Vampire Slayer: The Next Generation
No, no, no, no, no. This can so not be happening. I made a promise a few years back and now it has come to bite me on the butt. Didn’t they realize that I would have said anything, promised anything as long as Buffy came back? They didn’t really think I could be the next slayer did they? Cripes, most of my spells went cablooey how in the hell was I going to be able to save us when the next apocalypse came? Maybe if I promised something else they’ll let me bring Buffy back. I mean she’s died like three times now and come back twice. What’s one more? I am so NOT ready to be the next Slayer.
Xander knocked softly on the door, “You ready, Will?”
I took one final look in the mirror before answering Xander. I mumbled, “As I’ll ever be.”
I followed Xander down the stairs and into the living room where the others were waiting. Angel and Cordelia were on the couch holding hands and giving each other comfort. Xander had moved over to Anya’s side and put his arm around her. She still wasn’t used to humans dieing. I looked up and caught the sad look in Giles’ eyes. When he saw me, he came over to offer a comforting hug.
He was the only one, besides Buffy, that knew the whole truth. He was the only one I told about the deal I made with the Powers That Be the summer after Buffy died in her battle against Glory.
“How are you holding up?”
“As well as can be expected I guess. Where’s Spike?”
“He took Dawn and is going to meet us at the cemetery. They wanted some time alone.”
I nodded understanding. This was especially hard on both of them. When Buffy was brought back the last time they had become closer. They were a family. Oddly enough, it wasn’t until Spike got over his obsession with Buffy that they grew closer. Not in a lover sort of way but in a caring best friend way. Spike and Buffy loved each other but they weren’t in love with each other.
Suddenly, I felt a tingling along my spine. It felt like when your leg goes numb. Great, now I’m having a heart attack. Is that a symptom of a heart attack? Of course, that would solve my problems. The Powers could just call another Slayer. And hey, we were going to Buffy’s funeral anyway. We could have two for the price of one.
I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned around. Angel was behind me.
“Can we talk?”
Crap. “Sure. You guys go ahead we’ll catch up.”
Angel waited until we were alone. “Something you want to tell me, Willow?”
I tried the innocent eyes. “Not that I can think of.” Wouldn’t you know Angel’s vampire senses had to kick in? It couldn’t be blocked because of grief. Of course not. That would have been too easy. I so didn’t want to have this conversation.
“Willow I sense a Slayer near by and since you are the only one here and I know I’m not one...”
Who knew Angel could be a smartass?
“Angel, I do have something to tell everyone but I don’t think today is the day. I just want to get through Buffy’s funeral, okay? I promise I’ll tell you everything later.”
Maybe he noticed the dark circles under my eyes that the cover up didn’t really cover up. Maybe it was my ‘Resolve Face’. Whatever it was Angel saw, he decided to let it drop and he took my hand.
We arrived at one of the many Sunnydale cemeteries. The gang had gathered outside the mausoleum that was to be Buffy’s last home. Buffy’s last request had been that she was to be cremated. She didn’t want to take any chances of coming back as a vampire. Through many arguments, Spike finally respected her last wish and he hadn’t turned her.
As I walked up to give Spike a hug, I noticed the tingling again. Must be the Slayer thing telling me a vampire is around. God, it’s annoying. How did Buffy, Faith and Kendra put up with it? It’s like little bugs crawling under my skin.
I walked up next to Spike and got a group hug with him and Dawn. Thank God his vampire senses were dulled by grief. I so needed a group hug about now. The world seemed to be pressing in on me. God, how did Buffy do this day in and day out since she was like 15? No wonder she ran away a few times. I’m 21 and I feel like running away.
Giles said a few words but to be honest I have no idea what he said. I just let the sound of his voice flow over me. I thought back to that day that I made the stupid deal.
We had defeated Glory but the cost was two of our own. Tara hadn’t made it through the battle. Physically she was here but mentally she had never recovered. Her godparents had come to take her to a nice facility outside Seattle.
Buffy sacrificed herself for Dawn and for us. I saw the vortex that she had fallen into. Was it a demon realm? Was it limbo? I had to know. I couldn’t stand the thought of my best friend spending eternity in a demon realm.
