|Chapter Title:||Council of Wankers, Chapter 22|
January, 2001. Annie is nearly 2 years old.
The council has information on the demon after the Key, but won't share unless Buffy dismisses Spike. Buffy and Spike have their first run in with Glory.
|Rating / Warnings:||
NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, violence, sex and adult themes which may include rape, attempted rape, blood play and other adult situations that some people may find objectionable. If you are under the age of 17 or find any of these themes objectionable – GO AWAY. Parents, it is up to YOU to control what your children are reading.
“Well, it’s really pretty, if nothing else.” Buffy was holding the round, glowing orb in her hand as she and Spike walked down the stairs and into the garden. They’d found it on patrol, but other than glow, they couldn’t figure out what else it did. “Maybe Giles will know what it is.”
Spike shot a hand out and grabbed her arm, effectively stopping her descent of the stairs.
“Someone’s here,” he whispered.
“Someone’s ALWAYS here,” she whispered back to him.
“No, someone different, not your gang.”
Spike and Buffy crept down the stairs silently. She set the glowing orb down, off to the side of the garden and out of harm’s way in case there was a fight.
They both crept up to the door and listened. Voices, mostly male, several different ones. Then they heard Giles and the two warriors looked at each other, brows furrowed.
What is going on in there? Buffy thought to herself.
Only one way to find out. She heard Spike’s voice in her head, but he hadn’t spoken.
This had happened a few times in the past since they'd bonded, but not often, and she couldn’t really get it to work when she wanted it to, at least not while they were awake. Sharing dreams with each other had become commonplace and she could almost will him into her dreams, as he could her, but communicating while awake had been more of a challenge.
The pair straightened, senses on alert and together they stepped boldly through the door into the main room of their house.
The place seemed to be filled with people. Not just people, Buffy realized, Council people. She hated the Council, they were controlling and unhelpful, at best. Them being here, was not of the good.
“Council of Wankers,” Spike said aloud with a hiss.
Suddenly several cross bows were pointed at the pair. Acting on instinct alone, Buffy grabbed the closest one and, in one deft move, pulled it from the man’s hands and shoved it back hard against his nose, dropping him to his knees as he yelled in pain.
Spike had disarmed the one closest to him, as well, and now the pair stood, shoulder to shoulder, with the stolen cross bows aimed back at the remaining Council members.
“Buffy! Spike!” Giles was up in second, moving between the pair and the others in the room. “It’s ok, everyone just lower your weapons.”
“Not happening, Giles. What are they doing here?” Buffy had switched to full Slayer mode.
Giles held his hands out to the side as he moved slowly between his Slayer and the members of the Council that were gathered around the research area.
He addressed the Council members. “Lower your weapons, they're not a threat.”
After a few breathless moments, the Council members lowered their weapons. As soon as they did, Buffy and Spike were on them, snatching the cross bows from their grasp.
“That’s not a very hospitable welcome for guests, Miss Summers.”
Buffy turned to face the man speaking. “Guests, like vampires, must be invited in. You were not.” Buffy held his eyes in a vise grip with hers. “And the name’s Weckerly, Mrs. Weckerly.”
Quentin Travers surveyed her before continuing. “Ahh, but we were. Your Watcher invited us, Buffy.” Travers waved his arm towards Giles.
His refusal to use her married name didn’t escape Buffy. “Guests in my house don’t generally come armed, Quentin.”
Giles stepped up to where the Council head and his Slayer were squared off. “Buffy, I’m sorry. They . . . they showed up unexpectedly and said they had information about Glory.” At Buffy’s confused look, Giles clarified, “Glorificus. I thought it would be best to hear what they had to say.”
“So talk.” Buffy looked back at Quentin Travers.
“I’m afraid we don’t discuss such matters in front of vampires.” Travers looked pointedly at Spike.
Buffy smiled. “Really? Then you’ve wasted a trip. But thanks for the neat cross bows, I was running low.” She waved the two crossbows she’d taken from the Council members in his face and turned away from Quentin Travers. “Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.”
Buffy moved back next to Spike, setting the cross bows down next to the fireplace at their back and folding her arms across her chest. Looking expectantly around the room, she waited for the intruders to leave. When none of them moved, she waved her hand towards the door. “Hello! You can go now.”
“Miss Summ . . .” Quentin Travers started, but stopped as Buffy arched her brow at him. “Buffy,” he started again, rising from his chair. “You really have no idea what you’re dealing with here. I believe you need our help in this.”
“Really? Because you guys are so good with crossbows?” She smirked at him. “’Cause, I’m thinkin', not so much.”
“Perhaps you’ll feel differently if we take your Mr. Giles back with us, then. Since obviously his influence over you is . . . well . . . you are dwelling with a vampire.” Quentin Travers made no effort to veil the threat.
“This is a free country, you can’t take someone with you that doesn’t want to go.” Buffy tilted her head and studied the Council head closely.
