Family Imperiled: Return of the Froggs
third in the Lost Family series.
Pairing: Willow/David (from Lost Boys)
Follows Family Rebuilt
Disclaimer: I do not own anyone from BtVS or Lost Boys. No profit is being made.
Distribution: Bite Me, NHA, WWW, anyone else that I said could have Lost Family & Family Rebuilt can have this one as well.
Michael felt conflicting emotions well up inside of him. He had seen David, or at least someone that had looked like David on the boardwalk. The man that he thought was David had been laughing and spending time with a pretty redhead. They had looked almost cute together. But David was dead. He had impaled him on antelope horns and tossed the body into the sea, so David had to be dead. He wondered if he was seeing David's face as an indication of a guilty conscience.
David had been a vampire, might still be if the blonde man had really been him. He'd tried to make Michael into a vampire as well, to have him join his 'family' of runaways and outcasts, all of which had sported fangs. He had been a killer, had shown enjoyment of feasting on the blood of humans. On the one hand, David had tried to include him, to give him a place to belong. On the other, he would have been a killer. But he would never have met Starr if not for meeting David. He wouldn't have found his wonderful girlfriend.
Overall, Michael decided that things would be simpler if it was just guilt, if David was still dead, his remains sunken at the bottom of the ocean, or battered against the cliffs. The image made him wince slightly. Simpler might not be better. Maybe he should check the cave, just to be safe, to be absolutely certain one way or the other. Yes, he would check the cave. Tomorrow, during the day, just in case David really was there. Best if he could go in and out again without any confrontations. Especially since he had such mixed feelings over the whole matter.
He wouldn't have wanted to be a killer. He'd felt the bloodlust, and he wasn't certain if he could have resisted for very long. That would have been horrible, as the whole sunlight thing would have been another problem. But... David's life had been so free. No one telling him what he could or couldn't do, no pointless hassles about school. David had tried to share that with him, and honestly, the flying had been terrifying and intense and wonderful all at the same time. To fly would have easily been worth no more sunlight, but not worth becoming a killer. Under different circumstances, David could have become a good friend.
He didn't tell his family what was bothering him. Sam would have had a fit, and accuse him of going all vampire-ish again. His mother was trying to repress the whole thing, to pretend that there were no such things as vampires, that Michael had only had an encounter with some sort of local biker gang or something. As for his grandfather... it could be very frustrating to try to figure his grandpa out. Either he would have something entirely unpredictable to say, or be entirely not surprised. No, he really couldn't talk to his family about it. Starr was out because she had been with David and his boys for a while, Michael wasn't quite certain how long. She was terrified that something would drag her back into that life. Sam's friends the Frogg brothers were definitely not the people to talk about for a subtle concern. Their understanding of subtle was roughly equal to that of a chainsaw.
It was a very cautious Michael that crept into the cave the next afternoon. He had tossed and turned all night, sleeping poorly, and plagued by unsettling dreams. Dreams where David was there, the girl dead along a wall, dreams of a whole new pack of lost boys, dreams of David dragging him into the family, of becoming a killer. Dreams of becoming a vampire, of killing people, and enjoying it. There were also dreams of going into the cave, finding nothing more than dust over scattered memories, nothing more sinister than his own tormented remembrances. He was equipped with a flashlight, and a small crossbow with wooden quarrels, just in case there happened to be a vampire.
He gathered his nerve, and descended down the wooden steps into the sunken hotel, gasping in surprise as one of the steps gave way with a groan, sending his foot through and causing him to flail wildly for balance, swearing intensely under his breath. The air from the cave smelled of the ocean, and damp stone, and some other scent that he couldn't describe. If he were to think about it, the closest that he could describe it would be the scent of despair. He turned on the flashlight, and continued very carefully down the steps, testing each one to see if it would hold his weight. There were cobwebs forming along the railing, and the glimmered with a faint layer of dust and sand, the sand blown in from the occasional wind gust, and left to sift down like a trickling waterfall, softening the sharp corners of the entrance.
Shining his flashlight around the main cavern, he could feel the empty space, expanding over him, engulfing him. The cavern throbbed with the muffled pounding of the waves. He could feel the darkness, almost as if a thousand invisible fingers were touching him, dragging over his skin, ruffling his hair. He jumped again as the narrow beam of light illuminated the gaunt features of Jim Morrison, the poster still forlornly placed on the wall, like an abandoned alter to a fallen idol. The firepit was dark and cold in the center of the floor, the fallen cushions around it in disarray. Something seemed not quite right about the image. Slowly, he swung the beam of light over again, and walked over towards the firepit, a suspicion of something growing in his stomach. Something wasn't the way it should have been. There was something important that was different... what was it?
He closed his eyes, trying to remember when he had sat here, laughing with the others. Marco had brought out an old green bottle of what he had assumed to be wine... where was the bottle? Almost panicked, David searched around the pit, overturning cushions and chunks of wood. The bottle had been filled with blood; it had changed him, nearly made him into a vampire. Where was the bottle? He finally found the small hollow in the wall where it had sat. There was a dip worn into the stone, and for a moment, Michael wondered if it had been that horrible bottle that had caused the dip, or if it had been there and simply used for convenience. But the bottle was gone.
Fear and suspicion flooded through Michael, and he could feel his pulse hammering in his throat, and the sour taste of fear filled his mouth. It had been David last night. Somehow, the vampire had survived. But he'd been impaled... wait. David had been impaled, but it had been on horns, not something made out of wood. Did antelope horns kill vampires? It seemed the answer was no. What could he do? Who could stop David from taking some sort of bloody horrible revenge on everyone that had been involved? On Starr, and Sam, his Mom... he couldn't let his family get hurt. He could only think of one possible place to go for aid, and it made his stomach churn almost as bad as the idea of David still lurking in the darkness did. Shuddering slightly, Michael left the cave. He had to pay a visit to the Frogg Brothers.
End part 1.
Michael entered the Frogg's comic shop, feeling decidedly out of place. He had never been an avid collector of comics, although there had been a few he'd followed when he was younger. Sam more than made up for his disinterest though. To his slight dismay, Sam was there, looking over the new Superman comic, muttering about some of the things. He looked around, and saw the taller Frogg, Ethan, watching him. They didn't quite trust him, considering him 'compromised on the vampire problem'. But who else could he turn to with this? He walked over, deliberately approaching the camouflaged aspiring vampire hunter.
"There's a problem. A big one. I saw David on the boardwalk last night." Michael kept his voice low, hoping that anyone who saw him in here would think he was talking about something comic related instead of about vampires.