I went to LA to tell Angel the news of Buffy’s death. It wasn’t until the next day that I heard Cordelia talking about the Powers That Be and how Angel was their warrior. I told Angel my fears about Buffy not resting peacefully and how I just had to find out. I was hoping he could get me to see these Powers. He agreed to help.
We entered a white room. Two people came forward and demanded to know why Angel was there to see them. I did the second stupidest thing, the first being asking to see them. I stepped forward and said that it was me that requested the meeting. That was when they banished Angel and I was by myself. I told them about Buffy’s sacrifice and they snottily said they already knew about that. Like it was nothing.
That just pissed me off royally. I asked how could the Powers not care about the Slayer that had fought so valiantly on the side of good. Why should any of us fight for good if the Powers didn’t give a rat’s ass about any of us?
“You must care very deeply for your Slayer?”
“Of course, I do. She’s not only my best friend but she’s the reason I decided to fight the demons.”
“You would do anything to bring her back? You would take her place?”
Stupid, sneaky PTB! “Yes, of course.”
“Done? What Done? What does that mean?”
“You’ve agreed to take Buffy’s place as the Slayer.”
“When? I did not!”
“We’ll give you the power to bring the Slayer back from the limbo that she is in but the condition is that when she dies again and she will, you’ll take her place as the Slayer.”
Shit, shit, shit. What I won’t do for Buffy!
With that I found myself standing outside with Angel. “Buffy’s in limbo and they gave me the power to bring her back.”
A gentle hand on my shoulder brought me out of my memories. I looked up into Xander’s sad smile and gave him a hug.
“Need Air. You been working out, Wills?”
Stupid Slayer Strength.
Everybody had agreed to meet back at the Summers’ house tonight. I guess it’s my house now since I bought it for Buffy after her mom died. Thank goodness I do computer programming still. Last year I had developed a computer game based on our lives slaying and it had taken off. Now, I don’t have to work for some time. Stupid Powers probably had a hand in that too.
I needed to tell everyone about being the Slayer. I didn’t want them to see my newly acquired skills while we were out patrolling. Plus, I really suck at lying. Everyone knows a new Slayer will probably come to guard the Hellmouth, they just don’t know it’s me. Giles said he would come over early and give me moral support. I have no idea what I would have done without his support or Buffy’s after I told them about the deal.
Dawn’s been spending most of her time with Spike down in the basement. That has been a small blessing, because I have no idea how she is going to take the news. She’s had a lot of loss in her young life. Okay her life is like only a couple of years but still she lost her mom, Buffy and Tara was sent away.
Am I supposed to be the “Guardian of the Key” now? Will she lose all her memories as Buffy’s sister and suddenly have memories of being my little sister? Now that we’ve defeated Glory does that mean “The Key” is no longer needed and the monks will come get their mystical energy back? God, my head is hurting.
A knock on the door interrupts my thoughts.
“Hi, Giles.” I immediately feel like everything is going to be okay. Why is that all my burdens don’t seem so heavy when I’m around Giles? That’s another thought for another day. “Would you like some tea?”
“Yes, thank you.”
After we both settle on the couch I decide to just get the question about Watchers out of the way. God, I hope I don’t get a dweeb like Wesley was in high school.
“Am I going to have an official Watcher?”
“I’ve talked to the Council about that. Your calling was under very different circumstances. You were hand-picked, as it were, by the Powers instead of being called naturally on Buffy’s death.”
“Soooo, no Watcher?”
“Not officially no. It seems they consider you a warrior for the Powers instead of ‘a Slayer’.”
A warrior for the Powers. I like that, Willow, Warrior Princess. Hhmm, maybe I’ll wear a cool outfit like Xena. I could decapitate a lot of vampires with a chakram.
Spike and Dawn’s entrance brings me out of my Warrior kicking ass fantasies. Back to the reality of my life.
“Hey Willow. Hi Giles.”
Before I can say anything Angel, Xander, Cordelia and Anya come in. Man, when it rains it pours. So much for having time with Giles so he can build up my courage before everyone comes over. Sure, the one time that everyone shows up on time is the one time I wish that they were late. What I wouldn’t give for a Big Bad to come to town now. Shit, I forgot. Hellmouth, be careful for what you wish for.
“Anybody want anything to drink?” Hoping to postpone the inevitable.
