Alternate Universe: Unexpected
Story Title: Can't Buy Me Love

Chapter Title:



Je t'aime


Chapter Summary:


Giles arrives at Council Headquarters looking for Spike and Buffy … will he find them?


Time line:

April 2010



Edmond “Eddie” Giles Rosenberg-Maclay born March 11, 2010

Joshua "JJ" Harris was born on April 21st, 2004

The twins (Danielle Dawn, "Dani" and William Rupert, "Billy") were born on February 12th, 2004.

Annie was born on February 14th, 1999

Spike and Buffy  were married in  February 1999

Buffy was born January 19th, 1981

William/Spike was turned by Dru in 1880 1890; first came to Sunnydale in September of 1997


All the Potentials were endowed with full Slayer power in February 2003.

Buffy and Spike learned of the other dimensions and got the memories from the 'Rome' Universe in May, 2003.

The ‘Wish-World’ lasted from January 19th, 2005 to January, 16th 2010.



Music Referenced:

Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup - Natalie Cole


ScreenCaps courtesy of ScreenCap Paradise:



Special thanks to 'epd4' for betaing this chapter!!

Rating / Warnings:

NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, sex, adult themes, 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.

(Later that same day) Monday, April 26th, 2010, 4:30pm, London:


“I’m sorry, Mr. Giles, Mr. Travers is in meetings the rest of the day,” the receptionist explained in Council Headquarters sometime later.  “Your appointment was for three … you’re an hour and a half late.”


“I’m well aware of that,” Giles sighed. “However, I’m sure if you just tell Quentin that I am here now, he’ll want to see me.”


Giles had gotten worried that morning when Olivia dropped him off at the hotel where he was to meet Buffy and Spike to go over their plan one more time.  He convinced the hotel manager to let him into their room and his worry grew when it became obvious that they hadn’t slept there since they’d arrived on Saturday evening.  He followed their trail to the chippy just down the block, and, despite checking in every shop, restaurant, and café in a three block radius, he could find no one else that had seen them since Saturday night.


He rang their cell phones, of course, and left messages until their mailboxes were full – nothing.  He’d called Willow and asked her to do a locator spell – nothing. He’d called Anya to see if anyone there had heard from them – nothing. Then he even ventured down into the sewers, both around the hotel and near the Watcher’s Council headquarters building … still he found no trace of them.  He couldn’t imagine the two of them together meeting any vamps or demons here that they couldn’t handle, so that left just one other option – they’d gone into the Watcher’s Council alone, with no plan, and without telling anyone or leaving a note or even leaving a trail of breadcrumbs.  Giles rolled his eyes at the thought – he really had thought they’d both matured enough to know better, but this was Spike and Buffy, after all; leap first, then look to see if there are any giant, angry alligators in the moat.


After spending the better part of the day looking for them, Giles decided to simply meet the enemy … or his only hope for who the enemy may be, head on and came in the front doors of the Council building … where he was stopped by the receptionist.


“I’m sorry, he’s …” the receptionist started.


“Yes, I know … in meetings the rest of the day. Perhaps Mr. Robson is available, then?” Giles interrupted.


“No … he’s in the field today,” the secretary informed him.


“Perhaps Philip?”




“Nigel?” Giles tried.




“Is anyone at all actually working here today?” Giles questioned sarcastically.


“Me…” the receptionist replied dryly as she picked up a ringing phone. “I’ll connect you, just one moment please…” she said into the receiver and Giles watched her transfer the call.


“Perhaps I could speak with whoever took that call?” Giles suggested.


“They’re on an important, international call just now …”


Giles’ brows rose. “Indeed … perhaps I could wait then.”


“If you’ll leave your number, I can have someone call you back tomorrow and you can make a new appointment…” the secretary suggested.


“Tomorrow?” Giles questioned, beginning to lose his patience. “That really doesn’t work for me … you see, I’d rather like a tour of your dungeons and I understand they’re much better viewed on Mondays. I hear it’s less crowded with tourists and the inmates aren’t as surly … wouldn’t you agree?”


The secretary looked at him with confusion. “I’m sure I have no idea what you’re talking about …”


“The funny thing is, I believe you … however, I’m not leaving until I see someone who does know what I’m talking about,” Giles insisted as he stepped past her desk and started down the hallway towards Travers’ office.




