CH 31: Daddy's Girl
Rag Doll Boy
"Hmm, I can't really see Giles in a suit. Or at least one that's not tweed."
"Hmm, I'll think on that. Maybe a Victorian sort of look? Like a book-printer?"
"That…. Actually sounds very Gilesy. I can see him with the tucked in shirt and the arm bands and everything. And didn't you say that you guys were looking to bring in a new bookshop?"
On his lap Jill snuggled down and made another note in her notebook.
Jill looked at him, down to her current outfit, and back to him.
"Are you saying I'm not fashionable or something?"
"Absolutely not. In fact, if you were anyone else I'd tell them to just drag Jenny to your shop. It would be the easier option."
He got a peck on the nose for that and couldn't help but smile. He wasn't sure when they'd moved from being two-of-four-of-the-bestest-buds-ever to being Jill-and-Xander.
"Also need to plan something for Ken. Think she might make a good cougar? Kind of a match to Oz's wolf?"
"Huh, that could work. Or end up horribly. Maybe a coyote? Quick and agile and very, very sneaky?"
"I like it, and it seems to fit more. Can't wait to get those two fixed up, Oz'll be great when we get rid of that taint. Plus, puppy-pile cuteness is always a bonus."
Jill smiled, adding more sketches and notes to her book. He was going to have to get her another one soon. Not that he minded, a guaranteed good gift was a new journal, be it leather or plastic or some sort of fabric so long as it had a lot of pages and was reasonably durable.
She was like Willow in that, though Willow tended to pick up more pens and quills for some reason.
Looking over at Willow and her own smile, he really had to thank their luck.
"Still not working."
"Jesse, no matter how many times you try, you will not be able to phase through my clothes to give me a grope-and-or-leer."
"You suck the joy out of life."
The four stopped what they were doing. Three sets of eyes turned and focused on the ghost.
"…. Maybe I should rephrase that."
Jill clung to him as she laughed, rosy color rising in her cheeks. Willow was laughing so hard she almost fell out of her chair, the flames on her hair turning bright gold to match her mood.
He himself, needed to be a bit more careful about laughing his ass off.
"Let's go meet up with the others. I want some brainstorming help and I need to borrow one of Giles' books to figure out that last bit of the spell."
She still gave him a goofy smile every time he called her that.
Worth the effort of keeping that habit to make his little batty-girl happy.
"Oh this is too good."
Angelus looked over the group he'd managed to corner inside the library. He'd been pissed when the gypsy was able to get away from him. He was also pissed that the new Slayers, what was her name, Kendra?, had managed to get away from his childe. This group would make a nice compensation.
"Who's the cave-brow?"
"That would be Angelus, hun."
The pale girl's eyebrows rose and he found himself unreasonably intrigued. The boy smelled pretty much the same he always did, as did the little witch-in-training. The librarian never seemed to smell of anything other than old books and tea. The Slayers smelled like dust and death as always, and that techno witch smelled like wires, ozone and old herbs.
The girl, though, she smelled like dark nights and magic and a bit of something undefined.
He growled in delight and let his features shift.
"I think I'm going to enjoy taking your first. Might even make the boy watch."
Xander leapt forward then, features furious even as Angelus casually brought up a sword and separated his head from his shoulders.
Willow stared in shock as her best friend's head landed near her feet, body slumping nearby.
"You stupid mold faced spawn of a bat nut's ass infection! I'm going to rip your eyes out for ping pong balls, shove them up your nose, punch out your teeth, break your jaw and then use that flap-trap you call a mouth as a golf ball receptacle, which by the way, will be your withered, dried up, under-sized nuts!"
Angelus had to give the girl some credit, that was a very vivid threat that he had no doubt she'd follow through on as soon as she could. Not to mention highly insulting. That couldn't stand, not with the minions watching.
He moved faster than even the Slayers could track and had the little pale girl wrapped in his arms. For such a bony little thing she certainly had strength to her punches and kicks. He growled again as he finally got her in a position she couldn't break anything….important.
"Ah, keep that up lass, it'll make breaking you better. What did the fool say your name was, Jill? I think I'm going to prove just how…potent I am for that last insult."
"You are in SO much trouble."
"From who? The Slayers can't do anything or I'll kill you. The witch is out, so's the gypsy, the Watcher is useless and your little boyfriend is dead."
"Get the hell away from my girlfriend!"
Angelus stopped staring at the girl in his arms and to where the body of Xander Harris lay.
Instead of seeing Willow's broken expression and the rapidly spreading pool of blood from the body like he'd expected, the little would-be-witch stood, her face a mask of fury as she held her friend's head in her hands.
The head that was talking without its body.
He could only gape as the should-be corpse levered itself up and walked over to Willow, not a drop of blood spilling anywhere.
"I warned you this would happen one day."
"It's not my fault! Being screwy would be, getting hit by an asshole with a sword, no. "
"Ok, we'll blame the walking corpse then."
"Works for me."
The vampire couldn't seem to stop gaping at the two. Willow had moved to place Xander's head back where it belonged while his body patted his pockets.
"Aw shit. Hun, you have that little tricky thread from Fitz-Pop?"
He felt the girl wriggle a bit and drop something from her pocket. A needle with a trailer of thread flew through the air and rapidly worked its way around the boy's neck. When it was done there wasn't even a seam.
And did that little needle just squeak and nuzzle the boy's cheek!?
"Much better, remind me to thank him later."
"Sure. AFTER you get me the hell out of the sparkly child's toy rendition of Dragy who happens to have an added dose of camel twat fungi."
Xander and Willow goggled at her for a moment.
"Damn she's pissed."
Suddenly the human boy and the slightly magical girl were gone and in their places were a fire-headed witch and stitched-together boy.
And Angelus suddenly had a very, very bad feeling.
"What's your sur name?"
"Skellington. The same as mine."
The vampire and the girl both looked up at the tall, thin gentleman in a pinstripe suit who'd just walked into the library, leaving a trail of dust and broken vampires behind him.
"Skellington, as it Jack Skellington?"
The man grinned and yanked off his own pendant, the man becoming an easily recognizable skeleton.
"The one and the same."
Angelus was highly aware that he was standing in the presence of the King of the Patch, holding his daughter in a parentally-inappropriate way after having just sliced her boyfriend's head off.
There was really only one thing to say as the skeleton grinned at him.
~*~the next day~*~
"I do hope you take Jill up on the offer. She's rather good at designs and Willow's leapt ahead by leagues with her skills in spells."
"We will give it some thorough thought, and thank you kindly for the offer."
Giles shook the thin man's hand as he got into his car.
"Jill, home for dinner this weekend?"
"Sure, Daddy. Thanks again."
"Of course, Pumpkin."
The couple drove off, Jill's mother waving until they were out of sight.
"Where on any given earth did you learn to cuss like that!?"
He was rather surprised by her sheepish grin.
"Um, Daddy's annual meeting with the Boogies. He's nice to their faces, but when he gets home, wham!"
Angel sat in a dark corner of the library, a bit shocked with how in control he felt. He hadn't been this in control since he was human and the demon was practically silent in the face of that man. And how could one small girl inspire such fright?
In his cage, deeply chained in the recesses of Angel's being, Angelus shivered, muttering one phrase to himself over and over.
"No more pumpkins!"
AN: that is all folks! Now all that's left is to exit, stage left. Ciao!~Lady A