After everyone gets settled I take a deep breath. “IkindamadeadealwiththePowersafterBuffydiedwithGlory.”
At their confused looks and a few huhs I repeated slower. “I kinda made a deal with the Powers after Buffy died with Glory.”
Angel spoke up, “What kind of deal?”
Oh, he was just moving right up my list of those I’m gonna stake. With that question he leapfrogged right over Harmony.
“There was a condition attached to bringing Buffy out of limbo. They would give me that power because I agreed to take her place. I thought they meant in limbo. They meant for me to take her place as a Slayer when she died.”
Just then chaos erupted. I stood there watching the pacing, the yelling, the questions. How could this happen? What does this mean? So you’re the new Slayer? Are you okay Willow? Why Willow? Yadda yadda yadda.
Surprisingly enough, Dawn took this calmer than a lot of them besides Angel. I think he had a suspicion when he felt that I was a Slayer. She came over and gave me a hug. You know, for a mystical energy blob she’s a very sweet kid.
“That’s enough.” Giles used his Watcher voice to shut everyone up. I so gotta learn that trick.
“It seems that the Powers picked Willow to take Buffy’s place. We don’t know what they have planned at this point but whatever it is I am sure we are all going to be here to help Willow.”
Xander came up, “Are you okay, Willow?”
That’s my bestest bud. “Yeah, Xan. I’ll be okay.”
I looked over at Spike. He was the other wild card I was worried about. He and Buffy had been so close. On the way out the door he stopped by me and whispered. “Always second, eh Red.”
I closed my eyes. After all this time he still knows how to cut deep with the truth.
Angel’s vampire hearing must have picked it up because he got up to go after him. When he was going passed me I laid a hand on his arm. “He just needs time to adjust, he misses her a lot. I don’t think he would have liked anyone that came to take Buffy’s place.” At least that’s what I’m telling myself and I hope it’s true.
I felt a hand taking mine and giving it a squeeze. I looked up into Giles’ concerned and sympathetic face. I squeezed his hand back and gave him a trembling smile. I would not break down in front of everyone. Maybe later.
I straightened my spine and turned back to everyone. They were all looking at me expectantly. Like I was going to impart some great wisdom or something. My act must be working. They don’t seem to notice that I’m terrified. Giles can of course. I still have a death grip on his hand. He must have been used to it with Buffy because he wasn’t even wincing.
“I guess it’s time to see what these new skills can do. Anyone want to go with me while I take it for a test drive?”
Xander and Angel came to stand by me. “Let’s go.” “Right with you.”
We walked into the night and I had only one thought. Hell must have truly frozen over. Xander and Angel were walking by my side and they weren’t sniping at each other. This can be a good thing.
I stopped walking and just felt the night. It felt different somehow. Angel turned around and looked back at me with concern. “You okay, Willow?”
“Yeah, I’m just feeling the night. With Buffy’s funeral and everything I haven’t taken the time to experience the Slayer stuff. All my senses feel heightened. The sounds, the feelings, everything.”
He just smiled at me. “Yeah, it’s a bit overwhelming at first. Buffy and I used to talk about it. I told her that what you’re feeling as a Slayer is a little like what I felt when I was a fledgling. Except of course you don’t feel the blood coursing through humans and get hungry.”
Okay, this smartass Angel is going to take some getting used to. I think Cordelia is rubbing off on him.
“What’s wrong, you guys coming or what?”
Who would’ve thought that Xander was anxious to go patrolling. I caught up to him and hook my arm through his. “Just checking to see if I have any new found Spidey Sense. Or probably in this case checking for a Bat signal.”
We entered the park and the bugs crawling under the skin begin in earnest. I’m starting to be able to distinguish between the different bug crawlings. I get a slightly different feeling from Angel than anyone else. I figure it’s his soul. I try to concentrate and see if I can tell how many vampires are in the area. Nope can’t tell. Just vampires.
I whisper to Xander, “I feel vampires nearby, get ready.” I hand him a stake ‘cause I didn’t see him bring one. That’s my Xander. Always willing to be there for me without any thought for himself.
I take a deep breath. I guess now’s the time to see if the Powers REALLY screwed up when they tricked me into being the next ‘Chosen One’.
As we get closer to the center of the park I notice there are three vampires. Angel must have noticed them at the same time because he put himself in front of me.
