Only the Beginning
Only the Beginning
Word count: 2,068A/N: Totally forgot about posting this last chapter, about this fic entirely. *shrugs* Pretty much got wrapped up in my 'Our Roots Run Deep Series'. Also this past summer I started watching Teen Wolf, show just sucked me right in and inspired fic. Right now though, I'm solely concentrating on 'Tied up in Red'.
The only one who had to stay at the hospital overnight for observation had been Wood, and Faith wasn't leaving his side anytime soon. Besides, his hospital bed was comfier than a cot in prison and they believed her.
So they'd gotten Cordy checked out and bundled away to the Hyperion. Luckily enough of the lower floor rooms had been fixed up to house them all. They didn't even have to double up.
Cordelia showed them around, played hostess, ordered in, with Giles' card of course. And they settled in to take it all in, and exchange stories of their latest close calls. Somehow though, Cordelia managed to turn the conversation their newest predicament.
“So...I'm a slayer too. That's great...I guess.”
Willow grinned. “Not just you. Xander activated while we were standing over Sunnydale's remains. One second he was Xander-man. Then the next she was Xander-woman and then her slayer-ness came online.
He wrinkled his nose. “Whoa there Wills, I'm still self-identifying as a guy over here so easy with the girl speak...and trust me; no one was more shocked by the change than me. My Goddess is sneaky...but then she's a hyena.”
Cordelia grinned...then she yawned, almost in surprise. “Jeez, I've been in a coma, you'd think I'd be done sleeping for a while. Guess we should turn in?”
They looked around them. Buffy was sleeping, her head propped on Giles shoulder, who was also sleeping. All of the minis had gone to bed after devouring their weight in pizza. That just left Willow, Kennedy, Cordelia and Xander. Willow yawned a little herself. “Turning in sounds good. Goodnight guys.” Kennedy helped her up and bundled her off to their room.
Cordelia watched them for a moment before turning to Xander. “Wanna bunk with me tonight?”
He gave Cordelia a look. “Why?”
“I...I'm afraid I won't wake up again. Besides...you really wanna sleep alone? You look like you could use some cuddles.”
Xander laughed softly. “Sleep and cuddles I can handle.”
They stared in confusion when the trinket fell from the envelope, only Angel recognized it. Then there was a swirl of wind, smoke, and a bloodcurdling scream of torment...and then Spike was standing in the middle of Angel's office.
Wesley's voice was quiet in its surprise. “Spike?”
Angel however wasn't feeling so charitable; his voice came out more of a growl. “Spike.”
Spike blinked around him in confusion. “What?”
Lorne held up his hands in a calming gesture. “Easy there fella. You're safe.”
Gunn however was already reaching for a weapon. “If that's the Spike I've heard about I beg to differ.”
Spike spun in a circle, still confused, and looking for something. “Where am I? Why am I here?”
Angel continued to growl. “I wish I knew.”
Spike ignored his malice, eyes blinking in the sunlight that came through the specialty windows without burning him. “Where's Xander?”
Angel couldn't help it...he smirked...cruelly. “Probably relaxing in a hotel. You're dead, gone. You'd think that boy would mourn you?”
Spike snarled, let his demon face come forward and attacked him...only to go through him. Huh...that's why he didn't have a scent.
Spike looked down at himself...he was standing in the middle of an arm chair. “Bloody hell.”
Everyone slept late the next morning...until like eleven. Fighting an apocalypse can really take it out of a person. They would have slept even longer...but Cordelia woke her up with a vision. One second they were cuddled in Cordelia's bed, dead to the world, the next Cordelia sat up with wide eyes and a grin on her face. “Oh boy.” She shook Xander awake and gave her ex a happy smile, her eyes emitting a gentle white glow.
Xander gulped. She'd told them about that, about her visions, about everything really. They just wished that they'd known about Cordelia's visions sooner. “Cordelia?”
“Whoa...we need to get to Wolfram and Heart...and when we get there I'm gonna give Angel a piece of my mind.”
He took an offer, made a deal with the devil. That evil law firm I told you about? He's running the LA branch now. Just got a vision about the whole thing...but that's not why we need to get there.”
Xander smirked. “Deadboy went to the dark side. Do I get to say 'I told you so'?”
“No. And you'll be too busy to say that anyway. Angel just opened a package in his office. An amulet came tumbling out.”
Xander froze. “Spike?”
“In the ghostly flesh...we need to get there now.”
He nodded. “Get dressed, wake the others.” And then Xander was out of bed and moving...until Cordelia dragged him back down. “Cordy!”
“Don't Cordy me Missy! You can't go be united with your Billy Idol until after I get to dress you up and do your hair.”
“Oh my god.” He sighed. “As long as I get to wear pants and something with a low heel so I don't accidentally break my neck. Slayer grace can only get a guy so far.”
The girl, Fred, had brought some gizmo to scan him. He didn't feel like traipsing about the place full of evil lawyers. After all he wasn't evil anymore. Though he couldn't say the same about Angel. Ponce was off his rocker. You don't let evil eat you and then try to change things from the inside. All you were likely to do was give evil a little bit of heartburn. Or maybe indigestion.
As she circled him with her gadget he eyed her. “Figured me out yet?”
“Whatever you are, you're not a ghost.”
“There a way to make me physical again? Solid?”
She gave him a sad look. “I don't know.”
