Beginnings of a plan
Love Thy Savior: Beginnings of a plan
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Buffy characters. They all belong to the god known as Joss Whedon. And Merry Gentry and affiliated belong to Laurell K Hamilton, Goddess of Pretty Shiney Sidhe Sex.
Spoilers: Not many, as it's not set in a determinate time in either show or book. But they could sneak in, so just warning you now. Don't come crying to me if I ruin something for you.
Merry shuddered. "This place gives me the heebie jeebies." She announced as she walked over the threshhold of Spike's lair.
"Yeah, it used to spook me too." Buffy agreed. "But you get used to it, strangely enough. Where did you get that?"
Dawn had walked out from one of the back rooms with a soda, drinking it slowly. "Spike has a stash for me and Clem, when we came over to watch movies. It's the only thing left in that fridge. Even his blood is gone."
Merry nodded. "That's interesting, when you say that his kidnappers took all his stuff." She looked around. "But you're right, it does feel like there was a powerful sidhe here. I can feel the magic." She allowed Willow to manuever them to the place where she had done her spell.
Willow called the spell up again, and they watched it all. Buffy hadn't seen it yet, so along with the sidhe, it was her first time seeing it. Doyle, at least, noted that her hands curled into fists when she saw Drusilla, especially the confusion on her face when Spike said he wasn't going with her. Merry started walking around, passing her hands through thier spectres, and then walked to the place where Willow had said there was someone hiding in the shadows.
"Reveal yourself." She said to the shade, and nearly fell over when she saw who it was.
"Huh? I don't understand, he's human." Dawn said, sounding lost and confused.
"Not just any human." Merry said quietly. "You guys just ran into the biggest problem in the world I can think of."
"What the hell is going on?" Buffy ground out, very angry now.
"This is Trevor, my Aunt Andais' human playtoy. Remember, my Aunt Andais is Queen of the Unseelie Sidhe, the position I'm in line for. She's the one helping your little vampire kidnapper." Merry turned back to them as Willow banished the images. "' She said I could have you.' That's what Drusilla said. She most likely meant my Aunt."
They were quiet for a while. "This is bad, isn't it?" Dawn asked, and Merry nodded.
"Andais is..." She stopped for a moment. "She takes what she wants and uses it until it no longer amuses her anymore. Sometimes that takes day, sometimes years."
"What could she want with him?" Buffy asked. "He can't hurt anyone, he's got a soul. Well, he can hurt non-humans. Harming humans hurts him."
Merry thought for a moment. "Drusilla didn't seem right in the head. Is there something wrong with her?"
"Other than being a psycho skanky ho?" Dawn asked snidely, but Willow shushed her.
"Drusilla can see things. She was somewhat of a seer before Angelus sired her." A venerable voice said from the doorway.
"Giles!" Willow cried, and Buffy ran to him, hugging him hard.
"Giles was Buffy's Watcher. Then he got fired, and now he sticks around and makes sure we stay out of trouble. Plus, he's got wicked extensive book learning skills." Dawn grinned as she saw the questioning looks on thier faces. "Come on, we're done here, and I'm hungry. Let's mash out problems over some food."
"Sounds good to me!" Rhys and Galen chimed in together, and Dawn laughed.
* ~ * ~ *
An hour later, they sat around the biggest pan pizza Dawn had ever seen, compliments of Xander's awesome pizza connections in Sunnydale. For the more health conscious sidhe, Dawn had sliced up some greens and made a fruit and veggie platter. She was proud of herself. It only looked half thrown together.
"So Drusilla can predict the future?" Frost asked, licking ranch off his fingers as he devoured some celery.
"If you can tell the difference between her predictions and her regular babbling." Buffy said derisively. "She's not quite right in the head. Angelus drove her crazy, killing all her family before he changed her. It tweaked her a bit."
"So why is she after Spike?" Giles asked, slightly perturbed that they hadn't brought this up to him before leaving.
"She probably got lonely and wanted him back, like all the other times she's come back to town for him. I guess she figures this time I'm out of the picture, she's got Merry's big kahuna aunt backing her, she can get him and keep him." She laughed dryly. "She's got another thing coming. I'm going to beat the crap out of her."
Merry looked at Buffy with newfound appreciation. "Trust me, I intend on having strong words with my aunt."
"As strong as you can get without her deciding you've gotten too uppity and she decides to let Ezekial have a go at you again." Doyle said, and Merry winced.
"Alright, semi-strong words. She can't go around kidnapping people, even if he is a vampire. She doesn't have any jurisdiction out here. As far as I'm concerned, this is Buffy's territory. Her status here in the Hellmouth is about the same that Andais' is in the sithen."
"Wait," Buffy said around a bite of pizza. "Queen of the Hellmouth? I don't think so."
"We could use it to your advantage." Merry said. "If you are labeled as the Queen here, then Andais would have to contend with you as your title befits, a Queen. One ruler to another. And your friends could be your court, and come and go through the sithen without being bothered."
"Why would we be bothered?" Dawn asked.
Doyle fixed her with a dark stare. "Not all sidhe have such an open veiw towards humans as we do."
"No one is touching my little sister." Buffy said darkly. "I'll kill them, hoidy toidy magic or not."
"If you went as Queen Buffy, then you'd have that kind of right of way, so to speak. Your people would be declared off limits, and anyone who hurt them, would be hurt in kind." Rhys said.
Buffy giggled. "Queen Buffy. It sounds like something out of a bad eighties cartoon." She smiled. "You know, the more you talk about it, the more it sounds like our best bet."
"Oh, oh, I wanna be Pretty Princess Dawnie!" Dawn laughed, bouncing in her seat.