"David? Wasn't he the blond evil dead? Didn't he die?" Ethan looked worried, and it was debatable if he was more inclined to think Michael was going crazy or if he believed him.
"We certainly thought so. But I swear I saw him. I checked out the cave today, the one where he used to be. The bottle was gone."
"Bottle? What in the world does some bottle have to do with anything?" Ethan looked at Michael, his eyes showing white around the edges. His voice was higher, and sounded a bit strained.
"It was... it had a very special drink in it. An.. old family recipe I guess you'd say. They all thought it was very important, and it used to be there after the fight. It's gone. The only way would be if someone took it." Michael was letting his concern show.
Sam walked over, his expression one of calm. "Hey, bro. What brings you in here? Finally decided to develop some taste for the classics? Superman, Batman... you look awful serious. Mom going on about your grades again?"
Michael sighed, wishing that he didn't have to tell Sam. "I saw David on the boardwalk last night. He was walking with some red haired girl. I went to check out the old hotel this afternoon, just got back actually. Some of his things were gone... the bottle was gone. The one that wasn't wine."
The color drained from Sam's face, making his colorful clothing look almost impossibly garish. "But... isn't he... didn't we... umm, Mike? Are you feeling... normal? No floating away things, normal reflection and all? Still feeling human?"
Michael felt his skin twitch at the mere suggestion. He closed his eyes, mentally counting to ten before answering. "Just.. worried. I haven't noticed anything... different. Nothing like what happened before. But I'm worried. What if he wants revenge? We killed his family. We tried to kill him. How do we keep him from returning the favor?"
Edgar had come over, his expression grim as they tried to figure out where the vampire could be. "Well, if we can't find him in town, maybe he went out of town to lay low for a bit? Rebuild his strength, plan his attack? We most definitely kicked his ass before."
Sam looked at his two friends. "So, if he isn't here in Santa Carla, where could he be? How could we find somewhere that a vampire would be hiding?"
Ethan gave a small chuckle. "Simple my friend. We use the computer. We just look for somewhere that has a high mortality rate, and a large percent of unusual or unexplained deaths, and there you are. Vampire's haven. Go in, find the vamps, exterminate them. I got a decent search program on the one in the basement. I can start a search right now."
The program was duly started, and by dark, they had results. Of the towns within a few hours radius of Santa Carla, they had a per capita death rate, a cemetery count, and a listing of 'unusual' deaths from the past month. One place stood out. Sunnydale. And it was only a few hours away from Santa Carla.
End part 2.
The Frogg brothers had concluded that Sunnydale had far too high a bodycount for just one vampire. That meant that they wanted some time to prepare themselves. After all, it's safest not to go walking into 'a haven for bloodsucking fiends' entirely unprepared. They were discussing weaponry, and stocking up on holy water, with more discretion this time. There was also the problem of their parents. Mr. and Mrs. Frogg were apparently unaware of the existence of vampires, and would have to be persuaded into allowing the boys to go on this trip out of town. It was starting to look like permission and transportation to go to Sunnydale would be a bigger problem than anything else.
Sam was fretting about hordes of undead swarming after him and their mom. He had started drinking holy water, and was carrying some around in his backpack, just in case he ran into a vampire. He'd also pulled out those vampire comics that the Frogg brothers had given him, in hopes that he could find any more information to try to use for protection. Sam had come to the conclusion that vampires were seriously scary.
Starr and Lenny had figured out that something was up. Sam's renewed worry about vampires had been almost impossible to miss. Starr finally decided to ask Michael, hoping that her boyfriend would be honest with her, and explain exactly what was going on.
"Michael? What's going on? Your brother is giving me those suspicious looks again. And did I walk past a bag of wooden stakes?" Her voice was worried.
Michael sighed, knowing that she would worry if he told her everything. But what choice did he have? If they failed, surely David would be after her as well? "David isn't dead. At least, not any more than he was last year. I saw him on the boardwalk. Doesn't look like he's still staying in the old hotel anymore. The Frogg brothers think he went to this little town a few hours north, it's called Sunnydale. They want to go find him and kill him."
Starr froze, her eyes going wide. "Sunnydale? Did you say... Sunnydale?"
"Yeah. What's the big deal about Sunnydale? It's pretty small, no major resorts, no parks, no big attractions. You've heard of it?" Michael was looking at Starr, puzzled by her reaction.
"It was something that was mentioned once. There's some big powerful thing there, a point of strong mystical energy. David wasn't particularly interested in a lot of the mystical side of being a vampire, so he didn't listen a lot to that stuff, or talk about many of the details, but I remember that part. This mystical thing, it was called La Boca del... something or other. It was a Spanish name, but I can't really remember it. Michael, it makes vampires stronger. He said it would do the same to any other night creature as well. Things like werewolves, and demons as well as vampires."
"Stronger? How would it make them stronger?" Michael was worried. Sunnydale had sounded like a logical choice just based on the death rate, and the high number of them that had died of either strange and horrible things or from 'neck ruptures and exsanguination'. Now Starr was mentioning this mystical whats-it, and he had the feeling that things had just gotten worse.
Wrapping her sparkly shawl around her shoulders, Starr rubbed her arms, feeling chilled by the memories of her time with David and his Lost Boys. Like Peter Pan with fangs... "I'm not sure. I know it was supposed to help speed up healing, but beyond that I don't know."
Michael sighed. "Wonderful. A mystical get-well card for him. Even worse, it's starting to look like I'm going to be drafted as the designated driver for all this mess."
End part 3.
* * Meanwhile, over the Hell-Mouth (La Boca del Inferno in Spanish) * *
Angel and David had been talking a lot. Angel considered Willow to be his friend, one of a very short list of people that he had ever been able to call friends. She had restored his soul, and had given him her trust, even after his 'brief visit to the Dark Side of the Force' as she had described it. It had started that he simply wanted to be certain that David was good enough for Willow, and that he really cared for her and wanted to make her happy. They had ended up talking about clan differences, and their comparative vampire upbringings. They discussed some of the differing abilities of their bloodlines, and worked on fighting techniques. Angel had come to believe that David genuinely cared for Willow, and truly wanted her to be happy. He had already known that Willow cared for David.