Spike sat in silence, his hands gripping the heavy wood of the chair he was strapped to so tightly that his fingernails were bleeding as he concentrated with all his strength on the day Annie was born. He tried to fill his mind with the joy that he felt when Buffy named her after his mother; tried to remember every detail of that day: how Buffy swore she’d never do that again … what had she said? Spike tried to remember exactly, something about guts for garters and accusing him of not having a soul, ‘cos if he did, he would’ve just killed her in her sleep like any respectable vamp; he tried to remember what Joyce was wearing, how she had her hair fixed, what perfume she had on … every detail. He could still see how proud and touched she was when Buffy told her the baby’s middle name.


Weatherby smiled ruefully as he pushed another red-hot, sharpened steel rod through the flesh of Spike’s thigh. Spike gripped the chair even harder and the vision he was trying to hold onto of Annie’s day of birth faded to blood red behind his closed eyelids as another sharp, burning bolt of pain shot through his body.  Spike had lost count … was that six or seven? He couldn’t remember and his eyes were swollen shut from the baseball bat punishment earlier … he couldn’t even see to count them.  Spike still hadn’t screamed even once … unlike Kralik who seemed to do nothing but scream and say that he didn’t know where the fucking Gem was, that Spike had it last, and complain that this punishment wasn’t fair.


Spike reckoned Weatherby really didn’t care about the Gem or what was fair … all he wanted was to inflict pain – all he wanted was to hear the screams and wank off as his victims called him ‘master’ and begged him to stop. But Spike didn’t beg, he didn’t moan, he didn’t talk, and he most assuredly didn’t call the sick bastard ‘master’. He couldn’t stop his body from reacting to the pain, couldn’t stop it from trembling and tensing up with each new torture, but he could take his mind elsewhere … most of the time.  Spike wondered when the wanking off would end and Weatherby’d start using him and Kralik to get his pleasure with … Weatherby still seemed to be just playing with them … nothing life threatening or permanently debilitating, and he hadn’t touched any of Spike’s dangly bits … yet. Spike had no doubt that it was just a matter of time, though, as the game escalated.


As Weatherby turned his attention to Kralik and the larger vamp again started screaming and begging for him to stop and insisting this wasn’t fair, Spike thought about Buffy and his anger rose again. He could handle beatings and tortures, but to see Buffy beaten and bloodied hurt him more than Weatherby ever could with any of his toys.  Spike clenched his jaw against the pain that swelled up from his soul and fought back the tears that puddled behind his swollen lids, lest Weatherby think that he had induced them.  If he lived to be a million, the vision of the woman he loved more than life itself, beaten, bleeding, in pain – her clothes tattered, her beautiful, soft skin ravaged from the whips … he’d never be able to get that out of his mind.  The pain in her eyes would haunt his nightmares forever, of that he was sure.


As Kralik continued to scream under Weatherby’s attention, Spike forced his mind to think of Bess. He wondered if she had been able to get a message to Billy yet … he hoped so, for Buffy’s sake and the sake of the baby. He knew firsthand how painful a beating like Buffy had gotten was, and he knew that even with Slayer healing, the pain would last for a long while and the chance for infection was unbelievably high, especially if they didn’t give her any antibiotics or clean the wounds.  His only hope was that Travers wanted that baby more than he wanted to punish Buffy … but he was turning out to be an unpredictable, sadistic motherfucker … which didn’t fill Spike’s heart with a lot of hope that he’d do anything to make sure Buffy was ok, especially after the beating Buffy had apparently given him.


“Well, gentlemen,” Weatherby announced to them as he finished poking the last of the metal rods through Kralik’s flesh. “That’ll have to do it for today … but don’t worry, tomorrow will be here before you know it! I know you’ll miss me, but duty calls. Must get home to the little woman…”


“You aren’t gonna leave us like this!” Kralik exclaimed, panic rising in his voice at the thought of being strapped to these chairs all night with metal rods sticking in the flesh of his thighs.


Spike could hear the satisfaction in Weatherby’s voice when he informed Kralik that that was, indeed, the plan and bid them both good night, as if they were co-workers and the five o’clock whistle had just blown. 


“This is your fault! Just tell them where it is, you fucking ass!” Kralik screamed at Spike.


Spike snorted softly and forced his body to relax as he released the grip he had on the arms of the chair, flexing his fingers to try and get some feeling back in them. “Sod off.”




