Methos glanced up from his laptop when he sensed an Immortal presence, and watched as Angel, an unknown vampire, Buffy, and Dawn walked into the Magic Box. He noticed that the vampire was pretty beat up. Angel looked shaken. Dawn was puffy-eyed, and looked like she had been crying. Buffy, he saw, was rubbing her neck where Angel's bite-mark was.
The Slayer looked darkly at the Immortal, and said as she dropped her arm and guided Dawn to a chair, "I really
hate how I sense Immortals, you know that?"
Methos let the comment slide, as he asked with some concern just as Giles came out of the back room, "What happened, and who is this vampire?"
With an offhanded wave, Buffy said, "That's Spike. He's harmless."
Said vampire snorted, before saying angrily, "Like 'Ell, I'm not!"
Methos ignored the vampire's protest as the Slayer said, "Apparently -- through me or Faith dying -- Dawn's become the next Slayer."
She looked over to Giles, and said with desperation in her eyes, "Giles, I don't want the Watchers to get a hold of Dawn. I won't allow it!"
The Immortal watched as Giles carefully placed the books he had been carrying onto the table where Methos sat, and said grimly, "Agreed."
"They'll 'ave to stake me, before they can get to 'er," said Spike darkly. At all but Methos and Dawn's startled looks, he said seriously, "From what I get...she's family...an I like the g'l." He glanced over at Buffy before saying after a pause, "An I made a promise to protect 'er 'till the end of the world.' I won't break that promise."
Buffy slowly nodded with respect and understanding in her eyes, but before she could speak, the telephone rang.
Several minutes later, Giles put down the phone. It was a moment before he looked up, face grim, and said, "That was the Watchers Council. They just arrived in LA.... They're on their way here."
Methos watched as Buffy and Angel looked at each other suddenly. By the look of it, they were doing that silent communication thing that they could do. It was Buffy who voiced their thoughts after a moment.
"Giles, what are we going to do? You know they're coming after Dawn, they have to be."
The Watcher was silent for a long moment, before saying quietly with authority, "I do
have a plan, but please do not interrupt while I explain it. Understood?"
At everyone's nod of agreement, Giles continued, saying, "Buffy, as far as the Watchers are concerned, you are dead. When I reported to them what happened in the battle with Glory, I did not tell them that you came back to life as an Immortal. As far as I'm concerned, your duty as an active Slayer is over. If you choose to continue the fight you began as a Slayer.... It is your choice.
"The reason I gave for an Immortal to come here is that there was another Immortal in town trying to raise a demon, and that we needed an Immortal to deal with it."
He paused, then looked at Methos, saying, "Adam, I would ask that you be here when they come. There is a reason that I will explain to you privately."
He returned his attention to Buffy, as he said, "Buffy, I would request -- for your safety, and the safety of your daughter -- that you not be here when they arrive. You already know the reasons why, from what I told you before. I recommend that you wait at your home. I will call you once everything is taken care of."
At Buffy's reluctant nod of agreement, Giles then turned to Spike and Angel, "I would recommend that you both stay. Spike they know is here already. Angel, to explain why you should be here, I will need to tell you something first. Before we battled Glory, Buffy and I arranged it that should she die, you would become Dawn's guardian...as would Spike. Unusual, yes, but we could not think of any two better suited to care for her and protect her from the forces of darkness that would no doubt come after her...even if Glory did not succeed in opening the portal. Now that she is dead, we know that won't happen, but the guardianship would have still been given to you.
"Since you would have been given this guardianship, it is appropriate that you be here...obviously discussing what to do concerning Dawn."
Giles once again paused, as he turned to look at Dawn. Methos had noticed how quiet she had been, and was concerned. Obviously the Watcher was as well, when he said, "Dawn, I know this must all be a bit of a shock to you, and I know that what will be happening in a few hours will be even worse, but it is necessary to help you. Do you understand?"
At the new Slayer's silent nod, Giles said softly, "You will need to be here for this, and as the hour will be fairly decent, they won't suspect anything. This is what I will need for you to do..."