The two vampires were actually becoming friends. It helped that they both felt that Willow was absolutely wonderful. Angel had introduced David to Willie's, telling him that he could actually purchase blood there. While they both knew that it wouldn't taste quite as good, it would cause no suspicion from the populace, and had the advantage of being easily storable for a quick bite. David had laughed, and decided that he would simply have to try to work on Angel's diet. Vampires should not live on bags and leftovers from the slaughterhouse alone. Besides, the taste of animal blood was just... nasty.
Willow and David were becoming much closer as a couple as well. They would go for moonlight walks, and talk about everything and nothing. Plans for places that Willow would like to see were mentioned, and she learned that David had been a not-quite secret fan of the Beatles, and wanted to see Liverpool some day. He had also mentioned wanting to visit Berlin, and to see the Eiffel Tower. Willow had a very long list of places that she would like to see.
Buffy had come to the conclusion that she didn't like David, and probably never would. She had then agreed to try to at least be sort of polite to him and not try to stake him as long as he made Willow happy and wasn't killing people. Cordelia had stopped picking on Willow, although that may have been out of concern that David would have her for dinner some night. She had made the comment that at least he had gotten Willow out of the softer side of Sears clothing. That had promptly started a big debate over exactly what he might or might not have gotten Willow out of that had rendered Willow absolutely crimson. If her friends were going to speculate about her love life, she would rather not hear all the sordid could be details. Although a few of the things had sounded a bit interesting to try...
Finally, Willow and David had slipped away. David had looked a bit amused by the whole thing. Especially the way that Giles had stuttered a bit over his suggestion that if they were to 'indulge themselves in .. ah... intimate activities, he would suggest caution and please PLEASE be discrete.' He had then leaned over and whispered that the watcher had a few books about certain vampire habits that the Slayer wouldn't have expected, and Willow had blushed as the implications had sunk in.
"You mean that Giles has books about vampires and... sex? Giles?" Willow had looked somewhere between shocked and appalled. "Do you think he actually reads them... no, I do not want to think about Giles and vampire sex or any sex. He's like a father to me. No thinking about Giles and sex... no no."
David had just chuckled, and gave a playful little growl, pulling her close and nibbling over the side of her neck, following the line of her pulse up almost to her ear, and then back down to her shoulder, leaving little pink marks along her throat. Willow had made little soft noises and melted against him, all thoughts of anything else completely banished from her mind. Most thought was banished actually, and she was simply focusing on David, and the feeling of his arms around her, and his teeth playing over her throat. She made this little contented noise, almost a hum, and relaxed against him, trusting him entirely. Finally, David stopped playing with her neck, feeling the temptation to sink his teeth in and make her his for all eternity well up inside of him. Willow wasn't ready for that yet. So it would be best to wait. David wasn't particularly good at waiting, so he kissed her, tasting her lips and the coffee that she'd been drinking.
"Hmmm smoochies and nibbles. It's good to have a great guy. Can we go now?" Willow's voice had been low, and her eyes had been dark with emotions. Her hand had crept up the back of his neck, and she was running her fingers through his short hair, almost as if she were petting him.
"I think we can do that. Besides, you know kissing too much out along the street is just begging to get interrupted. I'd rather have you all to myself. C'mon, I'll walk you home." David had been smiling, his eyes still golden as he contemplated the wonderful sight of his Willow.
End part 4.
They had spent time snuggled up on the couch, hands touching each other slightly as they watched a movie. Movie watching had become an interesting art for Willow. Most of the so-called chick-flicks made her feel awkward, and had made her feel lonely, so they were out. Most horror movies either hit to close to home or just seemed laughable now that she really knew was out there. They had settled on Braveheart, and had settled back to watch, or at least pretend to watch. It was actually an enjoyable movie, and they enjoyed it a great deal, although the idea of mooning a line of archers had caused a bit of giggling from Willow, and a few sarcastic remarks from David. He was a lot more nervous about the idea of being shot with arrows or impaled than he used to be.
Eventually, David had given Willow a parting kiss, and left to go to his new apartment. Once he'd sorted things out with Willow, he'd decided that he wanted to stay here, at least until after she had graduated. A nice little apartment had sounded like a big step up from the motel room. Even better, it was in a decent enough area that he didn't have to worry too much if Willow came to visit. She was as safe there as she was elsewhere, which would have been considerable more comforting in a town that wasn't Sunnydale. He dropped onto a chair, idly flipping through a book detailing some of the more common demons that might be encountered on the Hellmouth, and contemplated how much things had changed for him.
The family that he'd known before had perished. He had nearly died as well, and for a while, all that had sustained him had been the idea of gaining his revenge on the ones that had been responsible. But things had started to change the night that he'd first seen Willow. Gradually, his focus had shifted, until he wanted to have a long and happy existence with Willow. The ones responsible for things in Santa Carla were all mortal, time could deal with them far more safely than he could. He had found a new family here. Angel was there to talk about vampire things with, and Willow had his heart. Her friend Xander was trying to get to know him, having concluded that since David was now part of Willow's life, he'd best just learn to deal with it. And then there was Giles. The Watcher seemed to feel the need to become a fatherly or guiding figure to those around him. To his surprise, David found it to be oddly comforting.
He had a new family, and new hope for tomorrow and the night after, for all the nights ahead of him. He had Willow, and her love shone bright as the sun, bringing him light and hope and joy. Life was good. He just hoped that it would last.
David was unaware of the camouflage painted van that arrived at a small motel on the edge of Sunnydale. He didn't see the figures that had spilled out, swearing and complaining about Michael's driving. He didn't know that the Froggs were here, laden with weapons and holy water, eager to hunt down and kill him and any other vampire that crossed their path. Michael checked them in, getting a pair of rooms, one for himself and Sam, the other for the Froggs.
David remained blissfully unaware as the Froggs decided that they needed to do a sweep through the town, to check for vampires and wandering ghouls. He didn't know how they found several minions, shooting them with their crossbows. Nor did he see them find a late riser, struggling to emerge from his grave, and he didn't watch as they knocked the new vampire over, pounding a stake into his heart.
However, their actions were observed. The minion that had seen them kill the late riser had fled to Willies, and spoke of the pair of camouflage wearing young men. He told anyone that would listen how they had killed his sire's newest minion, staking him before he could even finish clawing his way out of his grave. So the rumor began, and it started to spread.
Sunnydale had some new hunters, and it seemed their chosen prey was vampires. This was a definite bit of news, and it was not received happily. Wasn't it bad enough that there was a Slayer here? That there were regular arrivals of demons that viewed vampires as prey the same as the mortals that they had once been? What need was there for camouflage wearing men to hunt them as well?
End part 5.