When the guards left after giving Buffy her dinner, she lay gingerly back down on her stomach on her cot and tried to breathe through the pain that seemed to explode through every cell in her body.  The deep wounds on her back would ooze clear liquid then dry, and her tattered clothes would stick to them, then when she moved the least bit, it would tear them open again.  She couldn’t remember anything hurting this badly for this long … when the uber-vamps had nearly ripped her into little pieces in the Hellmouth it had been excruciating, but it had gone to dull throb within a couple of hours and she had been nearly back to normal by the next night. The only thing that came close was when her shoulder had been shredded by the werewolf in limbo … but even that wasn’t this bad – this covered nearly the whole back of her body, from her shoulders down to her knees – she couldn’t move anything without sending sharp pains stabbing through her entire body, which caused her to tense up, which just sent more agonizing bolts of pain radiating out from the lash marks.


Buffy had tried to contact Spike since she’d been dragged back to her cell after Travers finished his ‘Miss Manners’ impersonation … but her husband never opened the bond. She couldn’t wait to get her hands on Travers again … the next time she wouldn’t leave him dazed and confused on the ground, the next time she would make sure she finished what she started.  She had given up trying to talk to Bess, obviously the girl couldn’t hear her through the heavy metal doors.  She had no idea how to get a message to her now … how to tell her to tell Billy where they were.  Buffy thought about their friends and family and wondered if Travers had gotten the ‘tragic accident’ and burned body staged yet. Had their friends been told they were dead?  Were their children sick with grief right this minute? Were they crying and heartbroken … hurt, angry, confused?  Tears sprang to her eyes at the thought of Annie, Dani, and Billy being told that their parents were dead and would never be coming back…


Buffy looked up from her cot when she heard someone walking down the hall whistling … seriously? Whistling a jaunty tune?  In here? She watched as Weatherby walked past like he hadn’t a care in the world … in fact, he looked like he might’ve just won the lottery or something.  Buffy closed her eyes and dropped her head back on her pillow.  Was everyone who worked here completely insane? Was there not one decent human being in this whole place … not one person with the ability to feel empathy or see the wrongness of the whole thing? Apparently not – these were demons, after all, well all except her. They weren’t people, they were monsters; evil, vile creatures, they didn’t have feelings. The vamps were just lab rats – in fact, she figured that most lab rats were actually treated better; their only purpose in life to do the bidding of their keepers.


Buffy thought back to when she was first Chosen … before she knew Angel, before she knew Spike.  Would she have given any of these prisoners a second thought? Would she have felt any empathy for the soulless monsters? She knew Spike, even ‘soulless’, was different than most vamps, but still… all vamps were nothing but innocent victims at one time, even Angelus. They were all someone’s child, someone’s husband or wife or lover … someone’s mother or father, just unlucky enough to cross paths with another unlucky person who’d had their life and innocence stolen.  And, as Spike had pointed out more than once, and Buffy had seen with her own eyes, they don’t lose their old selves just because they’re turned …  


She’d never given it a lot of thought before now, but it occurred to her that most vamps were probably somewhere in between Angelus and Spike. The two vamps she’d known intimately in her life were probably at the two ends of the spectrum – soulless Angel was a cruel bastard who had no empathy, seemingly no real feelings for anyone other than himself; Spike, on the other hand, was capable of a rainbow of feelings, from intense hatred to undying love and loyalty.


Buffy’s mind went back to Bess … she’d been in this place for over a century … over a century! It was honestly more than Buffy could wrap her mind around.  Even if she was just an ‘average’ vamp, with ‘average’ feelings, how hard must that have been to endure and keep her sanity?  Bess was only fourteen when she entered this dungeon … now she was a hundred and ten! Buffy suddenly understood with complete clarity why Bess attacked her in Billy’s dream; Buffy had been here less than forty-eight hours and she’d already attacked Travers and would be willing to rip anyone’s throat out that she could get her hands on at this point.


Buffy … Spike called to her through the bond, pulling her from her thoughts. Buffy, are you ok, luv?


Oh God! Spike! Are you alright?! I’m so sorry! It’s all my fault! she practically screamed back to him, relief that he was still lucid enough to contact her flooding her heart.


Not your fault, luv … Travers, Spike assured her. Are you ok?


My back smarts a little, Buffy lied. Spike, how are we gonna get out of here? I haven’t been able to talk to Bess …


No worries, luv. I talked to her earlier; she knows what to do, Spike assured her.