OK. That worked when I was Wicca Willow, Slayer Sidekick. But hey, I’m supposed to be the Chosen One now dammit. No more protecting me.
I stepped back around him and glared. I took a fighting stance and got ready to kick ass for the first time.
As the first vampire attacked Angel, I turned to the other two. Xander went after one and I turned to the last one. I went into a roundhouse kick and missed. Oh this is so embarrassing. Now I’m embarrassed and pissed. I turn the kick into a sweep turn and aim for the legs like I meant to do that. Got him that time. Woo Hoo. No time to do a happy dance, maybe later.
I hear Xander’s shout and look up just in time to see him stake a vampire. I feel the vampire grab my shoulder. I stop thinking and let the senses take over. I bring a fist up over my shoulder and hit him in the face and as he falls I turn and stake him, right next to his heart.
Damn, I can’t believe I missed. I aim again and Bingo. . . DUST!
Okay, so maybe not the auspicious beginning that I hoped for but I used Slayer strength and I had some cool Slayer moves that I didn’t even know I could do. All in all my first try as a Slayer was a success. Besides, Buffy told me that she missed her first vampire’s heart too.
I went back to where Angel and Xander were. I high fived Xander hoping they hadn’t seen my kick miss and that I missed the heart the first time.
“Wow, Wills. I still can’t believe that you’re the new Slayer. I mean I saw you fight and stake that vampire but ...”
“I know, Xan. I’m not quite used to it either. When I fight, it’s like someone else is taking over my body.” Not mentioning that sometimes it feels like Eurkel is the one that has taken over my body. Can there be a geeky Slayer?
I feel like my confidence is getting better and my energy is high. I feel like I can take on a bunch of vampires. Huh, is that a pack, a gaggle, a school? What do you call a group of vampires? You’d think they would give me a Slayer handbook. I hate not being prepared.
We continue patrolling through the Sunnydale streets and we aren’t finding any action. I’m beginning to let my guard down and just enjoy being Willow with her friends walking through the streets when I start to feel strange.
“Angel?” He stops and looks at me. “I feel kinda funny. It’s not like when I’m around you or other vampires. Do you sense anything?”
I see him concentrate. “No, Can you describe what you’re feeling?”
I try to put the feeling into words. “It’s like I feel a cold breeze on my skin but there isn’t one.”
“Do you feel it only here on this street, like it’s a location thing or like something is coming?”
“What, like ‘by the prick of my thumb something wicked this way comes’? I don’t think so. It’s more like it’s here, not this street but Sunnydale.”
Xander’s standing next to me and puts his arm around me. “Let’s go back to the house. Maybe Giles knows what the feeling is. It just could be something Slayer-y.”
When we get back to the house everyone is still there, except Spike. I guess he’s still working through this whole me being Slayer thing.
Giles looks up as we came in through the door. “You’re back earlier than I expected. Everything go alright?”
“Yeah, we met up with some vamps in the park and Willow did some Slayer moves and staked a vampire.” Xander said.
Giles comes up to me, “Are you all right?”
“Yeah, I’m okay. I just feel funny. I feel like there’s a cool breeze over my skin. You know when you get a sudden chill and people say ‘Oh, someone just walked over my grave.’ It’s like that and I don’t know what it means.”
He turns to Angel, “You don’t sense anything?”
“No, but I’ll ask around and see if anything is happening. Someone at Willy’s will probably know something.”
“Should I go, too? Buffy usually went to Willy’s.”
“I think it would be better if you kept a low profile just now. No one knows who took Buffy’s place and I’d rather not advertise that you’re the new Slayer just yet.”
“Ok, then I’ll research. I can be research girl. We can look in the Codex. Maybe there’s something in there.”
Xander and Anya got ready to leave. “You gonna be okay? You were pretty kick ass tonight.”
“Yeah, I’ll be fine. Thanks for going along with me tonight.” I said as everybody left.
I turned to Giles, “Research at your place?”
“Why don’t we research in the morning? Angel may find out something tonight and you had a pretty emotional night already.”
I look at Giles and say softly, “Do you think Spike will come around?”
“I suspect that he will, given time.”