Having arrived in Sunnydale, the Froggs had discovered that the town was crawling with the undead. They had encountered more vampires in one night than they had during the whole encounter with David and his pack in Santa Carla. The only things that seemed a reassurance to them were two simple things: the vampires here hadn't flown, and they hadn't seemed very smart. They hadn't used any particular tactics, and hadn't shown very much subtlety in their hunting.
"Maybe this won't be quite as hard as we thought. Think this mystical thing might make them dumber?" Edgar was smiling over the dust of the new risen vampire. He was feeling confident. They had killed almost half a dozen vampires that night with their crossbows, and then found this one, staking him as he tried to leave his grave. Sometimes a good background could be useful. Amazing what you could learn from comics.
Neither of the Frogg brothers had noticed the various minions that had escaped them. They didn't know that whispers of their presence were even now spreading through the underworld of Sunnydale. Nor had their comic book and horror movie vampire education truly prepared them for either the Hellmouth or the multitudes of things that dwelled near it. They went back to the hotel, unaware of the many territorial claims that they had disturbed, the many vampires they had offended, or the Slayer who patrolled the Hellmouth. Their 'plan' was to find David, kill him and whatever vampires he might have helping him, and go home. Simple plan, but it was proving more difficult to put into action then they had thought. They had found dozens of places already that could house vampires, and it was obvious that Sunnydale had a large population of vampires. Finding one particular vampire in that horde...
By dawn, word had hit Willie's and three separate vampire leaders. By the time the sun went down the next night, rumors had spread from the vampires to some of the other non-humans. A pair of human men in camouflage, killing vampires. There would be some looking for them after dark, hoping to learn who they were, why they were there, and in hopes of killing them to enhance their own reputation. Some of the more brave or foolish would be hunting the hunters, just as they hunted for the Slayer.
David and Angel had made their way to Willie's to pick up more blood, currently debating the merits of various British Football teams, what Americans would call soccer. They entered Willie's, and heard the whispers.
'Pair of humans...' 'young, not quite done growing, but old enough.' 'Killed the new rising, they did.' 'Dressed all in camouflage. Like they thought they were some kind of soldiers, and carrying crossbows. Crossbows, I tell ya!'
David paused, the description sounding familiar. Humans in camouflage... the images flashed through his memory, each with the painful intensity of a fist in the gut. Marco screaming, and two teens in camouflage running from the cave. Those camouflage brats again, trying to stalk his boys, his family through Michael's house. Dwayne, impaled into a stereo system with an arrow, burned to death by the electrical currants. Paul, forced into a tub of holy water, the flesh burned and melted from his bones.
"They must have come from Santa Carla. They think they're some sort of vampire hunters... They have a shop near the boardwalk. Something harmless... tee shirts or comics books or something." David's voice was low, and he was trying unsuccessfully to hide the torment of his memories.
Angel looked at him, his dark eyes serious, showing worry. "Do you think they came after you? Or did they just decide they needed a bigger challenge?"
David gave a small shrug. "I'm not sure. Maybe... Willow and I went to Santa Carla the other weekend. Maybe someone saw us... although there aren't to many that would have known. Just them, or maybe it was Michael."
"We need more information. " Angel waited until they had left Willie's to continue. "Perhaps we should have Willow check for recent arrivals in some of the hotels? What sort would they be staying in?"
David considered the question carefully. "Nowhere terribly expensive. They wouldn't have a lot of money. But they could still be very dangerous."
End part 6.
It was with some concern that David found Willow. He was a bit reluctant to ask her to look, reluctant to involve her in what was almost certainly his trouble, but he knew that if he wanted to build a future with her, she had to know that he trusted her, that he felt that she could contribute to their relationship.
"Red. It seems that there's trouble in town." He was trying to bury his worry in arrogance.
She looked at him, her eyes a bit brighter than normal. "A pair of guys in camouflage? Buffy heard about them on her patrol already. She called Giles on her cell phone, and he was completely baffled... umm do you know more about them?"
He dropped into a chair, sighing slightly. Explaining what he knew would bring up his past, which was a bit shady, well, more like downright bloody and violent. "Remember I said I tried to bring Michael into my family? The other guys that dragged him back out were his younger brother and a pair of aspiring vampire hunters called the Froggs. Frogg Brothers or something like that. They work at a comic shop on the boardwalk back in Santa Carla. Someone must have recognized me when we visited that weekend."
Willow's face paled slightly, and she went slightly tense. "Frogs? Sunnydale has been invaded by bloodthirsty killer frogs? I hate frogs! They scare me... oh, wait, if these are the guys in camouflage, they aren't quite real frogs, but... eeehhh." Willow shuddered.
David blinked a moment. Willow was afraid of frogs? "You'll face vampires and demons with no second thoughts, but you're afraid of a little amphibian?"
She looked at him, blushing. "Yes. I have been since I was a small child. Frogs... they're just all slimy and they make these rapid jumps, and really big noises... and have you seen those tongues?" Willow shivered again, thinking over the many evil and dreadful features of frogs.
David pulled Willow into his lap, holding her close in an effort to help calm her. He brushed his fingers through her soft red locks, trying to calm her fear. "These aren't that sort of frog. These are teens in green with crossbows. I thought maybe you could use the computer and try to find out if they had checked into the hotels in the area."
She leaned against him, feeling herself pressed against his muscles. One hand reached out, running over his side, brushing up almost to his ribcage and then down again to his pants, tracing patterns on his skin. "I suppose I could do that. It shouldn't be very hard... but I'd have to move. You're comfortable to lean on."
David laughed, the vibration of it making Willow smile. "I'm supposed to be a scary vampire, not a comfy chair." He leaned down and kissed the top of her head. "I can't check it on my own. I'm possibly worse on that thing than Giles is."
She smiled at him, her eyes sparkling with emotions, and gave him a swift kiss. "You'll keep me safe from any evil amphibians we run into?"
"Oh, good. Now I guess maybe I should start looking in the hotel files for recent arrivals." She moved herself from his lap, walking over to the computer. With no further delay, she turned it on and began to search the files for recent check-ins at the smaller hotels inside and near Sunnydale. Her fingers almost danced over the keyboard as she bent things to her will, causing the supposedly confidential files of the hotels to open to her.
"Hmmm David, do you have any idea what Michael's last name was? It would be a lot easier to find him if we have it..." Willow's voice was slightly distracted as she skimmed through the records of yet another small hotel.