You did? When? Spike, what happened today? Where’s the Gem? What’s going on? Buffy’s mind rattled off questions in rapid succession.


Spike was happy for the distraction from the pain in his body. He kept the bond only open a crack, not wanting her to feel any of his pain, as he told her what had happened that day in the white room with Bess, and the fight with Kralik and how the crazy vamp had gotten the Gem of Amarra away from Spike.


Spike, what happened to the Gem? Buffy questioned.


Spike hesitated. Do you think … do you think the wankers can hear us? Spike questioned.


I … I don’t know. No one else ever could… Buffy replied as she mulled that possibility around in her mind. But they seem to have been one step ahead of us the whole way …


Yeah … that worries me, pet, Spike agreed. I think we should … censor what we say, yeah?


Buffy nodded slightly. Yeah … ok. Spike?


Yeah, luv?


They want the Gem, don’t they? That’s why they’ve got you in there, isn’t it?


Partly… Spike admitted.


Just give it to them! Spike, please! I can take anything but losing you … please just give it to them! Buffy begged him.


Don’t ‘ave it, pet … Don’t think it would matter now, anyway. They aren’t gonna let me go … Gem or no Gem, Spike admitted.


Spike, please!


Buffy, they want it too much … I don’t know why … not sure what they think they can do with it, but Travers wants it bad, and I really ain’t in the mood to give him a bloody thing – even if I had it, Spike told her.


Spike… Buffy sighed worriedly. Please … we can get it back later…it won’t do either of us any good if you’re… gone.


Sorry, luv … I can’t do it; won’t do it. It’s not gonna make a difference; Travers won’t let me outta here no matter what.


Buffy sighed and moved her arm to rub her swollen, tired, and gritty eyes and pain shot through her body. 


Buffy! What happened? Weatherby? Travers? Spike questioned worriedly as he felt the pain through their bond, his body jerking involuntarily along with hers.


Buffy breathed through the bolts of agony that shot out from her back when she moved and gently laid her arm back down on the cot and tried not to move any more. No … just … just smarts a little when I move…


Spike felt the anger rise in him again … that wasn’t ‘smarting a little’. He knew she was lying when she said that before, but he didn’t realize how much she was lying.  That hurt like a son-of-a-bitch.  Has anyone cleaned the wounds, pet? Given you any antibiotics? he questioned her.


No… I’m alright … I’ll be alright. Don’t worry – I’ve had worse injuries than a few little scratches on my back, Buffy tried to assure him.


God, Buffy … I’m so sorry …


You didn’t do it … she pointed out.


But I didn’t stop it, either … Spike offered, still feeling guilty for not smelling the trap that had gotten them captured in the first place soon enough to do anything about it.


Buffy snorted softly. He was the one in the torture chamber and he was worried about her?  Make you a deal, Buffy replied, when we get out of here, you can kiss my boo-boos and make them all better … and I’ll kiss yours … ok? 


Despite how much it hurt, Spike had to smile a little. Deal, pet. Right after I kick Travers’ ass…


Get in line.




“Philip, I hope, for your sake, that this call is to tell me that you’ve found that Gem,” Travers hissed into the speakerphone. It was nearly five in the afternoon – they’d been looking for the Gem of Amarra nearly all day … since the fight between Spike and Kralik.  


“Sir, I assure you, we’ve searched all three of the demons, we have scoured the white room for it … torn it apart, it’s simply not there!” Philip defended. “We’ve looked a hundred times!”


“Well then look a hundred more and don’t leave until you’ve found it! My plan won’t work without it! I need that Gem!” Travers screamed at him. “It couldn’t have vanished into thin air! Find it! Find it now!” Travers ordered the Watcher before slamming his fist down on the phone and disconnecting the call.


Travers hadn’t known that William the Bloody had the legendary Gem … that put a serious kink in his plan to keep the rogue Slayer’s friends away.  He needed to show them the Gem for them to believe the Slayer and her demon lover were dead and gone.  Showing them Buffy’s burned body was a piece of cake … he had that all set to go, but her friends would know something was wrong if he gave them nothing but dust for the vampire; not without being able to show them the Gem … which another vamp had torn from his body.


“So, they are here …” Giles stated dryly as he stepped into Travers’ office after overhearing the phone call from outside the door. “And I see you got too close to … I’m guessing … Spike? No … you’d be dead if it was Spike … Buffy then,” the ex-Watcher observed based on the bludgeoned face, swollen nose, and blackened eyes of the Council Head.