I sit on the couch and Giles follows me. I get comfortable and lean my head on his shoulder. “You know, if I had thought about doing anything like this I would have thought I would have become a Watcher. I never thought about Slaying.” I lift my head and look him in the eyes. “Tell me honestly, do you think I can do this? I mean you said earlier that I wasn’t called ‘naturally’.”
“Oh Willow, even if the Powers hadn’t picked you for a reason I have no doubt that you will make a wonderful Slayer. Slayers have the heart of a lion and the will to fight evil. You have already proven that you have those abilities.”
I smile at him and lay my head back on his shoulder. It feels great to just have quiet time with Giles.
I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I remember is hearing Giles speaking softly on the phone.
“Yes, she’s exhausted. She fell asleep waiting to hear from you and I think the stress of the last few days has finally caught up with her. Did you hear anything at Willy’s?”
Then there was quiet as he listened to whatever Angel was telling him.
“Thanks Angel. I’ll look into it.”
I walked up behind him, “So, what did Angel find out?”
Giles turned quickly, “Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.”
I just smiled. “Did Angel find anything?”
“A start anyway. It seems that there has been an increase in the demon population in the area. Willy thinks it’s just news of the Slayer’s death and demons want to come find out for themselves.”
“What do you think?”
“It’s a possibility. Or they could be coming here for a different reason.”
“Well, research for me and research and training for you. Tomorrow or should I say later today will be soon enough. You should go upstairs and get some rest.”
“Thanks, Giles. It’s late . . . Do you want to stay in the spare room?”
He smiled, “Thanks for the offer, but I think I’ll just go home.”
I walked him out to his car and gave him a hug goodbye. I whispered in his ear, “Thank you for everything, Giles. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
His arms tightened their hold on me for just a second and I thought how nice it was to be held in his arms.
WHOA! Where did that thought come from? I gently pull away and watch as he leaves.
I make my way back inside and just listen to the quiet of the house. Everyone has left to go home and it’s very still. Spike hasn’t returned, at least I couldn’t feel him or hear him and Dawn was staying with friends. God, I miss Buffy.
I walked slowly up the stairs and looked in Buffy’s room. It looked like she was just away on vacation or something. I felt kinda uncomfortable, like an intruder. I had moved out when Buffy and Spike had become a family.
One evening I had walked in on Buffy, Spike and Dawn laughing in the kitchen. While watching them enjoying themselves, I felt like a third wheel. Oh, nothing that they did. I just felt like a kid looking in the window of a toy store and not being able to go inside and enjoy the toys there. I had made the decision the next morning to move out.
It felt strange to be back in this house. I’m not even sure if it’s a permanent situation or not. It depends on what is worked out with Dawn and her father. I think it would be best for her if she stayed here but for that to happen I’d need to move in and take over raising her. I don’t see the courts giving Spike guardianship even though I know that he would take care of her.
Maybe after some decent sleep it won’t look so bad in the morning.
I wake up in a cold sweat. With shaking limbs I go into the bathroom and splash water on my face. Well, I either just had a nightmare or one of those prophetic dreams that Buffy used to have.
I need to talk to Giles and hope he knows what this means or at least he’ll calm me down. I quickly dress and drive over to his apartment. As I get ready to knock I realize I didn’t even call to see if he’s there. God please be here. I knock and wait, shifting my weight from one foot to the next.
“Willow, are you alright?”
I open my mouth to say something and the next thing I know I fling myself into his arms.
“Willow, what’s wrong?”
“I had a dream last night and I don’t know what it means. Maybe nothing. I don’t know, Giles. I just woke up terrified with my heart pounding. Am I having an anxiety attack, am I going insane, am I making too much out of nothing? God, how did Buffy do this?”
“First of all, Buffy had a great support system of her friends. You have the same friends to support you in this and we’ll always be here for you. Now, let me get you some tea and tell me what was in your dream.”
Nice, calming, logical Giles. The scary stuff never seems as scary when I’m with him. I take calming breaths. God, I’ve lived on the Hellmouth my whole life and face death day to day. I even faced a Hell Goddess and I lived through werewolf attacks, why was I feeling so overwhelmed with this Slayer stuff?
Giles came back in with the tea. There is nothing like herbal tea with Giles to calm the nerves.
I smile my thanks and gather my thoughts.