David looked over at her, opening his mouth to answer. Then, he frowned, and closed his mouth, looking very thoughtful. "Actually, I don't think I really asked. I think his mom's last name was... Feldman? Fieldman? Something like that."
Willow shook her head, sighing slightly. "You know, that makes things a lot more difficult... and hmm... we might have a match. This is a rather cheap place, not to many questions. It's also near a couple of the more run down churches. Sounds like a possibility to me." Willow did something with the information, and then a paper printed out with the name that had been used to register the room, and the address of the hotel.
"Right. We can let that Slayer check it out. I think I'd rather take you somewhere peaceful and have you all to myself." David slipped his arms around Willow, kissing the side of her neck as he spoke. He could feel her blushing, and smiled to himself.
"Ohhh... right. Alone time with you... much more interesting than checking out cheap hotels with Buffy."
They didn't waste any time dropping off the paper with Buffy. Almost immediately after, David had pulled Willow away with him, as she giggled slightly, and they had rode his motorcycle towards the woods. Tonight was supposed to be fun.
End part 7.
They had ridden David's motorcycle to the edge of the woods, Willow pressing her body close to his, her arms wrapped around him, her smile buried in the back of his jacket. She wasn't entirely certain what David had planned for the evening, beyond a moonlight walk. He enjoyed planning little surprises for her, claiming that her smile made up for any effort required.
He helped her from the motorcycle, and they walked into the woods, her hand resting in his. David had drafted Xander to help out a little, having Willow's friend take a blanket and picnic basket to the clearing so that it would be there to surprise Willow. Inside the basket, there should be some chocolate sauce, and raspberries, as well as some chilled juice. David smiled at the thought of feeding Willow chocolate covered berries, her tongue swirling over his fingers to remove the sweet syrup...
They found the clearing, lit by dozens of vanilla scented candles, and the blanket and picnic basket set in the middle of the clearing. Willow gasped in delighted surprise at the sight, her eyes sparkling. She turned and flung her arms around David, her expression radiant.
"It's wonderful! Oh, this is just so... nobody's ever done anything so sweet for me. This is just... amazing. Thank you."
David hugged her close to him, inhaling the scent of her. "You're welcome, Willow. Nothing’s too good for you. Although, I did have a bit of help getting all of this set up."
Willow smiled, having a suspicion who his help might have been. She had never thought that Xander would accept that she had chosen to date a vampire, but if he had been the one to help set all of this up, he was accepting that it was happening, that he couldn't change her mind. It was good that her friend and her boyfriend could get along.
"Well, should we see what's in here? Is it an actual full meal, or just a few little things to nibble?" She was smiling, filled with happiness.
The two of them moved to the blanket, and David opened the basket, presenting her first with something a bit more substantial, a nice turkey sandwich. After Willow had eaten that, he brought out the chocolate sauce and the raspberries, smiling when her eyes went wide and slightly darkened with emotions. He began to feed her the raspberries, enjoying the experience very much.
He almost wished that things could stay just like this forever. That the rest of eternity could pass, just himself and Willow, in a vanilla scented, moonlit clearing, feeding her chocolate raspberries. Although, he could think of a few other things that they might try, here in the clearing. Chocolate smeared kisses, fingers brushing over each other, tantalizing touches and caresses over skin... How had he ever managed before he found Willow?
* * * *
They were blissfully unaware that the Frogg brothers were hunting again. Seeking vampires to kill; blindly certain that the undead were no more than bloodthirsty dangers to society. Convinced that vampires were evil and dangerous, that all vampires needed to be destroyed for the safety of humans everywhere. They were searching for David. Michael was with them, wanting to be there if they found David, certain that he would have dreams, nightmares and worries until he knew that the blond vampire was dead once and for all.
The night had shown Michael the ruthless side of the Froggs. They had been merciless, shooting first, with crossbows and holy water. He was starting to wonder exactly how much separated the Froggs from the category of 'ruthless killers' that they had used to describe vampires. Granted, they weren't eating their kills, but... Michael scowled, trying to stop his line of thought. They were the good guys here, right? Right?
Eventually, they left the parks, and the residential area, and the Froggs began prowling through the woods. They were convinced that all sorts of terrible things could be out here, vampires and ghouls and hellhounds. Which naturally explained why they had chosen to come out here. He debated suggesting that they get their heads examined, but concluded that it wouldn't do him any good.
"Wait, do you smell something?" Edgar's voice disturbed the quiet.
Michael tried to remain calm, to do nothing that would make them think that he was a danger, nothing to convince them to shoot him. He had the uncomfortable feeling that they would, even if he wasn't a vampire. He sighed, reminding himself once again that this was to keep Sam and his mother safe, to keep Starr safe.
Inhaling, Michael savored the night air. There was the scent of the ocean, and a hint of some wild flower, and the scents of trees, ferns, and slightly damp earth. There was also the scent of vanilla on the faint breeze. Without even thinking, he spoke, puzzlement clear in his voice. "Vanilla? Scented candles, I think."
Allen scowled at him. "The former almost evil dead's right. I smell vanilla. Where's it coming from?"
"Not sure, it's being carried on the breeze. We'd best check it out." Edgar's voice was grim, and he checked his crossbow, making certain that it was ready to fire.
Carefully, they began moving once more, walking into the wind, trying to find the source of the vanilla scent. Would it be something harmless? Maybe a couple trying to have a romantic moonlight picnic? Or would it be something more sinister, more dangerous? Michael had a bad feeling about what they would find, certain that there would somehow be trouble.
End part 8
David had just fed Willow another chocolate dipped raspberry, delighting in the feeling of her tongue swirling over his fingertips. He could tell that his features had shifted, feel the sharpness of his teeth, and every detail of the shape of her face, every strand of hair stood out in detail. He was starting to wonder if he had set himself up for a terrible frustration. Or maybe, just maybe... hmm... a guy could certainly hope that he would have a chance to learn just how passionate Willow could be.
She smiled, leaning over to kiss him, fangs and all, her tounge brushing gently over his teeth, making him practically purr. She tasted of chocolate and raspberries and Willow. His hand slid under the hem of her shirt, tracing patterns over her hot flesh, feeling her muscles quiver slightly. David was starting to think that he had actually died in Santa Carla, and that he was now in heaven, with his very own angel. He reached out, running his finger through her hair, pulling her closer to him. He could feel the heat from her body, and wanted to drown in her warmth, to loose himself in Willow.
A twig snapped, and the noise was followed by half muffled cursing.
