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Chapter Eleven: The Xandered Eye
"Good plan, Spike."-Spike
It was actually quite funny, the expression on the whelps face, when he saw me in the doorway. I'd been standing there, quiet as a vampire can be, listening to good-old Gilly get the run-down on our little encounter for a few minutes before the boy noticed me. When he did I could easily sense his changing emotions. First there was pure fear, followed quickly by good old fashioned lust and then annoyance.
I could understand the fear. He's been caught admitting to being a Poofter, as if that kiss hadn't been admission enough. I understood, though, in my infinite wisdom gathered through a long life, that such admissions must be made to oneself before any real shagging could be gotten to. I definitely understood the lust. How could my studly self all wet and handsome, wrapped loosely in a rather small towel not arouse him? I admire his restraint. If I were the whelp, I'd have been all over my luscious self. What I couldn't get was the annoyance.
Sure, I'd eavesdropped on a private conversation, but it wasn't like he didn't know I would. Hello! Vampire here, I'm evil and I have damn good ears and bollocks if I won't use'm. If Xan didn't want to get shagged by the likes of me, he'd have worn more about the flat and wouldn't have acted like Dru, all vulnerable and vicious at once. He was beggin' for a good seein' too and seein' as I'm falling in love with the wanker and Gilly claims that my pet loves me, why shouldn't I use every opportunity to move in on him?
I waited calmly, arms crossed over my impressive chest and leaned on the doorframe, waiting for him to invite me into his bed. After a moment he stood up and smoothed his long pretty hair down, then hung up the phone that he'd dropped. "You should go get dressed, then get a hold of some of your more militant buddies for the meeting at six. Giles wants everyone to be there." He said, soft voice taking on an edge. I could still smell the lust on him, but there was also indignation right along with it. I straightened up.
"But pet, we were-" He cut me off with a Angelus-like glare.
"Go get dressed. We have a world to save and I doubt your flashing the enemy will have the desired effect." I started to protest again but he stopped me again. "Go!"
Yeah. I bollocks'd up the whole shagging thing, but I would have my Xander sooner or later and what can I say? Being denied and ordered around by such a cute little mortal managed to make me want him more. I'm a bitch like that. I left to get dressed and grinned at the relieved sigh I heard. He'd crack soon enough.
"Ladies, gentlemen, spiny-headed looking creatures..."-Trick
Sometimes pain is to be preferred to other things. Things like thought. I finished beating myself up with my mangled copy of an old Star Trek novel called "Q-in-Law" and picked up the phone again. On autopilot, my mind still on Spike's scantily clad appearance, I called my work friends and told the ones I could reach about the meeting. When I was done I brushed my hair quickly, put on some lip-gloss, told myself to stop acting like a sissy-girl and that primping for Spike was WRONG, then I went out into the main room to collect my vampire for a fun-filled night of "How the hell do we not get dead?"
Spike, of course, was being a pain in the ass about being collected and I had to threaten him with the death of his duster by zippo lighter before he came down from his loft. He snatched my hostage out of my hands and shrugged it on before he locked the door and followed me into the hall. Gilly ran to catch up with us from his place down the hall and we all walked in silence to the car ignoring the Incubus's "Inquiring minds want to know!" looks.
Spike took the keys from my hand when we reached my car so I shrugged and went to the seat behind his, giving Gilly shotgun as was polite. I really didn't want to get into the "I drive MY car" argument just then. I couldn't see Spike in the rearview mirror but I was sure to shoot many angry glares in his direction just in case he was looking during the trip to the college. How dare he just assume that because of one extremely hot tasty, lust-causing kiss that I would fall all over his almost naked extremely lickable, very well built sexy body! I frowned when I started getting hot and flustered again. <Dammit! Maybe Wills can do a de-lusting spell on me or something.>
I glowered at Gilly too. He should have known Spike would be listening! I don't care if he wasn't in the room! He should have known! I blinked. <Great, now I've mastered girl-logic. I should have just flung myself at him. If I were really still a man I would've listened to what passed for my dick these days. 'Oh Spike, you undead sex god! Take me! Take me hard!'> I started laughing at the scene in my head earning a curious look from Gilly. I razzed him and went back to glowering at Spike.
<I'm right, though!> I insisted to myself. <He shouldn't be pushing me so quickly! This isn't something I should just leap into on a whim because sex with vampires on a whim is soooo not a good thing. Sex with vampires is hazardous and should only be done with much forethought and planning!> I shivered, trying out a little forethought. <Oooooo that would be nice...> I smacked myself.
Climbing out of the car, I waited for my friends to join me in the post-dusk dark and then set out toward the lecture hall, waving greetings to people and demons that I recognized. Gilly quickly broke off to rendezvous with a green thing with fuzzy horns. The night air had a desperate flavor to it, making everyone nervous. Or it was the whole alien invasion thing that made them nervous and not the air because that was just silly if not overly dramatic. I was forced to smile at my own inner musings, still too huffy to share with my vampire-shaped shadow.
"Xander! Spike!" At the familiar voice I instantly felt my irritation and worries melt away. My co-conspirator against reality had arrived. Willow jumped on me for a marvelous squish-hug and then surprised us by hugging Spike. "I'm so glad you're okay! Angel told me what happened to you two and I can't believe you're okay already, Spike, thank you so much for saving Xander I would die if something happened to him and I think I'll bake you some cookies when this is all over and Xander Buffy said something to me that I'm confused about, should I give Spike the shovel talk? Or is it too soon for that? I won't if its not what Buffy and I think it is but if it is what we think it is then I should give him the talk because Riley got the talk and I wouldn't want Spike to feel left out since he's a Scooby now and I hope that's not too offensive to your Big Badness for me to say that but I think its perfect!" I think she hit a record for longest babble on lease amount of air. She was looking at me and Spike, a suspicious look in her green eyes, but with the slightest trace of a grin waiting on her lips that was visible only to the Xandered eye.
