Notes: 1. Takes place after the end of the Kindred series. I decided to make Angelus and Company Brujah, as they most closely resemble Joss vampires. Also, I hated the mobster- type that were normally Brujah.
2. I also made the Hellmouth my dumping ground for all the inconsistencies between the two types of vampires, therefore away from Sunnydale, they can shapeshift, influence and cloud the minds ofmortals, and walk in the daylight, after feeding. (Easy answer, I know...)
3. For those nitpickers, they started showing Kindred: The Embraced again in reruns, but out ofthe 8 episodes, Ive only seen about four, so excuse any glitches.
Kindred - Summary: Basically, there are five different clans, all ruled by a Prince of the City. Each clan has a Primogen, who is their representative before the Prince. Each clan also has theirown characteristics.
Ventrue - white-collar workers, smooth and smart
Gangrel - bikers, rebels on bikes - lots of leather jackets and grunge
Toreador - artists and singers, very sexy
Nosferatu - intellectual and vicious, but have a good heart (think of the Master in looks)
Brujah - basically mobsters - always wear suits, and have no real conscience
Brujah and Gangrel clans have always been at war with each other.
The Masquerade is what they all live by. Its designed to keep humans from knowing of their existence, and to break it means death. No exceptions.
Julian. Julian Luna, Kindred Prince of San Francisco looked up at the soft call from his friend, Daedalus. Hed just returned from a night at the Haven, and was walking across the foyer of his home, towards the library. The grim look on the Nosferatus face told him that whatever it was, it wasnt good. <Great.> he thought <What else can go wrong in my life?> Lately, his world hadnt been too calm. First, his bodyguard and friend is killed by the Brujah, his niece , who was to be bonded with his new Gangrel bodyguard, is embraced by the Brujah, the Masquerade had been revealed to a police officer, his sire had been killed by the Brujah, and hed recently broken off with his human lover.
What is it, Daedalus? he asked, motioning for both him and his bodyguard, Cash, to join him. Before stepping into the library, he caught sight of his niece, Sasha, lurking in the shadows. Stopping, he questioned her.
Oh, nothing, Uncle Julian. striving to sound nonchalant, it came out nervous. He knew shed been having problems adjusting to being Kindred, especially after being forcibly embraced. Add tot hat the obvious attraction between her and Cash, and it made for lots of confusion. Seciding to have a talk with her later, he turned and headed into the library.
Daedalus? he asked, shedding his coat as he made his way around his desk.
Theres trouble brewing in the Brujah clan. he said. What hed heard hadnt been good, and he told Julian so.
And what have you heard, Nosferatu? asked a voice from the shadows. All three whipped around to see who had spoken, Cash pulling out his gun and pointing it in the direction of the voice. It took them several moments before they could detect the presence by the window, facing out, she blended so well with the black floor length drapes. Lose the gun, Gangrel, before you lose your life. the figure said, not turning around. Hearing the voice again, they realized it was female. Her figure was covered in a long, black velvet coat that reached the floor. It clung to her curves, the hood effectively concealing her head. Even her hands were encased in black gloves.
The silence in the room kept going on, until the figure let out a sigh, and turned to face them. They could see her pale face, red lips and a hint of the red hair hidden by the hood. Bright green eyes picked out Cash as she spoke to him.
If Id wanted to kill your Prince, Gangrel, hed be dead. she said.
Put it away, Cash. ordered Julian. He couldnt tell her clan, but she was young. Very young. Also, she gotten into his home with no trouble, and had remained unseen until shed spoken. He tended to believe her boast of killing him.
Dont assume that Im weak, just because Im young. she directed this at Julian with a small turning of her head in his direction. Ive gone up against better than you and come out in one piece. The others, however........ she trailed off with a half smile curving her red lips.
Cash had slowly lowered his weapon, embarrassment flooding him. Shed gotten past all the guards and alarms, but, then again, shed also escaped Daedalus detection, and he was nearly impossible to fool, yet he too, had been caught off guard by this girl.
