He stared at Anya incredulously for a few moments, before taking off his glasses and rubbing his hands over his face. “Bloody Buggering Fuck. I suppose that this explains the odd activity on Nott’s trace.”
She nodded. “Spike tried to charge Theo or do some manly test and he had to retaliate. Buffy looked mad enough to chop off their limbs, especially after she had to say that Spike wasn’t allowed to have sex with the slayers.”
The muscles in Giles’ jaw flexed and his eye began to twitch. “I don’t care if one of the adult slayers want to tangle with him, but if he takes advantage of any of the underage girls... Well, I think he may wish you had remained a vengeance demon.”
“I’m pretty sure he knows and was just trying to push Buffy’s buttons, especially when he and Angel found out Theo was a necromancer. But they both know better. You don’t have anything to worry about. But Buffy did mention that they could provide information about Dana that we could use. I think that’s why she’s letting them stay.”
“Ah. I see. Where are they now? While I’m not terribly enthused to hear that Spike is here, I wouldn’t mind speaking with Angel.”
“No love, Rupert?” Spike said as he stalked up. “I’m hurt.”
Buffy was approaching with Theo, Angel and Illyria.
“Yes, well... I dare say that when you were living with me, that was quite enough of you for a lifetime, Spike.” Giles looked annoyed.
“We can chain him back up in your bathtub if you want to get all nostalgic,” Buffy said lightly. “But I’m not feeding him. He wouldn’t stop bitching about the soap opera.”
“You did not bloody well go there. Passions is an excellent show.”
“He still views this program,” Illyria said. “I do not understand it. It irritates me. Its beings are stupid and overly dramatic.”
Spike just glared at her.
“Yes, and we’re out of Wheetabix, so you can bloody well not bother whinging about it,” Giles commented. “I take it that you’ve come because of Dana’s abduction?”
“Spike decided he’d come on over and be bait to lure her out after Buffy specifically told us to stay in LA,” Angel said. “Illyria and I followed him to try to stop him, but once we were here... we decided to visit?”
It sounded dumb out loud, but it was the truth.
“Especially since certain people get angry when I visit for Thanksgiving and don’t bother to let them know I am in town.”
“Planning on having any battles where blokes go all bear on us? Because that was fun
,” Spike said sarcastically.
Buffy glared at him. “I will personally put arrows through you if anything happens to my Thanksgiving dinner.”
Giles sighed and removed his glasses to pinch the bridge of his nose. “I would have preferred it, Spike
, if you had actually listened to what you were told. Since you’re here, however, what do you lot want from the Butcher’s?”
“Oooo,” Spike said. “Do you think you can get us any otter?”
“Whatever you can get will be fine, Giles,” Angel said.
“I do not drink blood,” Illyria said. “This body requires human food for sustenance. It is fond of hot pockets.”
“But she’ll eat what everyone else is having,” Angel added. “We don’t want to be any trouble.”
“Too late, “ Theo muttered.
Buffy tried not to grin and elbowed him gently.
“Noted,” Giles commented, shooting Nott a look.
“I’ll get some pig and cow blood from the butcher,” Anya replied. “He didn’t bat an eyelash when I asked for a pig stomach for some weird pop rock and soda experiment some slayers wanted to have a while back.” At Spike’s look, she rolled her eyes. “And I’ll ask if he has anything exotic.”
“You eat the stomach of a pig?” Illyria made her contemplating face. “I have never eaten that. I have eaten fried skins of the pig, but they make this body expel gaseous odors, so I am now forbidden to partake of their deliciousness.”
Angel was glaring at Illyria.
Theo couldn’t help it - he started snickering. Normally things like that didn’t amuse him, but her clinical delivery made it very funny.
“If pork rinds cause problems, then perhaps tripe may be best left alone,” Giles commented. “Do you lot have rooms yet?”
“They’re staying in the guest room that Dawn used when she visited. They’re close to me and far away from slayers,” Buffy replied. She swung the scythe that she still hadn’t put back in her rooms. “They won’t be staying long--just long enough that we can get some insight on Dana and then there are going back L.A. They’ve caused a big enough ruckus already.”
“I don’t exactly feel safe with her prancing about,” Spike said. “I think I’ll be sticking close until you lot have her back in her little padded cell.”
“Spike,” Angel warned.
“Sod off. You’re not the one who got both his hands and part of his arms lopped off because she decided I was the one who’d kidnapped and tortured her back in the day. She makes Dru look rational, so you’ll forgive me if I’m not comfortable sleeping the day away with her on the loose.”
“I agree that it is very troubling, her having been kidnapped by Ethan,” Giles stated.