“My dream starts out with me walking through a fog covered forest. There are trees all around and I can’t really see anything. I feel like there is something out there watching me but I can’t see it. I continue walking and the forest gets silent. I mean no sounds at all. I can hear my breathing but that’s it. There is a light ahead and I can sense there is evil there but something keeps drawing me forward. As I approach I see a white wolf with pink eyes, not a werewolf though. The wolf morphs into a very pale man. Not like a vampire but like an albino. He says, ‘I have been waiting for one such as you. A witch and a slayer. The power that you hold will be my key.’ Then, demons of all shapes and sizes appear next to me and surround me. That’s when I hear you and the others calling my name like you’re searching for me. But you can’t reach me and I can’t escape the demons.”
“That was when I woke up shaking. Dawn has been on my mind lately, do you think that’s why I dreamt about that guy talking about the power will be his key?”
“Did you dream of Dawn?”
“No, that’s why I’m not sure. I didn’t hear her voice when everyone was calling for me, either.”
“I’ll call everyone together tonight to meet at the Magic Shoppe and we’ll research this. It might be nothing but I’ve never heard of a Slayer being both a Witch and a Slayer. Maybe the Powers knew something was coming and your combined abilities will defeat it.”
I mumble, “Or, maybe my combined abilities is what it needs and the Powers set me up as a sacrificial lamb.” I’m not feeling all that friendly towards the PTB.
Giles just looks at me and ignores my mumbling whining. “Cordelia left me a message last night on my machine. She and Angel had to return to Los Angeles. It seems she had a vision and they were needed there.”
“I guess there’s no rest for the Warriors for the Powers. I’ll meet you at the Magic Shoppe later for research and training, okay?”
“Willow, you know I’m always here for you. If you need to talk about anything you can come to me. It doesn’t have to be about being a Slayer. If you feel the need to talk about anything, you know I’m always here for you, right?”
I smile my thanks. I think my crush on Giles is coming back. Why can’t I meet a guy like Giles?
I see Xander coming up the sidewalk towards the Magic Shoppe. I stop and wave, waiting for him to meet me. “Hey, Xander. You’re here early.”
“Yeah, I got off early and since we were going to meet here later anyway I thought I’d spend it helping you train.”
Since when is Xander interested in Slayer training? I wonder if this is one of the signs of the apocalypse. First no sniping with Angel all night long and now wanting to help in Slayer training. Ok who are you and what have you done with Xander?
I must have had a confused look on my face ‘cause he went on to explain. “Anya doesn’t want me helping in the Magic Shoppe. She says I scare the customers away and she can’t make money. Man, she can hold a grudge. I mean it was only that one time when I was playing with the mummied monkey’s paw and she never lets me forget it.”
“Hello! Xander! Ex-vengeance demon. Of course she’s going to hold a grudge.” I say smiling.
I greet Anya and Giles. “Xander’s going to help me with my training before researching.”
Anya just waves and continues taking inventory. Giles looks over at me with that half smile of his. As I follow Xander to the training room I roll my eyes at Giles and smile.
“So you have any ideas about training?”
“Well, I was thinking . . . I was watching Star Wars last night and there were some really good training exercises in it. You know that time that Tara did that spell and we couldn’t see the demons that came here? Well, I thought you could try to sharpen your skills by not using your sense of sight.”
I start to laugh, “You want me to put a blindfold on and feel the force?”
“Yeah, something like that.” Xander says sheepishly.
“Actually that’s not a bad idea.” Giles says from the doorway.
“Yeah, score one for the Xan-man.”
Giles ignored Xander. “Since you aren’t use to being a Slayer yet, that would probably help you get familiar with your new abilities.”
As Xander is picturing himself as Obi Wan or maybe Yoda, I’m seeing myself not as Luke but as Eurkel again. Slamming my way around the training room, ‘Oh, did I do that?’ I hope this works.
I put on a blindfold and Xander is putting on a protective suit in case I actually can do this.
Ok, I can do this. I concentrate and get hit on the shoulder by Xander. Not a very good beginning.
“Willow, you’re over thinking. Just let the senses take over.”
“Yeah, Willow. Feel the force.”
If I didn’t have this blindfold on they both would be getting death glares and see my rolling eyes. Over thinking. That’s the first time I’ve been accused of using my brain too much. I wonder if it’s against Slayer rules to stick your tongue at your not official Watcher.