“Rupert … how nice of you to stop by,” Travers started as if talking to an old friend – quickly recovering from the surprise of him walking in unannounced.


“Where are they?” Giles demanded, stepping closer to Travers.


“They’re quite alright, I assure you,” Quentin offered in a friendly tone as he kept the desk between himself and Giles.


“Indeed … well then, why don’t you send for them and we’ll be on our way, then,” Giles suggested, still moving closer to the Council Head.


“Oh … I’m afraid that’s quite impossible; they’re tucked in for the evening,” Travers hedged.


Giles moved faster than Travers expected him to be able to and was behind the desk with a tight grip on Travers’ throat before Quentin could move.


“I demand that you release them immediately,” Ripper growled at his old boss, tightening his grip on Quentin’s throat.


“You … are … in … no … position … to … make … demands…” Travers gasped out past Giles’ grip.


“On the contrary, I believe I’m in the perfect position…” Giles started when he heard the door to Travers’ office open. He turned just in time to be hit by a nightstick on the back of the neck. Giles released Travers as another blow came down on the top of his head and he fell to his knees on the floor.


Travers rubbed his throat and moved away from the downed ex-Watcher. “What took you imbeciles so blasted long!?” he rasped out as the two guards pulled Giles back from behind the desk and towards the door.


“We were in the white room looking for that soddin’ Gem when the alarm sounded,” one of them began.


“I don’t pay you to make excuses; I pay you for results! I pay you to keep lunatics out of my office!” Travers exclaimed angrily, giving Giles’ prone body a swift kick in the ribs.


Giles let out an, “Ooof,” when Travers kicked him, moving one hand from the back of his neck to his bruised ribs and trying to get his head to stop spinning.


“Get him out of here! Take him downstairs.” Travers ordered as he moved back behind his desk and sat down heavily in the chair.


“I … demand … to see … Buffy,” Giles gritted out as the guards grabbed him under his armpits and began dragging him out of the office.


“You demand!? You demand?!” Travers exclaimed angrily as he stood up. Travers narrowed his eyes and thought a moment. “Fine – you can join your insolent Slayer … I’m sure you’ll enjoy our accommodations as much as she has,” Travers agreed.


"Let him see his Slayer … they can be roommates…” he instructed the guards.


The two guards looked at each other momentarily confused … this guy didn’t look like a vamp, but they weren’t gonna argue with their boss at this point. They’d been yelled at enough for one day, so they dragged Giles to the elevators that led down under the Council headquarters.  One guard used his key to open the hidden control panel and pressed the button for the lowest level – the dungeon. 




Spike kept the bond open with Buffy as he tried to keep both their minds off the pain they were in. Comforting her helped him keep his mind off the metal rods that were embedded in his thigh and his demolished nose and the gaping wound in his chest and all the other cuts, scrapes, punctures, and burns that covered his body. He sang his mother’s lullaby to her through the bond and Buffy relaxed a bit, but it was hard to actually sleep since every time she moved pain engulfed her like a typhoon engulfing a small, Pacific atoll… completely and utterly. 


She felt like one huge, swollen, festering wound … every inch of her body hurt and she had broken out in a sweat, despite the cool air of the dungeon.  She knew that feeling … she’d had it before, freezing and sweating at the same time, she was getting a fever – she had an infection.  God only knew what bacteria and viruses and other nasty things had embedded in her flesh from those whips. She was pretty sure they didn’t actually clean and disinfect them between beatings … there was definitely no Lysol spray or antibacterial soap or hand sanitizers used down here…


Teach me something in French, Buffy requested through their bond, trying to keep herself from thinking about the germs that were multiplying in her wounds and keep Spike talking.


French, eh? Spike sent back. Let’s see … Je t'aime, ma chérie.


Je t'aime, ma chérie Buffy repeated back.


No … you say, Je t'aime, mon chérie, Spike corrected to the masculine.


Je t'aime, mon chérie, Buffy repeated. I love you, my darling. Even Buffy knew that from the French class she had in high school … wow, that seemed like three lifetimes ago, at least.


Je t'aime, mon chérie, Buffy repeated again.


Mon dieu que je t'aime, Spike sent.


Mon dieu que je t'aime, Buffy replied. I love you so much.