Spike gestured at Giles. “Alpha Watcher agrees with me.”
“Not as such,” the watcher corrected. “She is unstable; a loose cannon. So is he. The uses he may put her to are very disturbing to imagine. You just don’t want her to cut off your hands again.”
“Damn right I don’t,” Spike said.
“Look, no one is cutting anything off,” Buffy said. Spike and Angel looked pointedly at the scythe she was gesturing with and she dropped her arms to her side. “Except for me. But that’s not the point. We will find Dana and Ethan before anyone uses anyone else, but we could use your help, just not for bait. Is there any type of place she would like to be? We can cross-reference that with places Ethan would likely hide.”
She turned to Giles. “Are there any British haunts he would frequent? I know we looked as soon as we realized he was missing, but maybe we can connect something small to Dana.”
“I am certain,” he said, “That anywhere I would go looking for Ethan is currently conspicuously lacking his presence. Nobody’s seen him in months at all of the places I’ve looked or had the lads in research visit. He’s not stupid, Buffy. He knows we won’t just be sitting here on our hands. I’ve been making some calls, and the lads are still out looking, but it’s not looking promising.”
“I cannot believe I am about to say this, but perhaps Astoria or one of the Seers in Stygion could help?” Theo offered. “I know how everyone feels about her, and if you could get her to behave for a few minutes, she might give you some real information, but she’s not the only Seer. If you can get a pass into Stygion, you might get help there.”
“I’ve been there,” Buffy replied. “I went with Willow once. Giles’ girlfriend is there a lot too, right?”
Spike immediately started chuckling. “Giles has a girlfriend?”
Angel let out a pained sigh.
Giles pinched the bridge of his nose. “Possibly. Not that it is any of your business.”
“Draco’s aunt,” she replied cheerfully. “So you’re related to her, too. Hey! You and Giles really could be related one day, no erased memories needed!”
“Maybe we’ll just have to meet this person,” Spike said. “Make sure she’s-”
Angel cut him off. “No.”
Buffy tried to keep the grin off her face. “I’ll see about asking the witches. Any other suggestions?” she asked, before glaring at Spike. “That will actually help us?”
“I have a request,” Giles announced. “Could someone get me a crossbow so I might shoot Spike with it?”
“There’s really no need,” Theo said. “I could make him leave if you like. Well, I could make his body walk out. Or dance a little jig, perhaps. Are we fond of riverdancing?”
Spike was glaring at Theo.
“Yes, do let’s brass off William the Bloody,” Giles commented.
“You were talking about shooting him,” Theo muttered. “I just wanted to make him dance.”
Buffy patted Theo’s arm. “If you want, I can do that memory bowl thingy and show you the time a demon made us sing and dance. I think you’ll be plenty amused. No need to make him dance now.”
Spike was glaring at Theo’s arm where Buffy had petted it.
“Ah yes. Happier times, when the denizens of the hellmouth sang and danced and spontaneously combusted...” Giles felt a bit of a pang, as Tara had been present during that incident. Even though they hadn’t been very close, from time to time he did miss her.
Angel shivered. “I’m glad I had moved to LA by then.”
“Trust me,” Spike said. “So are the rest of us. Voice like the a dying cat, this one, and the dancing’s not much better unless he’s drunk. At least then it’s funny.”
Illyria had been mostly silent, just watching the verbal volleys. “I grow weary of this conversation. I would like to venture outdoors to commune with the plants now.”
Theo made a face. “She can talk to plants? And also... plants talk? Oh Gods, I’m going to have to stop making fun of Longbottom, aren’t I?”
Not that he really ever made fun of Neville. It was just a Slytherin/Gryffindor thing. In fact, he was prepared to actually like the other man for the simple reason that Malfoy and Zabini did not.
Buffy snorted. “Well, you need to stop doing that anyway. He supplies us with all the plants we need, he’s Pevensie’s boss, and the kicker, he’s Mac’s boyfriend. She’s liable to drop-kick across the infirmary. Then you’d have to heal yourself.”
“Your plants are supplied by a being,” Illyria said with interest. “Was he also a god?”
Theo raised his brow.
Buffy blinked. “Um, not that I’m aware of. He’s just a wizard like Theo here.” She shrugged. “Well, I guess Mac thinks he’s a god because of that look she has on her face when he’s around but that’s probably not what you wanted to know.”
“Yes, Buffy, that is quite possibly the most disturbing image that I’ve had to remove from my brain today. Kudos on outmaneuvering Spike.”
“Just don’t ask Willow to do it,” Theo said. “She might remove all traces of Buffy from your head.”
He got a few glares.