“Perhaps not, but we can certainly revoke his passport, have him deported, cut off his funds . . . there are ways.” Travers wasn’t backing down.
Buffy narrowed her eyes at him, considering his words.
Buffy heard Spike’s voice in her head again, He’s trying too hard, pet. Looks calm, but his heart's racin’. He’s bluffin’.
Buffy met Spike’s eyes, she had thought that herself, although she couldn’t hear his heartbeat, he definitely seemed to be trying too hard.
“Fine. Have it your way,” Buffy said at last.
“Good, I knew you would see reason. Simply ask your vampire to leave and we’ll get started,” Travers said triumphantly.
“Oh, no. That’s not what I meant,” Buffy smiled casually. “Take Giles with you. I’m sure he’ll welcome a break from the Hellmouth. I hear England is lovely this time of year.”
Travers’ face fell. Buffy could barely contain a laugh. She widened her eyes, lifting her eyebrows. “Vampire stays,” she said simply.
Resigned, Travers handed a folder to Buffy, who promptly passed it over to Giles.
“Just give me the Cliffs Notes version. What kind of demon are we dealing with here?” Buffy addressed Travers.
“Not a demon,” Quentin Travers spoke slowly. “A god.”
“It’s a Dagon Sphere”, Giles concluded after researching the glowing orb that Buffy and Spike had found.
“It is said to ‘repel that which cannot be named’,” he quoted directly from the tome he was holding. Looking up from the book he continued, “Like a god.”
“Glory,” Buffy said.
“Indeed.” Giles removed his glasses and began polishing them in earnest.
The Council had left the previous night, the folder of information they’d provided said that Glory is a god from a hell dimension, over which she ruled alongside two other deities, though she was the most powerful of the three. Afraid that Glory would take full control of their dimension, the other two began a war against her. Glory lost the war and was banished into the earthly dimension where she was forced to share a body with a mortal, who was created solely to "contain" her. However, no one had any idea who or where this mortal was.
The good news was that the Key could only be used at a certain time, if they could protect Annie past that time, then they wouldn’t need to defeat Glory. Giles and Willow were working on determining when, exactly, that time was.
“Well, I think that makes our glow-ey orb a new night light for Annie’s room, then!” Buffy took the orb back from Giles.
“Quite right,” Giles said distractedly. “I think you should go back to where you found it and look around more thoroughly. There may be other clues there as to how to find Glory.”
Buffy and Spike walked around the abandoned warehouse where they’d found the Dagon Sphere. Finding nothing of note outside the building, they entered and began looking around the dilapidated interior.
Suddenly, they heard voices coming from one of the rooms. Creeping silently up to the open doorway, they peered in. There was a blond woman bending over a monk who was tied to a chair. It was the same monk that had been in Buffy’s dream. The woman was telling the monk that she was the injured party here, that he had stolen her Key!
Buffy and Spike backed up away from the door.
“That’s got to be Glory!” Buffy whispered.
“Plan?” Spike questioned.
“Hit her . . . hard?” Buffy suggested.
Spike smirked and nodded. He loved that kind of plan!
“I’ll go in first, you back me up,” Buffy whispered before starting back to the open doorway.
“What’s the matter, can’t find anyone your own size to beat on?” Buffy stood in the doorway, hands on her hips, a slight smile on her face.
“Get out of here, little girl, this doesn’t concern you!” Glory retorted. Turning back to the monk, Glory stuck her fingers directly in his head and began to pull his sanity out of him to strengthen herself.
Buffy watched in horror as Glory put her hands into the monk’s head. “Son of a bitch!”
Buffy flew at Glory, hitting her full force with both feet in a flying kick, sending Glory backwards away from the prisoner. Buffy leapt back to her feet and threw a right hook at Glory’s face, Glory blocked it and hit Buffy with an uppercut, sending her flying backwards across the room to hit hard onto the opposite wall before sliding to the ground with a thud and a moan.
Spike had seen enough. He ran at Glory, fists and fangs, catching her by surprise and knocking her backwards, but she recovered quickly and sent Spike flying just as she had Buffy.
Buffy had recovered and was starting back towards Glory when Spike’s airborne body hit her and they both tumbled to the ground unceremoniously.
“Fuck!” Buffy exclaimed as she hit the ground again under his weight.
Getting back to their feet, Buffy and Spike launched a dual assault on Glory, one getting in a good punch or kick while she sent the other flying, and so it went for what seemed like hours, but was actually only a few minutes.
Breathing hard, body bruised and blackened, Buffy couldn’t stand straight any longer. She held her ribs and struggled to breathe as she watched helplessly as Spike came flying back towards her again. He landed hard on the ground and, this time, didn’t jump back up. “Bloody hell,” came from his lips, but it was barely a whisper as he tried to get back to his feet.
As he stood, Buffy laid a hand on his arm to stop him from going back towards Glory.
“Get the monk and get out of here,” Buffy directed him. “I’ll distract her.”