Who are you? What do you want? asked Julian. This girl was a mystery, and he was curious.
My name is Willow, and Im here on behalf of the Brujah Primogen. as she said this, she lifted the hood away from her face, and let it rest down her back. As she opened up her coat, all Cash could do was stare and take in the outfit. She had on thigh-high black boots, with two inch thick heels, VERY short black shorts and a dark green tank top that didnt quite reach her navel. Around her throat was a silver choker, with a black opal in the front. Her red, shoulder length hair only added to her beauty.
And what does Cameron have to say? as he spoke, his hatred for the man was evident in his voice. The Primogen had had his sire killed. He had no compassion or liking for that Kindred.
Nothing. Camerons dead. Hes been replaced. Im here to deliver a message from the new Brujah Primogen. she said, shocking them all.
What is this message? inquired the Prince, regaining his composure. He was glad that his siress murderer was dead, but felt loss, that he hadnt been the one to send him to his final death.
He would like to extend out deepest sympathies and apology over the death of your sire, Archon, and to assure you that all those involved have been dealt with. Willow stated, matter- of-factly. Shed been curious and anxious to meet the Prince of the city. Angelus hadnt wanted her to come, afraid she might get hurt, but she had brushed that aside. She could make more of an impression than him or Spike ever could. So far, shed been correct. They were pretty much stunned speechless, which delighted her to no end.
Seeing the impact her words had on them, she almost grinned in glee. The Prince was not liking this. Hed been waiting for the chance to get Cameron himself, and was disappointed that he couldnt.
Thinking of the former Brujah Primogen made her angry. The idiot had almost started a clan war, which would have exposed the Masquerade and sent the Slayer after them all. As it was, the Watchers had no idea of the extent of the vampire population in the world, and the goal was to keep it that way.
Waiting for her words to sink in, she examined each of them. Julian Luna, the Prince, was tall and dark, reminding Willow of her Angelus. They both had the same air about them that demanded respect, but thats where the similarities ended. Where Angelus was hard and cruel, Julian was kind and compassionate. There was a softness, a kindness in his heart that the mortal Willow would have found attractive. But the Willow she was now, wasnt even mildly interested. She had Angelus, her mate, her sire, who was so much more. Angelus had something in him that Julian could never hope to have, and thats what would be the Princes downfall. He still cared for mortals.
The Nosferatu, however, didnt have such failings. He was old, too. Older than shed ever felt. His name was Daedalus, she believed, the Primogen of his clan. This one would be one to watch out for. He could be a problem. Also, he reminded her too much of the Master. It was just plain freaky!
The last was the Gangrel, Cash. When theyd first come to the city, theyd found that there was no love lost between the Gangrel and Brujah. She really didnt much care, and neither did anyone in their entourage. He was sort of attractive, if you liked the blonde-biker-scraggly-just-got-out- of-bed look. And she didnt. But he was another Primogen, so shed be seeing him a lot more.
Who is the new Brujah Primogen? the Prince finally broke the silence following her announcement.
Youll meet him soon enough. was her cryptic reply. Well, I must be off. she said in a cheery voice, moving towards the door, but stopping half-way. Mr. Luna. she said, turning away from the door to face him. Why is there a young Brujah nervously lurking outside the door?
Sasha? he wondered allowed. Come in here, please. he called out. Seeing his niece step into the room, he was slightly curious as to her behavior. Her eyes went immediately to Willows, silently asking for confirmation. Willow lowered her shields enough for the young girl to sense that she was Brujah, as well, just as shes suspected. Stepping close to her, Willow raised Sashas face with a gloved hand, turning it from side to side. You smell of Gangrel. she said curiously, no malice or evidence of the years of clan hatred apparent in her voice. But youll do. she added. Come, its time to go. Placing an arm around the young Brujahs shoulders, Willow began to lead her out of the house, but was stopped in the foyer by Cashs statement.
You cant take her! he said. He was not about to let this stranger take Sasha out of this house. Cash didnt want her to become like other Brujah - brutal and violent.