"Uh, I don't know about the shovel thing, Wills. I guess if you feel the need to threaten him, go ahead. Or you could skip that part and go straight to the beating." I answered her when my Willow-babble translation circuits caught up. I was keeping my answer vague. I didn't want to give Spike the opportunity to make fun of me, which he definitely would if he knew what the shovel talk actually meant. I glanced at Spike who was staring at her with wonder and confusion in his <der-her purty> eyes. He turned to me.
"What?" He asked. I grinned and Willow mock-scowled. She knew very well how confusing she was. I took pity on the vampire and translated.
"She means 'Thanks for saving Xander and do I have to threaten you?'" I informed him. He nodded sagely and turned back to Willow who waited impatiently, bouncing slightly on her feet. He studied her, seemingly running through her words again, a shrewd look on his beautiful face.
"I want chocolate chip cookies and I think I'll require the infamous shovel talk by the end of the night." He told her with a wink. I growled at him. Willow blinked at him in shock then smacked his arm.
"Shame on you, Spike!" She scolded then turned to me and put her arm around my shoulder, leading us toward the now crowded lecture room. "I'm not baking him cookies anymore if he's going to act like such a-"
"Evil vampire?" I offered. She frowned.
"Well I was going to say 'man', but yours works too." She agreed with a bob of her red head. I allowed her to steer us to the row of reserved seats in the front where Angel was speaking with Giles and Wesley in hushed tones. The lecture hall was filling up pretty quickly so I was glad there were seats saved for us. I pulled Wills with me to Giles' little group.
"Hey General Giles, you been watching the news?" I asked him. He nodded, looking more distracted than usual. I think it might've been the aliens. Or the fifty or so demons in the room. Whatever. "Did you see the Warlock take out those soldiers?" I asked him. Wesley and Angel diverted their full attention to me as well.
"Warlock?" Angel asked intensely. "Where? What happened?" He was looming over me. It was quite annoying. I stepped back as Spike stepped even with me and slipped an arm around my waist, growling at Angel. The shorter vampire was much better. He may be a presumptive ass, but he didn't loom.
"Earlier there was footage of a bunch of soldiers getting their asses kicked and one of them was a warlock. He knocked out ET's shields with lightning and knocked them around a bit with wind. It took him out of the fight but it gave his men a tiny little opening." I reported to Giles, ignoring Angel.
Giles nodded speculatively. "This is good news. So far the invaders have been impervious to any sort of physical attack. Their shielding is just too powerful. If we could remove the problem then our military could perhaps regain control." He turned to Wesley and began jabbering on in that crazy non-translatable Watcher-speak. I shrugged and looked at Wills and then up at Spike.
"I've made my unexpected contribution of the day, anyone want donuts?" I grinned. Wills poked me in the belly and Spike frowned.
"Alright everyone, please be seated, we would like to begin!" Giles announced in a surprisingly loud voice. Everyone began shuffling to his or her seat. I followed Wills to the row reserved for the Scoobies and their cousins from Angel Investigations. Buffy caught me before I could sit, though and glaring at Spike to stay, dragged me to the side of the room.
When I faced her on the sidelines she gave me a freaked out look that instantly had me worried. "Buff, what is it?" She pushed her slightly mussed hair back with a shaking hand.
"Xan, I know this is a bad time but I need to go for a few minutes. Riley's being called back into service and the whole Initiative is being disbanded and transferred to regular service. He has to leave in a few minutes. He has to go to the front lines." Seeing how upset she was, I was finally struck by the seriousness of what was going on. This was a full out war and we were all fighting it. Us Scoobies were used to this kind of thing, but normal people were being sent to die without a choice. This wasn't the way it was supposed to be. I hugged Buffy tightly and gave her a now fake smile.
"Go see him off, Buff, I'll let you borrow my notes for the final." I told her. She gave me a grateful look and slipped out a side door. I took a deep breath and turned to see Spike's eyes on me from his seat in the middle of the front row between Willow and Buffy's mother, Joyce. That really surprised me. Joyce just seemed so out of place in a war council. I frowned then. Spike didn't save me a spot. There were no free seats left in the place. As it was people were standing along the walls as well.
Giles had already began to explain exactly what we knew about the enemy and just what we had on our side. I looked back at Spike. He shrugged, a smirk on his face. I sighed. Yet another wonderful moment of Spike trying to prove he was still evil, despite the fact that he was patting Joyce's hand reassuringly. I stifled my smile. Those two were the strangest pair of friends I'd ever seen. I resolutely made my way to Spike's seat and slumped onto the floor in front of him, making myself comfortable against his legs.
As Giles started to give us the estimated number of casualties as of this afternoon, I reached up to my right and found Wills' hand. Gripping that, I listened, a sick feeling in my stomach as Giles began to take notes on the blackboard of what kind of support the SunnyHell had from its varied residents. Witches, Warlocks, and Demons volunteered their assistance in such surprising numbers that I began to feel a little better. We were forming a plan. Everyone that normally fought and killed each other was behaving and helping. Those aliens didn't have a clue the can of worms they opened by attacking Earth. They might wield fancy ships and energy weapons, but we've got the residents of hell dimensions and those made to fight them.
<We've got people like Buffy and Angel and Spike protecting us. They're going to die painfully.> I told myself, leaning my head on Spike's knee and squeezing Willow's hand reassuringly. I was still scared shitless.
<They have fancy ships and energy weapons. I am so going to end up not living.>
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