Spike didn’t have the energy to argue with her and started towards the still tied up monk as Buffy started back towards Glory.
“So, I hear you got kicked out of hell. What’s the matter, can’t play nice with others?” Buffy started as she moved back towards Glory.
“Haven’t you had enough, little girl? Look at you! You’re all beaten up and I’m fresh as daisy! I could do this all night, you, I’m guessing, not so much,” Glory retorted.
“Oh, I’m a bit stronger than I look.” Buffy tried to pull herself fully upright but winced as she felt a rib move in a way that it definitely wasn’t meant to.
“I’m shakin’ in my Jimmy Choos!” Glory sneered and shook her hands in a faux tremble.
Spike had gotten the monk untied and was heading towards the door with him when Glory saw them. “Hey, that’s MY monk!”
“Mine now.” Buffy pulled Glory’s attention back to her and away from Spike and the monk.
“Not for long, bitch.” Glory was on Buffy before she could move. Glory kicked her hard in the gut, sending Buffy flying back into one of the ceiling supports. Buffy could hear the support give as she slid to the ground and willed herself up away from it, towards the closest exit: a window. As she reached it, the ceiling of the warehouse collapsed onto Glory. Buffy dove out the window falling two stories to the ground below.
Buffy closed her eyes, trying to get the stars that were circling her head to slow down and the breath that had been knocked out of her back. She heard Spike call her name and started moving again, pulling herself up and moving in the direction of his voice.
“Let’s go,” she said as she reached the spot where he and the monk had collapsed on the ground.
“He’s gone, Buffy.” Spike looked at the now motionless monk lying on the ground. “Did you kill her?”
Buffy frowned and shook her head. “Didn’t even phase her.” Then, looking down at the monk she asked, “Did he say anything?”
“We must protect the Key. Many more die if we don't keep it safe.” Spike rose gingerly to his feet. They clung to each other, each giving as much support as they got from the other, and headed back to the mansion.
“Giles, you’ve got to give us a time frame, here.” Buffy was exasperated and exhausted, her ribs hurt and she was still one huge bruise from the fight with Glory the previous night. “We got our asses thoroughly kicked! The best we can hope for is to hide Annie from her until the deadline is past.”
“Buffy, I assure you, we are working on nothing else, but we must be precise in this,” Giles defended. He and Willow had been researching nearly round the clock since the Council had dropped all their news, like an H-Bomb, over a week ago. “The calculations are . . . difficult and tedious.”
“I know, I know,” Buffy moaned. “It’s just, she kicked our collective assess. ME and SPIKE!”
“I understand your frustration. Trust me when I say that we are doing everything we can,” Giles sympathized.
“Buffy, there is one other option you can consider,” Giles started cautiously.
“Yeah? Run and hide?”
“Well, perhaps, but that’s not what I was going to say.” Giles hesitated before continuing. “Annie is the Key. It would seem, if Annie didn’t . . . exist . . . then Glory wouldn’t be able to use the Key to open the portal.”
Buffy narrowed her eyes and glared at him. “What are you saying?”
“Buffy, sometimes a sacrifice must be made, the good of the many outweighing the good of the few . . . or the one.” Giles physically backed away from Buffy as he said it.
“Right, Mr. Spock. That’s a lovely speech and since Annie’s not a VULCAN on a TV show, there will be NO SACRIFICING!” Buffy was incensed. “Annie is my DAUGHTER, Giles – SPIKE’S daughter! She is made of us and very likely the only child either of us will ever have!”
Buffy paused, her anger barely contained, and looked him directly in the eye. “If you come near her, I will stop you." Her threat abundantly clear.
“Buffy . . .” Giles started again.
“NO! This is not up for discussion. Spike and I will find a way. You just do your part and get me that fucking date.” Buffy turned and left Giles standing in the research area as she headed upstairs.
She stuck her head into their bedroom to find that Spike was still sleeping. She let out a sigh of relief. If he had heard what Giles had suggested, she knew that Spike would have killed him just for thinking it.
Going down the hall to Annie’s room, Buffy picked the sleeping toddler up from her crib and held her tight, her head on Buffy’s shoulder. The smell of her hair, her soft skin, everything that was so Annie, so much a part of their lives and their hearts welled up behind Buffy’s eyes. She remembered the look on Spike’s face when he first saw her and they knew that she really was part of them. She thought about how Annie had Spike wrapped around her little finger; nothing was too good for his baby girl.
Buffy sat down in the rocking chair and slowly rocked back and forth with her, humming Spike’s lullaby softly as she thought about what Annie’s future could be. She could be anything, she most certainly would be beautiful with Spike’s blue eyes and high cheekbones and the dark, curly hair that everyone commented on. But she was smart, too, even Buffy's friends had mentioned how bright she was, so it wasn’t just Mom and Dad thinking that about their child. She could be anything, her whole future awaited her. Buffy let the tears fall from her eyes.
“Don’t worry, my sweet baby, I won’t let anything happen to you.”
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