassured Buffy’s beau that things were on the right track; he needed to take a moment to remedy his own situation.
“Here now, where’s that good ol’ American hospitality? Isn’t there a time limit on guns being aimed at a guest’s head before a social faux pas has been committed?” He slipped into a slightly more posh accent as he said his last few words.
Jack turned around, his eyebrows raised as he rocked slightly on his heels.
“Major, he does have a point.”
“Sir, you haven’t seen his record.”
“I doubt you’ve seen all of it either. Look, Carter, he’s out gunned, he came here because I made him-- not because he had some dastardly plan, and he’s going to help me-- us
find Buffy. We need him on our team.”
Spike tried to put on his most behaved looking face, which just ended with him giving Carter a lascivious look.
Spike was reminded of how the Scoobies had all ganged up on Buffy towards the end, he didn’t like it. As Spike dwelled on those memories, Jack finally pulled rank: not something he was always comfortable doing.
“Major Carter, stand down.” He barked allowing all of his years of Special Ops filter through his voice, giving it an edge that was razor sharp. Immediately at the tone in his voice her posture stiffened and she made a quick decision to follow his order. She had been acting against him only in what she deemed his, and the bases’ best interest. However, she knew the Colonel and knew he wouldn’t bark an order like that without justification. From what she had read in the Hostile 17 file, Spike was not capable of brain washing or any of the tricks they had to be cautious with around the Goa’uld. Vampires seemed to be far more along the lines of the Jaffa, as in brute strength and physicality.
She quietly dismissed the guards she had brought with her. After she’d watched the last airman file out, the ones left standing in the training room were herself, Daniel, Janet, Teal’c, the Colonel and Spike.
“Carter, I’m going to ignore that insubordination for now. Its something I would expect from Daniel on a normal day,” the archaeologist sputtered at the suggestion but didn’t offer an argument. “Spike, why don’t you tell us what--what did you call them? Team Scooby,” He was going to have to ask Buffy about that one, when they found her. He took a breath and continued, “found out so far.”
“Right then.” Cracker Jack was going a long way towards erasing all the bad tinglies Spike felt when the military was involved. He could see why the Slayer had been so attracted to him. Not that he and Buffy had exchanged notes, it had been in her voice when they spoke on the phone. Now he was going to do what he could to bring her back to enjoy what she had found.
“Seems like they don’t have too much of a lead. Like I said, they have a book of sorts that seems to refer to shadow men
that come back from death. Trick is, as good as they are, they can’t know all the languages that these bloody prophecies and references are in, so they are working on translating it out of the Ancient Mayan.”
Daniel had been waiting, since Spike had mentioned the Ancient Mayan to speak up, he was practically bouncing in place.
“What exactly do they have? There are only four authenticated Mayan Codices.” Daniel’s mind was running in circles at the possibilities, another Ancient Mayan text?
“‘Bit didn’t say, she said it wasn’t exactly a book, but close to it. She an’ the Watcher are going to work on translating it.”
Jack watched with not small amusement as the gears whirred in Daniel’s brain, the younger man’s tongue darted out and licked his lips as if he were anticipating the best meal of his life. With the excitement over the Mayan text it took Daniel a moment, but his mind finally latched onto how Spike had been speaking. The puzzles of Spike’s speech plus the Mayan text were like Christmas morning to the doctor.
“Watcher? Bit?” Even with his phenom level linguistic skills Daniel was having a hard time following all of the slang that Spike had been throwing around. From what little he had heard it was an odd mixture of California teen and British punk and Daniel was in no way up to speed on pop culture, British or American, to follow along. For once, Jack was actually understanding the “alien” language better than the doctor.
Spike raised a scarred eyebrow at Daniel and then spoke with an emphasized slowness.
“The Slayer, which I know you know about, is part of a matched set. You get the girl, with the strength to fight and then you get the Watcher--his title pretty much says it all, really. He watches. He is supposed to train the slayer and be a resource of information for her. And ‘Bit, is the Slayer’s sister, Dawn.” Daniel nodded as the vampire spoke, fitting pieces of Spike’s syntax together.
“Its too bad that we aren’t closer to them. I’m certain, with my having had to translate so many...” he caught himself in the moment, almost divulging the nature of the Stargate mission, the word alien
hung on the tip of his tongue “Uhm, languages that I could be of assistance.”
Carter’s eyes lit up at that. “You could, we just need to set up the right computer and phone interfaces.”
She quickly obtained the phone numbers she needed from Spike and exited the room with Daniel.
“Well, Spike?” Janet saw her opportunity, with the lull between research and implementing a plan of action. Spike wasn’t going to argue, this doctor was far prettier than any of those he had to deal with in the Initiative. But he knew better than anyone that evil could come with a big red bow on it-- or come with a trunk of creepy glass eyed dolls. He held up a hand, understanding that almost hungry gaze she had.
“I think that the last set of secret government agents found out everything they could from my blood, skin, hair, nails and anything else they could scrape off of me.” He paused and gave her the same smile he had given Carter earlier, except it made the doctor blush a little more. “Only things they didn’t find out about me are all in here,” he tapped his head, “ and I only tell those tales when someone is paying for me to have a tumbler full of the good stuff.”
“I do not understand, Colonel O’Neill.” Teal’c spoke to Jack, the pair of them standing slightly off to the side of Dr. Fraiser and Spike, “What good stuff is he referring to?”
“He’s talking about booze, Teal’c.” Jack’s humour had improved marginally since he could feel progress was in the air.
“Why would Dr. Fraiser wish to purchase alcoholic beverages for this vampire?”
doesn’t,” Janet spoke up for herself.
“Pity,” Spike winked at her. “I’ve got some good stories.”
Janet blushed ever so slightly.
If Buffy had known that Spike was busy trying to flirt with a military doctor while she was tied up and fading in and out of consciousness she probably would have kicked him in his manly parts. However, she didn’t know. She was trying to remember her latest bit of memory. She had decided she was very much remembering a past slayer’s life. There were too many broad hints to what a slayer in the early stages of her calling might encounter. She hadn’t had memories of other slayers since she had been called. She had had her occasional prophetic dream, but not a full on episode of A&E’s Biography
playing out in her brain during unconscious-time.
She could remember once, again, being inside that room. What seemed like an ancient dressing room. The walls were made of stone and the only light available to see by was torch light. The shadows cast by the flames were long and all voices, even though muffled had a slight echo to them. She closed her eyes and took some focusing breaths, forcing her mind to remember the places it had been moments ago.
She whispered out the name, “Tepin.” That had been the slayer’s name. She didn’t remember having heard about her before, but that certainly didn’t mean anything. She had never had much of a proclivity to study the lives of the slayers. She instead relied on Giles to give her the Campbell’s Soup
version. Still, it was an unusual name, she was certain she would have remembered it if she had heard it before.