Those who had sense of humors laughed, but Giles remained stone faced. "And what about me, or Xander and Anya, or the rest of the Hellmouth? What happens when you are gone and can't patrol?"
"What about me?" Anya asked, walking in the door with Xander behind her, loaded up with bags. "Why are you talking about me when I'm not here?"
Dawn's smile faded. "Anya, we've got visitors, please don't do this."
"Heya Buffy, what's with the funny colored men. I haven't eaten another toilet soap and gone all loopy, have I?" Xander asked, setting down Anya's many bags.
"No, we're having troubles in Toyland again." Buffy explained everything to them, Spike's kidnapping, Merry's help, who had been behind the abduction, and the mess they were in now.
"Wow. I've said this before, and I'll say it again." Xander bent and hugged Buffy warmly. "We do manage to get ourselves in trouble, now don't we?"
"Yeah, we do." Buffy rested her head on his waist when he stood up again. "But we can get through this. Hopefully I won't have to kill anyone this time. I get to play Pretty Pretty Princess, though."
"Ooh, can I be blue?" Xander joked.
"So will you do it?" Merry asked, breaking the humerous atmosphere.
"Yes, I'll do it." Buffy answered with a long sigh. "Spike is my freind, and it doesn't matter who you are, Queen or not, you can't just go around messing with my freinds like that. Drusilla, if nobody else, will pay for this. You can be assured of that."
Merry nodded. "That's all we need."
Buffy stood up. "Am I allowed to take weapons with me?"
"Take what you need."
Buffy nodded and started issuing orders. "Everyone, and I mean, everyone, even you, Giles. Start packing. I want weapons, magical offense and defense. Willow, I want you to find some good warding spells and put them on the house. I'm going to go talk to Wood and ask him if he can patrol while I'm gone. Anya, stop being whiny and pack your stuff!" Buffy grabbed her coat and started walking out the door. "Dawn, read something!" The door slammed shut.
Merry sat on the couch, rather stunned by Buffy's sudden take charge change. "Does she do that often?"
"Kind of." Dawn said. "Reading! It's always reading. I hate reading. Why can't it be something useful, like learning how to hit people, or do warding spells?"
"If you don't tell, I won't." Willow said, looking around to make sure Giles wasn't around. "There's a black leather bound book up in my room, on top of my dresser by the cat statue. Knock yourself out, and don't try anything inside."
Dawn squeaked and ran upstairs, then ran back downstairs to hug Willow, and ran back up the stairs. Willow smiled in spite of herself. "Buffy thinks she can keep Dawn safe by not letting her know anything. I think it's rubbish. We fight about it a lot." Willow said, reseating herself and nibbling at a peice of cold pizza.
"By her age, I was weapons trained and using glamour." Merry said. "She's what, sixteen?"
"Seventeen." Willow shrugged, then sat straight up again with a worried look on her face. "Oh no, I didn't think of what you were going to do about sleeping arrangements!"
"It's alright, as long as we have a room and a bed, we'll be fine." Merry reassured her.
"Some of you might end up sleeping on the floor. We only have queen size beds in the house. And the only free room is... mine. I'll go sleep in Buffy's bed. She'll probably come home late, patrolling and all." Willow said. "Just don't touch anything on the shelves or my dresser. Actually, don't touch anything but the bed. I've got some mean non-theif spells in there, and I don't think your aunt would like you coming home with no arms." She blushed.
"You really are powerful, aren't you?" Merry asked.
"Yeah, kinda. Almost took out the world last year, no biggie." Willow waved it off.
"So what am I going to do?" Anya came back into the living room, bickering with Xander. "I'm not going to stay home while you go off with some sidhe hussy and get your brains sucked out of you by the slaugh!"
"What do you know of the sidhe?" Doyle asked her, standing up.
Anya, instead of shrinking in Doyle's wrath, stood up to her fullest height and held up her chin. "I was a powerful vengeance demon in my day. My name was plastered across walls in bloody intestines. Men cried at the sound of my voice. I came to human and sidhe women alike, I'll have you know. Some of my best jobs were for sidhe women, they've got real imagination you know, and spite to last centuries."
Xander was looking at her with wide eyes, and Willow merely stared. "Wow Anya, you sure get around, don't you?"
"Well," Anya said with a sniff. "I never said I only did human women, now did I?"
"Anyanka." Doyle said, and Anya stared at him. "How do you know my name?"
"In earlier years, I would hear the women whisper about you." He turned to Merry. "She is right, she was a force unto herself, feared by many. Andais had the thought of employing her once, but then the problem took care of itself and she had no need."
"Should we bring her?" Merry asked Willow.
" She's not a vengeance demon anymore. But yes, we are bringing her." Willow said. "Buffy said to go pack, why aren't you packing?"
"Fine!" Anya huffed, and flounced up the stairs.
Merry rubbed her forehead and looked at the floor. "Could I lay down for a while? The plane ride was long."
"Yeah, sure." Willow pointed her up to her room, and waggled her finger at Doyle and Kitto when they went in the room with her. "I know you're a princess, but no one but me gets to get lucky on my bed, you hear?"
Merry smiled brightly. "Aye, I hear." She laughed as she closed the door.
Willow sighed and wondered what she was going to do with the remaining sidhe downstairs. "You guys want to do anything specific, see the sights of the Hellmouth, eat some more human food, watch a movie?"
"Movie?" Galen and Rhys perked up at the mention.
Willow grinned as she handed them the remote control to the tv and showed them where the videos were. "Knock yourselves out." She said, and then went in search of Giles.