David reluctantly pulled back, wondering who was out in the woods. Were they human or demon? Were they hunting? How long would it take to slaughter whatever had decided to interrupt this moment? Another part of him was wondering exactly when he would have a chance to finish what he was hoping had been the plan for the evening.
Carefully, he looked into the woods, trying to locate the source of the noise. Willow had a questioning look, and then she caught the end of the cursing. She gasped slightly, and pulled away, fussing a bit with her shirt, trying to put it back into order, blushing.
Whoever it was, they were coming from downwind. He wouldn't be able to smell them, to learn anything useful that way. He rose to his feet in a smooth, predatory movement, a slight growl rumbling through him. He wasn't about to let some random idiot hurt his Willow. She was his wonderful sweetness, his sunshine in the night, she was simply his. And he intended them to have a long happy time together.
Two figures in murky greens came into partial view, trying to use the shadows and small bushes as cover. He growled the name, furious that they had followed him here. "Froggs..."
"Frogs? The evil slimy amphibians or the creepy mental case human types?" Willow's voice was tight with worry and a hint of fear.
"The human ones. No amphibians are trying to attack us, I promise. But I think they have crossbows." David's voice had changed slightly, in a way that would be difficult to describe. He could feel himself shaking with rage, something that he had always assumed was just a figure of speech.
The figures approached, trying to move quietly. There was the scent of garlic, reaching him even upwind. They had clearly come prepared to try to kill him.
Willow began whispering words, something that David thought sounded like Latin. He became aware of a faint glow behind him, something with a greenish gold hue. Willow wasn't going to let her fear control her, good. Unfortunately, there were just enough tree branches that he would have some difficulty flying away. He would need to weave through the branches, which would take enough time that they could shoot at him. Which meant that the idea of just grabbing Willow and leaving was not his best option.
With loud bellows, the Froggs charged into the clearing, and there were two crossbow bolts fired. One twisted in the air, going to the right in defiance of logic and geometry, clearly not a problem. David managed to twist out of the way of the second, and moved towards them with a growl. He barely noticed the third figure, registering only that the other guy with them didn't seem to be armed and was dressed in dark clothing.
David seized the first Frogg, growling at him, debating for a moment the idea of sinking his teeth in, tearing out the mortal's throat. After a moment's thought, he decided against, and prepared to toss the now-terrified teenager aside. Willow didn't like the idea of him killing, and it would be frustrating to have her angry at him. Perhaps some mental suggestions would be useful? He hadn't actually mentioned that more serious suggestions could be made than seeing what wasn't there, or that if not implanted carefully, such 'suggestions' could be harmful to someone's mental health. Actually, these idiots were already in dire need of mental help, so that shouldn't be to much of a problem.
"No!!" Willow's shout was loud, and filled with panic.
He heard the clicking sound of another crossbow bolt being fired. Almost immediately, two things happened. The first was David felt himself shoved to the side, loosing his balance and falling to the ground, pinning the Frogg brother beneath him. The other thing was the air was suddenly filled with the scent of blood. David had a very bad feeling about what had just happened, a feeling of intense dread.
Releasing his grip on the Frogg, he twisted around, trying to see what had happened. He had been knocked off balance by Willow, who was now on the ground with a crossbow bolt in her back. She was barely breathing, and there was a lot of blood. David felt his insides clench, as if he was being squeezed by a giant hand and everything inside of him went cold, knotted with fear.
"Willow... no... please no." In a heartbeat, he was kneeling at her side, fingers frantically checking for a pulse, feeling fear flood his body.
She was still alive, barely. He couldn't loose her, not when he'd only just found her! Filled with a sense of urgency, he carefully scooped her into his arms and leapt into the sky, desperately hoping that this would work. That he could save her.
Michael had been following, wondering if the Froggs were as much of a danger as vampires when they had found the clearing. At a casual glance, it seemed as if they had walked in on a couple, the boyfriend angry and wanting to defend his girlfriend. Then, he had realized that the boyfriend was David, his eyes golden and his teeth sharp fangs. David had looked furious, and Michael had got a partial glimpse of a red haired woman behind David. The candles had been set up in the clearing, and there was a picnic basket and a blanket. There was a bowl of berries and an open container of chocolate out on the blanket.
He had felt certain that they were interrupting. That was when the Froggs had shouted, charging towards David and firing their crossbows. Michael had watched, his feelings tangled and confused. He had no idea what had caused the one bolt to take a sudden right turn. Then David had moved, inhumanly fast, and had seized Edgar, lifting him into the air with a snarl.
Michael had felt his breath catch when he saw Allen taking aim at David's back. Then, the redhead had shrieked 'No!', flinging herself into the path of the bolt, pushing David out of harm's way. The bolt had landed in her, right under the shoulder blade. The blood had looked hideously bright on her shirt, and Michael could almost swear that he could smell it, a horrible contrast to the vanilla scented candles. He felt his stomach lurch, more worried about the red haired woman than the possibility that he HAD smelled the blood, that the presumably gone vampire within him had returned.
David had ignored the Froggs, kneeling beside the woman, his voice betraying worry and fear. He was begging for Willow not to be hurt, to stay with him. Then, David gathered the woman's unmoving body into his arms and was airborne, moving through the air in a frantic rush.
Michael felt his safe view of things crumbling. He had thought that if the redhead, Willow, was in danger, it would be from David. But it had been Allan Frogg who had shot her. She had tried to save David, her boyfriend, even though it had been clear at the time that he was a vampire. She had been shot, by a human, while trying to save a vampire. Her vampire. This wasn't how it was supposed to be.
end part 9.
David flew in a rush, frantic to get Willow somewhere safe. He took her to the mansion that Angel was staying in. There was plenty of room there, and a good amount of first aid supplies, especially bandages. Unlike his apartment, it was also isolated enough that nobody would notice any noises, such as delirious ravings or pain-screams. He felt raw dread at the idea of Willow in pain, or dying. He would do anything to stop that.
Angel sensed their arrival almost immediately, probably smelling the blood. There was far to much blood spilling from Willow's back, and it was bright red. David was afraid that the bolt may have hit her lung. He wasn't certain what to do, he had never made a study of medicine.
"What happened? David, who shot Willow?" Angel's voice was almost frantic with worry.
"The Froggs. One of them shot her... was trying to shoot me, she pushed me out of the way, but... it hit her."
"Hold her down, we need to remove the bolt and put bandages on to slow... hopefully stop the bleeding. This will hurt her." Angel's voice was grim, and it was obvious that he was worried about Willow's chances.