Ahhhh … see, you know more French than you’re lettin’ on, yeah? Been holdin’ out on ole Spike, you have, Spike accused playfully.


Buffy smiled a little. Well … I have to keep you on your toes.


Je t’aime beaucoup, Spike tossed back.


I love you tons and tons! Buffy translated.


Uhhh … takin’ some liberties there; not sure that’s a literal translation, luv, Spike teased.


Well, maybe not, Buffy agreed. If my French was good enough, I’d tell you how much I love you … even more than tons and tons. I love you so much, Spike … tell me we’re gonna get out of here.


À cœur vaillant rien d’impossible, Spike sent. For a brave heart, nothing is impossible.


God, I hope that’s true, Buffy replied, blinking back tears. I think my heart’s about the only thing that hasn’t been folded, spindled, or mutilated by these … these merde-heads!                


Buffy stopped ‘talking’ when she heard someone approaching. Someone’s coming… she sent to Spike as she slowly turned her head to see who it was.


“Giles!” Buffy exclaimed when he and the guards came into view. She tried to push up off her cot, but she’d stiffened up while she was laying still and when she moved all her wounds cracked open again, sending stinging, sharp pains through her whole body. “Oh, God …” she moaned as she fell back down, clenching her eyes closed against the pain and trying to keep the tears that welled in them at bay.


“Buffy! Dear Lord! What have you done to her?!” Giles demanded to know when he saw her ripped and tattered clothing and the oozing wounds covering her back and legs, his own injuries forgotten.


The guards didn’t answer, they simply unlocked Buffy’s cell door and tossed Giles in, shoving him hard enough to make him stumble and fall on the hard stone and dirt floor.  The ex-Watcher scrambled over to his Slayer as she tried to breathe through the pain and keep the guards from seeing any tears in her eyes. She didn’t want to give them that satisfaction.  She could feel Spike ‘knocking’, but wouldn’t open the bond … not yet, not until the agony got down to simply unbearable again.


“Dear Lord, Buffy…” Giles uttered softly as he laid a hand on her arm … away from the wounds. “What have they done?”


“Just a … visit from … ‘Mr. Manners’ … and his goon squad,” Buffy croaked out, finally opening her eyes and meeting his.  “Apparently they don’t believe in time-outs here …”


“Indeed …” Giles agreed, shaking his head and surveying the damage the guards had done with their whips.  “You’re burning up…” he observed, moving his hand from her arm to her forehead.


“Yeah … not only that, I haveta pee really bad,” Buffy moaned. She’d been holding it forever, trying to figure out how to get up and to the chamber pot … there was no way. The thought of moving or trying to get her jeans down was enough to make her hold it longer ... but she was nearly at her limit.


Giles looked around the sparse cell – no water, nothing to clean her wounds with, no toilet.


“Well … you see, good things do come to those who wait,” a terse voice came from behind them – it was Travers.


Giles stood up, turned around and crossed the short distance between them quickly, hitting the cell bars at full speed, but Travers was just out of reach … he’d learned that lesson all too well a bit earlier.


“Tsk, tsk …” Travers scolded Giles. “Just ask your Slayer what happens when you don’t mind your manners.”


“What is it you want?!” Giles demanded of his ex-boss, anger seething just beneath the surface.


Travers smiled smugly and turned his eyes to Buffy. “Just a little prophecy … due to arrive on … oh, I’m going to take a wild guess and say October 9th …” Travers began. “The Prophetic Child of Santo Veritas … ‘A seer of truth shall be born under the crescent moon, during the harvest’s bounty, on the day that falls one short of the month and the year. The seventh child, a daughter of fire, born to the fair, immortal warriors, guarded by the sign of Libra, shall see the truth through a veil of lies, uncover the darkness shrouded by the light, and possess the power to tip the scales.’”


Giles furrowed his brow and looked back at Buffy, who hadn’t moved but was listening as well.  Giles turned back to Travers and narrowed his eyes. “I knew Cambridge was second-rate, Quentin, but even a pillock like you can count to four. The ‘fair immortal warriors,’ as you call them, have but three children … this will be the fourth…”


Travers shook his head, the smug look never leaving his face. “Quite clever, they were … hiding the other three in the past; but not clever enough. Did you really think I wouldn’t find them, Rupert? Do you all think me such a fool?”


Giles opened his mouth to answer the last question, but thought better of it and closed it. His mind whirled, considering Travers’ contention that this was the seventh child. Wasn’t that what they were doing here in the first place? Rescuing one of the Weckerly children … one from the distant past?