I agree. You cannot remove her from my home. I will not allow it. added Julian, coming up behind Cash.
You cant keep her from her clan. she stated, turning back to face them. She could tell that Sasha desperately wanted to be with her clan, had yearned for acceptance from them, but so far had only been shunned. She felt alone, with her own clan, as well as the others, rejecting her. You cant change who she is. Sasha is Brujah, and will be Brujah as long as she lives, no matter how much you try to change it.
Getting into trouble again, luv? asked and accented voice from behind her, in the doorway to the house. The two Gangrel guards posted there were unconscious on the ground, and a black car could be seen behind the blonde stranger in the drive-way.
Nothing I cant handle, babe. was her response. Go wait in the car, child. this was said with a side glance at Sasha, who had stopped and turned with Willow.
Her attention back on the two trying to stop her from taking the girl, she saw out of the corner of her eye that Sasha had obeyed her. about to start in on the Ventrue and Gangrel in front of her, her attention was quickly drawn back to Sasha. Hearing her sharply indrawn breath, Willow looked back to Spike, to see that he had the same expression of wonder on his face that Sasha had. In that instant, Willow knew. Spike had found his mate. She could feel the connection forming in that moment.
Go to him. was all she said, with a smile on her face, as Sasha moved towards her mate. Take her to the car. Ill be there in a minute. she told the blonde, sensing rather than seeing his nod of agreement, as she returned to face the Prince and Gangrel Primogen.
Julian and Cash watched in stunned fascination as the stranger reached out a hand to Sasha as she approached. Taking hold of his hand, Sashas eyes never left his, as he pulled her out of the house and into the car. Julian could feel the connection between the two as it was formed, and wondered at it. This blonde man was a very old Brujah, and he was curious as to who Willow was, that she would have a Kindred this powerful as her protector. For thats what he was.
What gives you the right to take my niece out of my home? asked Julian. Sasha was not going to leave his home, to be turned into a murdering Brujah. Cash was of the same opinion as he stepped closer to her, and raised his weapon.
Annoyed now. she said after a sigh, ignoring the Princes question. That gave them little warning of the attack about to come, as Willow spun around and delivered a kick that knocked the gun out of his hand, her black coat swirling out behind her like a cape. Without even pausing in the motion, one hand came up to hit him across the face. Before Cash had time to recover from the punch, Willows other hand came up to grab him around the throat. Lifting him several inches off the ground, she growled a warning to him.
Pull a gun on me again, and next time Ill kill you! Turning, she walked out the door and into the car, after throwing the Gangrel to the ground.
Find out all you can about her, the blonde and the new Brujah Primogen. Julian said, watching the car drive off. He had a feeling hed seen the last of the Sasha he knew. Call a conclave meeting for tomorrow night, and the Haven. I want to meet this new Primogen. the first was directed at the audience of kindred who had gathered around the foyer, the second to Cash, who had picked himself up off the ground.
In the car, Willow was trying hard to ignore the looks passing back and forth over her, between Sasha and Spike. Once shed gotten in the car, shed purposely put herself in between the two of them. Willow remembered what it was like to find your mate. The desires sweeping through your body were impossible to ignore, but she knew that if she wasnt between them, theyd most likely do it in the car, with her watching, and they wouldnt care. Not that she would, either. It was just that the first time with your mate was very special, not to mention animalistic. She might not have minded watching, anyways, but unless she could participate, she didnt want in. And this was one time she wasnt going to participate.
Watching the two of them made her miss Angelus, even though theyd only been apart for a few hours. Theyd already been at it when she reached the car, oblivious tot he outside world. Their mouths glued to each other, Sashas fingers entwined in his blonde hair, and Spikes hands already under her shirt, causing growls and moans to issue from her throat. She was beginning to regret her choice of seating, because the hormones flowing around her were driving her crazy. She was horny, and her mate was at home.
Joshua. she spoke up to the driver. Please hurry. Willow was pleased when she felt the car speed up. She was sure Joshua could smell the two of them from the front seat, and understood.