"She's unconscious. She probably won't feel it as much. The Froggs are still alive. It was more important to try to save Willow. I can kill them later." David was afraid for Willow. He held her body still as Angel removed the bolt, wincing as it was removed, the shaft glistening darkly with her blood.
They bandaged her, but her pulse was weak, and her breathing was shallow. Her skin had also taken on a more ashen color.
Angel frowned, worried about Willow's color and heart rate. "She's not doing well. She lost a lot of blood... she might..." He couldn't quite finish the sentence. Couldn't give voice to the awful suspicion growing in his mind. To speak it would be to give the idea power.
"I'm not going to let her go! I need her." David's voice was thick with emotions.
Suddenly, David had an idea. It was desperate, and might not work, but it was better to try than to simply... do nothing. "Get me that green bottle. The one I brought over. Quickly."
"The one with your Sire's blood?" Angel was bringing the bottle, rapidly figuring out what David was planning. "I've seen what would happen if she were turned. An alternate dimension's Willow was brought over... She wasn't... wasn't the same person."
David snatched the bottle, carefully shifting Willow so that he could pour some of the blood down her throat, praying that this would work. Praying that she was still alive enough that the blood wouldn't kill her. "My clan-line isn't the same as yours. That's what we spent hours talking about. Your line... you flip out when you change, rush into the whole bloodthirsty evilness bit. We still go bloodthirsty, but the rest of our personalities stays about the same. She would still be Willow..."
"True, although... I suppose now isn't the time to revisit the various differences. Not until we know what's happening to Willow. Had you brought up the idea of making her a vampire before? She might have a few objections..." Angel felt awkward. Willow was one of his few friends. This attack on her... it made him angry, soul and demon both. Made him want to rip the people responsible limb from limb and revel in their pain and blood.
David was running his hand over Willow's hair, over her cheek, tracing over her lips, now stained red with blood. "I'd mentioned halfs to her. Not sure if your clan really goes much for that, but... it's a partial change. Sensitive to the sun, but no flaming smoking burns. She didn't seem to upset by the idea, but we were planning on waiting until later, when she was a bit older. This... changed our timeline a bit."
"Obviously. I somehow doubt you'd planned such a violent introduction either. Will she need blood when she wakes up?"
"Maybe. The bloodlust will be there, although not quite as strong. Normally, it's almost an option for half vampires, but with this injury... I don't know. I can give her some of mine if she needs it."
"If we're lucky. If she isn't so badly injured that it turns her completely. If... There are to many if's." Angel was not pleased with the whole situation. But what could he do? He didn't want to let Willow die.
The two vampires sat, waiting to learn the fate of the redhead that had become dear to them both. Hoping and praying that she would wake up, that she would still be the Willow that they knew.
end part 10.
They sat there, unmoving, silent, simply watching Willow. She was on the couch, positioned on her side to avoid either laying on the wound, or laying face down, which might make it harder for her to breathe. They practically counted her breaths, watching for the faintest sign of how things would turn out. Would the injury be to severe? Would the blood save her, helping her to heal, to come back to the people who needed her? Or would the injury be so severe that the only future for her would be as a vampire? It was a risk, considering the injury and the blood loss. Every breath she took was that much longer that she was alive, that much less likely that she would die, even if only to awaken later as a vampire. Willow was still a creature of the day as much as the night, the transition would be hard on her.
"She's a strong person, we both know that. She'll come through this... she has to. She knows how much we need her, how much she matters." Angel's voice was low, possibly so that he wouldn't startle anyone, or possibly he was simply thinking out loud.
"She is an amazing person... strong willed, generous, forgiving... resilient. But Angel, she's only human. No matter how strong willed she is, mortal flesh has limits... will break and shatter. She could die, and her will might have nothing to do with it. I need her... she's everything I never knew that I wanted. She gives me balance, light in the darkness." David's own words were just as quiet, but almost vibrated with intensity.
"This is where the element of faith comes in. We have to believe, and if not in God, or some higher power, then believe in Willow. She knows that you love her, right?" Angel had put one hand on David's shoulder, a gesture intended to comfort.
"God? I think I gave up on having faith in God a long time ago. Before Max found me... things fell apart for me. I think... I might have been trying to get myself killed. Nothing mattered, there wasn't anything left for me. Then, Max made me part of his family... then there were the boys, Paul and Marco and Dwayne. We were a family, we could believe in each other. Now, their all gone... all that I have is here... with Willow." David reached out, his fingers skimming lightly over her brow, following a lock of hair down along her face.
"Then believe in Willow. She believes in you. She believed in me... she gave me back my soul. She talked to me after I got back from hell... even when the last time she'd seen me I had been trying to kill her and everyone she had any reason to care about. She's the only person who really accepts that there's any significant difference between me and Angelus... that it isn't just an extreme mood swing. She believes enough in people... in everything for all of us." Angel looked at Willow, sighing over her pallor. "Besides, I'm here now. Consider yourself adopted into the line of Aurelius if you want. Pretty prestigious in the death and destruction circles... but... your family, if you want."
"It's hard to convince myself that she'll be okay, looking at her like this. She's lost so much blood... she's too pale. Not to forget all the damage that damn crossbow bolt caused... how much it tore the insides of her.
Once again, the vampires fell silent. They watched Willow breathe, each thinking about the redhead that had given them so much. New chances, new beginnings for them both. She had given Angel back his soul, and with it another chance to work for his redemption. But she had given David her heart, and was willing to give him her future. She was their sun in the darkness.
The silence was broken by the sound of the door, and muttered curses in a male voice. They both tensed a moment, a growl escaping David before he recognized the voice as Xander. The sound of the footsteps came closer, each echo and scuffle a reminder of the tomb like silence of the mansion. The very stillness of the air intensifying their worry for Willow, a whisper of dread within them suspicious that the tomb like quiet might lead her to the grave.
"Hey deadboy, any news on how Willow and David's evening went? He wanted to do this picnic thing... oh god... that's... Willow!" Xander's face paled as he caught sight of Willow, her face paler than either of the vampires, still and unmoving on the couch, her lips stained dark with blood.
Xander dropped to his knees beside Willow, his eyes wide and filled with a mixture of anger, pain, denial and confusion. He reached out, and his hand wavered near her lips before brushing over her hair. "What... there's blood on her lips. How... who's blood is it?"
Angel put a hand on Xander's shoulder, the same way that he had tried to offer a measure of comfort to David. "We're trying to save her."
Xander turned, his expression caught between shock and horror. "Save her?!? By turning her into a vampire? How would that save her?"