“With this child we will hold the power of the scales and soon we will have the key to creating even more powerful Slayers … our army will conquer the demons, rid the earth of their scourge, once and for all …” the Council Head announced triumphantly. “My name will be legendary… ‘Quentin Travers’ will be remembered for all time as the man that, after countless millennium, did more than simply fight the battle, but won the war against the demons.”


“Indeed …” Giles intoned dryly, turning his eyes back to Buffy as his mind worked.  Power to tip the scales… Travers was assuming that meant in the favor of good … but hadn’t Buffy just paid a heavy price because the scales were already tipped too far to the side of good? What if this child signaled the next … Armageddon? What if the power she possessed was being brought forth to tip the scales back to the side of evil? And was this even the child spoken of in the Veritas Prophecy? Was she actually the seventh child, or the fourth? For that matter, was it even a ‘she’?


Giles put those thoughts aside for the moment … he had five months to figure all that out – but first they had to find a way to get out of here … and Buffy needed help soon or the prophecy could be moot.


“So, what do you suppose your legend will be when you let the prophetic child die?” Giles questioned, raising his brows and turning his eyes back to Travers.


Travers narrowed his eyes and looked past Giles to where Buffy lay motionless on the cot.


“Apparently, your lesson in manners included e.coli … or perhaps staph … or did you acquire the Black Death or the Bubonic Plague along with your cute little medieval playhouse?” Giles hissed. “I must say, the festering wounds on her back do add a certain charm … a ‘je ne sais quoi’, if you will, to the place.”


“She’s a Slayer! She’ll heal!” Travers insisted, waving his arm at Buffy dismissively.


Giles pulled his glasses off and polished them a moment before sliding them back on and looking up at Travers. “Yes … I’m certain you are correct.  I’m sure it wouldn’t matter if she miscarries the fetus as her body does all it can to heal itself and fight the infection.”


Travers stared at Giles for several long moments, and then looked back at Buffy, who still hadn’t moved or spoken at all. Not one quip … not one barb or threat thrown his way.


“Very well then …” Travers acquiesced finally, looking back at Giles.


“You can be her nursemaid … I will hold you personally accountable if anything happens to that Prophecy!” the Council Head threatened before turning on his heal and heading back the way he’d come. “Someone will be by shortly – you tell them what you need,” he called over his shoulder.


Giles turned quickly and went back over to Buffy and knelt on the floor next to the cot. “Hold on, Buffy … we’ll have some ointments and antibiotics quite soon, I’d imagine,” he assured her.


Buffy nodded slightly. “You might want to get some clean clothes and sheets, too … I peed my pants,” she admitted as tears of frustration stung her eyes.


“That’s quite alright,” Giles assured her. “We all have that problem as we get older… You must realize you’re not as young as you used to be.”


Buffy couldn’t help but snort out a soft laugh through her tears, but winced in pain when Giles touched one of the oozing slashes on her back.


“Buffy … I’m going to have to get your clothes off you. I won’t lie to you – it’s going to hurt like a … well, it’s going to hurt quite a lot, but I have to clean these wounds and put ointment on them to quell the infection,” Giles explained.


Buffy nodded her agreement, then asked, “How long until Faith gets here?”


“Faith?” Giles repeated, confused.


“Yeah … she called you, right? She let you know where we were?” Buffy explained.


“Uhhh … no, not exactly. I simply assumed…” Giles admitted.


“Oh … but you told her where you were going to look for us, right?”


“Well … ummmm, no, not exactly,” Giles reported hesitantly.


“Giles … you did tell someone where you were going, right?” Buffy questioned.


“Well, I …” Giles began and paused, removing his glasses and rubbing his eyes. He’d done exactly the same thing that he had been cursing Buffy and Spike for – he hadn’t told anyone where he was going. “No,” he admitted at last.


Buffy sighed heavily. “Swell… so we’re back to hoping Bess can get a message to Billy and Billy can get a message to Faith…”


Giles stood up when he heard someone approaching.  A woman in a white lab coat stopped outside the cell and began jotting notes on a pad of paper.


“I assume you’ll need antiseptic, soap, clean water, and bandages, gauze, antibiotic cream, an oral broad-spectrum antibiotic, ibuprofen, some loose fitting clothing …” the woman started, looking up from her pad to Giles and raising her brows.