So I shut down my brain and let the force take over. I hear Xander approach, I raise my arm and block him. I hear his moves and block them. It’s not like I feel them through any Spidey Sense but my sense of hearing is better.
I’m going to try to go on the offense and hit Xander. I kick to where I think he is and I feel my kick connect with the padded suit. Yeah, score one for the force.
“Good one, Willow.”
“Hit him harder, Willow.” I hear Anya yell. Sometimes I wonder about Xander and Anya.
Now my force is really working, I can feel Xander’s moves. I feel a tingling like I get when a vampire is near. I know Angel’s in Los Angeles and I haven’t seen Spike since I told everyone. Maybe the tingling is also a Slayer is tired signal. I hear Xander back away and I feel someone approach me from behind. I turn and block a blow.
“Good one, Red.” Says a British voice I wasn’t expecting.
We continue sparring for a few more minutes before I take off my blindfold. I look into a pair of blue eyes I was hoping to see.
“I brought the little bit so she could help research and Anya said you were training back here with moron. I didn’t want to waste an opportunity of watching you beat up on him.”
I smile. I think that is as close to a verbal acceptance as I’m going to get from Spike. I’m happy.
I turn and help Xander get out of his suit. “Thanks. I was able to feel the force.” I whisper so only he can hear, “I feel better about what I can do now, thanks Xander.”
Giles approaches, “You both did very well. Willow, you did really well while you were sparring with Spike. I could tell he wasn’t holding anything back and you were able to block his blows and get a few in yourself.”
Ok, so maybe not Eurkel anymore. I think I’m getting the hang of this.
We all gather back in the shop and everyone looks at Giles expectantly. “So, what are we researching? Did Angel find anything at Willy’s?”
“Why did the poof go to Willy’s?”
Giles tells Spike about my patrolling last night and the weird feeling I had. He went on to tell everyone about what Angel found out and my dream.
Dawn asks in a small voice, “Do you think I’m the key the man talks about?”
Spike goes to put an arm around her shoulders to give her comfort.
“I don’t know, Dawn. But you weren’t in my dream so that’s probably a good thing. Besides the man in my dream says he was waiting for me and the power I hold. This could just be a dream and not mean anything. Like Freud said, ‘sometimes a cigar is just a cigar’.”
I see Xander reach over and put his hand over Anya’s mouth before she can say anything.
After a couple of hours of fruitless research, Spike stands and gets ready to leave. “You goin’ patrolling, Slayer?”
I look up from a volume on shapeshifters and smile. Spike called me Slayer in a nice voice not a ‘when I get this chip out I’m going to kill you’ voice. “Might as well, I’m not finding anything here. Why, you want to come along?”
“I’ll walk with you a little bit. You know, watch your moves, critique your style and generally make fun of how you’re doing it.”
I roll my eyes, it’s nice to have my friend Spike back. “Wait here for me, Dawn and I’ll take you back home. I’ll do a quick sweep through the cemeteries and be back.”
“OK. See ya, Willow. Bye, Spike.”
As Spike and I approach the third cemetery, he stiffens. About that time I feel a tingling. A lot of tingling. I think we’ve come across that gaggle, pack or school of vampires I was looking for last night with Angel.
No time to get into fighting stance as they surround and attack. Spike goes to my back and we are fighting back to back. In the midst of the fighting I smile. Spike trusts me enough to guard his back as he’s guarding mine. After a few minutes we’ve dusted all but one.
Spike grabs him by the throat and growls. “What are you guarding, mate?”
“Why should I tell you?”
“Because if you don’t I’ll stake you.”
“You’ll stake me anyway.”
“Always a possibility, but if you don’t tell me I can make your death a slow and painful one.”
“We weren’t guarding anything. We were looking for something. There’s a rumor that a powerful being is coming here looking for a mystical power that will help him.”
“Help him do what?” I ask.
“Fight the first evil.”
“Why were you looking in a cemetery?”
“The rumor says he’ll find the power among the dead. That’s all I know.”
“Right.” With that Spike dusted him.
“What’s the first evil?”
“It’s a demon even older than the first vampire. I thought it was a myth. Like what you would call a bogeyman.”
Okay, I’m really hating the Powers now.
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