Angel rolled his eyes, perched on his desk. “What good would it do? Buffy's group is getting ready to spread out all over the world to look for slayers. Whatever little chore she gives Xander will occupy his short attention span and keep him busy.”
Spike snarled and started to lunge at him again...but then everything blurred...and then there was fire.
Lorne looked at the spot Spike had been. “Where'd he go?”
Fred was waving her gizmo about in a panic. “I don't know.”
“Who cares?” Angel looked a bit relieved. “As long as he stays gone.”
The door of his office opened then, and Harmony peeked around it. “Hey Boss, there's a pretty brunette with an eye patch and killer taste in clothes here to see you.”
Angel rose from his desk with a frown. “I don't know any-”
Said brunette stormed past Harmony, who was right, she was very pretty. From her leather jacket to her acid washed jeans and low-heeled boots. The eye patch just made her more real, more dangerous...and she felt like a slayer. He didn't have any more time to contemplate how he knew her; she did look familiar, because she was suddenly in front of him...and kicking him back, over his desk into the wall behind it.
“That's for not telling us!”
Angel clutched his chest, that was gonna be sore for a while. “Not telling you what? Who are you?”
The slayer snarled, it was more feral than it should have been, no human should sound like that. “For not telling us about Cordy!”
Angel stood and looked down at the girl. She still seemed familiar but he couldn't place her. “Why would I tell strangers about her?”
She rolled her eyes and folded her arms under her...very nice chest. “Jeez Deadboy, she was one of us! You should have told us the second that hell beast tricked her into taking a position on a higher plane!”
Angel froze, first in dawning horror. “There is only one person who has ever called me that...Xander?” Then the amusement hit and he smirked. “Go through a little sex change did you?”
Xander, the girl, the slayer, lunged across his desk and broke his nose...ow. He was still holding his nose when Willow...and Cordelia walked into his office...and somehow...Cordelia was also a slayer.
Cordelia was glaring at him. “You might not want to taunt her. She is a slayer after all.”
Willow gave him a little wave. “And a primal, a favorite of her Hyena Goddess.”
Xander lunged at him again and he just barely dodged. Her uncovered eye glowed a haunting green as she growled at him. “And very pissed.”
Spike chose that exact moment to reappear, taking in Angel's not quite cowering form in glee. “Well now...that's why the hyena lady was smiling when we did that kinky ritual. She did more than make you a primal.”
Xander whirled to face him in surprise. “Spike?”
The rage in her form left in an instant as she started toward him. Angel tried to get in one last dig. “He's not corporeal-”
Xander had her arms around Spike and was kissing him like he was her lifeline. There was a flash of green light...and Xander was a man again, still dressed in the leather jacket, jeans and boots. He pouted, sparing a glance down at his body, still pressed against Spikes. “And here I was just starting to think like a girl.”
Willow was grinning. “Good thing I put a bit of mojo on those clothes or they would have ripped.”
Spike pulled away and smirked at Xander. “Always have liked that magic touch of yours.”
Xander smirked back. “You'll like this even better.” He grasped Spike's hand and brought it up to place it over the vampire's heart. “Feel that?”
Spike became very still, his hand clutched at his own chest as if he couldn't believe what he was feeling. “...I have...a heartbeat.” He tilted his head in confusion. “Bit slow.”
“Eh, you're still not human. But you're alive.”
“Guess your goddess really did bless us both.”
“Yep. Come with me.”
“Africa. Got some slayers to find.” Xander grinned...then his body shimmered and he was a girl again. “Damn. Gotta learn how to control that.”
Spike eyed him with a devilish smile. “This is going to be fun.”
Xander rolled her eye and picked up Spike, throwing him over her shoulder and marched out of the office. “We'll be in the cab.”
Willow bounced after him. “Wait for me!”
That left Cordelia alone with Team Angel. She eyed them for a while before saying; “I'm going with them.”
They stared at her with wide betrayed eyes. Angel moved forward, reaching for her. “Cordelia.”
“What? You thought I'd actually stick around evil incorporated? No thanks. Just because you guys were lured to the dark side doesn't mean I'm that weak.”
“It seemed like a good idea at the time.” Fred said softly.
Angel glared at Cordelia. “So you're just going with them?”
“Well yeah. The White Knight and Spike, the only vampire to ever go looking for his soul, are looking pretty shiny right now. A lot better than an evil law firm that tried to kill us all over and over.”
Wesley looked up at that. “He had his soul...before Xander did whatever it was he...she did?”
“Yeah. He went through something called the Demon Trials.” Cordelia shrugged. “They said it drove him insane for a while. But...ya know he's the one that closed the Hellmouth...Spike saved the world, gave his life for it and Xander.” She looked around at all of them. “And here you are, trying to undo all their hard work.”
None of them would meet her eyes for a moment. Then Wesley looked up. “I suppose they’re short on Watchers.”
“You kidding me, Wes? Giles said the Council HQ got blown sky high by the same guy that gouged out Xander's eye...and I didn't mean for that to rhyme.” She sighed. “Look. If you're not totally seduced by the glittery badness of Wolfram and Heart we'll all be at the Hyperion for a few days. Then we're heading to Europe to rebuild the council. I think they need a seer more than you do.”
And then she walked out.
Lorne shifted uncomfortably. “Well...when you put it that way...”
Fred nodded. “Maybe we should rethink this...I mean...Cordy just...left.”
Wesley was the first to follow her. Angel and Gunn were the only ones to stay.