“Scissors to cut her clothing off,” Giles added to the list. “And new sheets for the cot … and … another cot… perhaps we could moved to somewhere … more suitable – cleaner?” he suggested.


“I was told to get you supplies … moving wasn’t part of it,” the woman informed Giles as she wrote down the other items he listed.


“Indeed … well, perhaps a light of some sort, so I can see to tend to her wounds…” the ex-Watcher added.


“And chocolate…” came from behind Giles.


“And several chocolate bars,” Giles repeated. “Cadbury Fudge … and some Flakes and Crunchies … oh, and a couple of Wispas too.”


The woman rolled her eyes but wrote it down on the list before turning and heading out to get the supplies, as per Travers’ order.


When Giles went back over and knelt down next to Buffy, she turned her head to look him in the eye.


“Did you know about this prophecy?” Buffy asked solemnly.


Giles shook his head slightly and shrugged. “I … I’ve heard of it. I certainly never equated it with … you and Spike or this child,” he admitted.


“Travers doesn’t know about the scales, does he?” Buffy continued.


Giles shook his head slightly. “Apparently not.”


“This baby could … she could bring on … Armageddon,” Buffy stammered out, not wanting to think it, let alone say it aloud.


Giles gave her a wan smile, meant to comfort her. “Buffy, every child born has some chance of growing up and being … well, evil; and as a parent, all we can do is our best to make sure that our child doesn’t go down the wrong road. There’s no reason to believe that this child is even the one spoken of in the prophecy. And … you know as well as I, that prophecies are made to be broken … I wouldn’t put too much stake in what an insane Cambridge man thinks…” Giles assured her. “I recall one irrefutable prophecy that said the Master would kill the Slayer…”


“And I remember the deadness caused by the Master!” Buffy argued. “Well … I don’t actually remember being dead that time, but I remember the fun part right before that and my brand new, dry clean only dress getting totally ruined!”


“And yet, here you are … the prophecy was thwarted,” Giles pointed out. “Let’s not … let’s not worry about that just now, I believe we have enough on our plates without worrying about something that may or may not happen in the distant future…”


“Worry about today and let tomorrow take care of itself,” Buffy repeated what she’d told Spike a couple of days ago.  That was getting harder and harder to actually do, though.


“Indeed …” Giles agreed, taking off his glasses and rubbing the bridge of his nose.


“I’m not really gonna lose the baby, am I? I mean … the protection spell should keep it safe, shouldn’t it?” Buffy questioned. “You just said that to make Travers do what you wanted … right?”


Giles sighed and slipped his glasses back on and met her eyes with his. The worried and distressed look on his face, along with his hesitation, spoke volumes to Buffy. “I … I don’t know,” he finally stuttered out. “The protection spell is to protect it from outside forces. If your own body rejects it as it puts all its energy into healing … if you miscarry, I don’t know that the spell will stop that.”


Despite the pain, Buffy turned onto her side away from Giles and wrapped her arms around her abdomen and the baby growing there, unable to stop the tears from falling any longer. Even with the prophecy looming, it was still their child; a baby made of Buffy and William and they loved it from the moment they realized its existence, and nothing would ever change that. Had their zeal to rescue one daughter cost them the one and only good thing that had come out of the five years she spent living alone as the Vengeance Demon Slayer? Had the years Spike spent living through the horrors of limbo and hell been for absolutely nothing?   How could she tell Spike that her rash decision to attack Travers may have not only gotten him punished, but cost them their miracle child? She knew Spike would say it wasn’t her fault, that it was Travers and his goons … but she knew that Spike’s heart, William’s heart, would break all the same, just as she felt hers breaking now, if anything happened to their unborn bit. 




 Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup - Natalie Cole


Darling, je vous aime beaucoup
Je ne sais pas what to do
You know you've completely
Stolen my heart

Morning, noon and night-time too
Toujours, wondering what to do
That's the way I've felt
Right from the start

Ah, Chèrie
My love for you is très, très fort
Wish my French were good enough
I'd tell you so much more

But I hope that you compris
All the things you mean to me
Darling, je vous aime beaucoup
I love you, yes I do

Wish my French were good enough
I'd tell you so much more

But I hope that you compris
All the things you mean to me
Darling, je vous aime beaucoup
I love you, yes I do

(Darling, je vous aime beaucoup)
I love you, yes I do


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