David spoke, his voice filled with anger. "Our picnic was interrupted. Vampire hunters. They tried to shoot me with a crossbow, and it hit Willow. I won't loose her, if this is what it takes for her to still be here, then so be it."
Angel continued the explanation. "She might not end up quite a vampire. If the injury doesn't kill her, the change will only be partial. She will still be able to do mortal things, like sunlight and solid food. We don't know how it will turn out yet. She... the injury was very bad."
Xander's expression spoke clearly: he didn't want to believe them. He turned back to Willow, his hand sliding over her back, and he tensed and froze when he found the bandages, slightly damp and sticky with her blood. "oh god... " He pulled his hand away, staring at the redness that dampened his fingertips.
The silence again tried to fill the room, slightly lessened by Xander's breathing, fast and far louder than Willow's. He looked at the vampires, now seeing that they were as pained by Willow's plight as he was. Willow was quite possibly Angel's only friend, and she was... David had wanted her to be with him forever. This dawning understanding was evident in his voice when he spoke. "This changes everything, doesn't it? She's... the world won't be the same anymore. No matter what happens, everything will be different."
"Everything will be different. Especially if... " Angel broke off, unable to finish the sentence. "We know who did this. They will pay, but Willow comes first."
Xander nodded, his mind clinging to only the most important things. Willow had been attacked. The vampires were trying to save her. They would find the people responsible and kick their asses. Xander's voice was low, almost broken as he tried to imagine life without Willow. "If she... you'll make them pay? Make them bleed for what they did to Wills?"
David's expression was far more feral that the expression that had appeared in the alley. "They will pay with their lives. They had been in Santa Carla, where I used to be. They chose to follow me here, and because of them, Willow was... hurt. I can't let that go."
Xander only had one thing to say in response. "Make sure Buffy doesn't find out. She won't see it that way, not until later, maybe. Giles will understand, but he would probably say that it's wrong."
Angel looked at Xander, his expression filled with shock. "Your actually okay with this idea? The idea that those mortals will most likely die horribly? You can't stand vampires."
Xander shrugged halfheartedly. "I remember the hyena possession. Makes me understand some things better... everyone has a dark side. Mine wants whoever hurt Willow to bleed and scream and pay. The rest of me just wants her to get better. Anyone else, I'd be upset. But... they hurt Willow. I can't forgive that either."
end part 11.
The three of them sat there, loosing track of any measure of time beyond the continued breathing of the redhead lying on the couch. Gradually, her breathing had become steadier, a bit stronger. Her pulse was stronger as well, though it was still slow. Her eyelashes fluttered, the tiny motion immediately drawing the attention of the three males. They were alert immediately, hoping that she was alright, a bit uncertain what would happen next.
"Where... this is... Angel's couch. how did I get here?" Willow's voice was small and rather faint.
"I brought you here after our picnic was interrupted. Do you remember... what is the last thing you remember?" David's voice was low, his tone carefully even.
"Wasn't there a couple of guys in camouflage? Those Froggs you mentioned... frogs are evil... spawn of darkness and ickky things. He was going to shoot you... I couldn't let him do that. It hurt... burned in my back, and then I felt all cold... did I ... I must have passed out. Help me sit up?" Willow's voice was a bit stronger, and she licked over her lips, as if thirsty.
David helped her sit up, and Angel held a glass of water, droplets beading the outside, to her lips, helping her to drink. She looked so unsteady, sitting there. She looked fragile and pale. She looked down, staring at her fingers, one still carrying a smudge of chocolate along the nail. She lifted her hand, nibbling a it at the chocolate, her eyes filled with puzzlement.
"I feel a bit... funny. My shoulder and back hurt... and my back feels all... sticky." Her nose wrinkled in dismay about her back.
"Wills I'm so glad you're alive!" Xander moved towards her, wrapping his arms around her in an impulsive, but gentle hug, holding her close as if to reassure himself that she was here, that she was real. She hugged back, and he could feel her breath on his neck. Suddenly, he was shoved away with more strength than he had ever imagined Willow capable of, landing on the floor painfully.
Willow was on the couch, her legs now pulled up against her chest, her eyes wide in shock, her hand over her mouth. Her eyes were golden as she stared at Xander.
"Sweet? Are you..." David wasn't quite certain what to say. She had the eyes of a vampire, or half vampire. He could still hear her heartbeat, so she was half. But then, why had she shoved Xander away?
"I... my teeth got sharp. Everything hurts... I'm hungry." Tears welled in her eyes, spilling over onto her cheeks. "I almost bit Xander! How do I get control over this?"
David sat beside her, pulling her into his lap, his arms closing around her gently, pulling her close as he made soothing noises. Rubbing his hand in circles over her lower back, carefully not touching the injured area, he tried to help her calm down. "It's okay. You didn't hurt him, and you aren't going to. You half, not full, you won't have to go hunting. Everything will be okay."
Her voice sounded small and afraid, slightly muffled by his shoulder. "I feel so hungry though, like my stomach is trying to tie itself in knots."
Angel spoke, knowing that some things would be the same, regardless of bloodline. "It's because you were injured. Blood is the easiest way to heal, your body wants to have blood to fix your shoulder. If you aren't injured, it won't be as strong." He then glanced at Xander, wanting to check on the boy's emotional state.
Xander had gotten past the shock of landing on the floor, and seemed to be processing the fact that Willow was now at least a bit vampiric. He glanced at Angel, his eyes full of question. "umm.. deadboy? Think umm... maybe we should leave those two alone for a bit. Maybe you can explain this half thing to me?"
Angel and Xander quietly left the room, leaving Willow shaken and curled up on David's lap. DAvid could help WIllow sort everything out, and Angel could make certain that Xander understood what had happened to Willow.
Xander could feel himself trembling, the relief and confusion setting in. His voice carried a plaintive edge. "Okay, she's still here... and has a new look. So... what's the difference between half and full vampires? Is she still going to be Willow? I need to know..."
Angel gestured for the teen to sit, and pulled out a chair to settle himself on. He took a few moments to compose his thoughts, trying to decide how to explain this to Xander. "Half vampires aren't very common. Most clans don't bother. Sometimes, if a vampire wants to make someone part of their family, make them a childe, they change them into a half first. It sort of... eases the transition, since halfs can become full vampires easily enough, but not accidentally. Her personality... she's still Willow. She might be a bit easier to upset, a little uncertain... remember, this is a big change for her. But... she's still herself.