After what seemed like an eternity, the car came to a halt outside of a large house, which some called a mansion. When they first arrived in San Francisco, theyd found this place, and decided it was perfect. Isolated, yet easily accessible. It housed not only her, Angelus and Spike, but most of their minions, and a few others, all Brujah.
Theys sent the fledglings into the city before they came, to gather information on the situation here. The first thing theyd done when they arrived, was to call Cameron and his followers to the house. They come, as it was royally stupid to refuse the request of someone ten times your age. All those who had been involved in the death of Archon had been taken care of, after Cameron had been killed. Because he was now Primogen, Angelus had been prepared to let Cameron live, but that had all changed when hed attacked Willow, one day. It was his attempt at seducing Willow, trying to regain the power in the clan. She had been knocked unconscious by the surprise attack, but Spike had arrived before he could do anything. After that, there had been a line of vampires who wanted to beat Cameron senseless, before staking him in the sun. at the head of the line was Angelus and Spike. The rest were all minions. They would all die to protect her, and were fiercely loyal. That another even though they could even think about harming their mistress sent them into a murderous rage. But it was nothing compared to Angelus reaction. Cameron had been tortured for a good week before Angelus would grant him the release of death.
Willow, herself, was touched that the fledglings cared so much about her. Angelus and Spike had created them all, so she assumed they listened to her because she was mated to Angelus. However, shed discovered that they respected her as an individual. She was ecstatic.
Looking at Sasha, Willow became unnerved, though she refused to show it. For so long she had been the only female, and now there was Sasha. Angelus and Spike only turned guys, saying that if she wanted other females, to turn them herself. Until tonight, she hadnt felt the need to turn any. Now, maybe..... Shed seen an old friend in town the other day. She knew she was here for awhile, so she might as well pay her friend a little visit tomorrow night.
Getting out of the car, the three of them entered the house. Spike and Sasha became like one as soon as they stepped from the car, and stayed that way.
Red? inquired Spike. He wanted to get Sasha up to his room. Hed found his mate, and wanted to claim her as soon as possible. By her responses, his mate was all for that idea.
Go, Spike. Have fun. she said, understanding, with a smile on her face. Flashing her a grateful look, he picked up his mate and nearly ran up the stairs when her mouth locked on to the pulse point in his neck (if he had a pulse).
Whats with Spike? a familiar voice asked from behind her, sending shivers up er spine. Willow spun around and was in front of him instantly. Grabbing his head, she pulled im down for a fierce kiss of possession and passion. After several seconds, Angelus couldnt remember what his childes name was, let alone that something was strange with him.
Pulling back, Willow explained. There was a young Brujah in the Princes house. I decided to bring her back with me. Spike found his mate. she said the last with a soft smile.
Ahhh. was all he said.
Yes, well, I didnt want to see them doing it in the car, so I stupidly put myself between them. hearing his laugh, she went on defensively. Hey! Ive spent the last who-knows-how-long sitting between two hormone driven mates, who have yet to claim each other. Remember how we were the first time? she asked softly, her hands traveling up his body, tracing the contours of his chest.
He has more patience than I had. Angelus said low in his throat, his hands coming up behind her, to hold her to him as he plundered her mouth. Breaking away, he pulled her close as he led her upstairs to their rooms, to finish what theys started.
So, what did you think of our glorious Prince? Angelus asked her. Theyd just recovered from another bout of lovemaking, and Angelus was curious about Julian Luna. Hed wanted to send Spike to meet the Prince, but Willow had felt that she could make much more of an impression on Luna than Spike could. So hed agreed, but sent Spike along as protection.
Hes still upset at losing Archon. He wanted to deal with Cameron himself, but couldnt find a way without breaking Kindred laws. He hides his thoughts very well, but still has much to learn. Overall, young, fair and relentless. He also has powerful friends. at his questioning look, she explained further. The Nosferatu Primogen, Daedalus. I felt something in him.... Hes very old. Older than the Master was.
Ive heard of him. put in Angelus. Hes known for his loyalty to the Prince. And yes, he is old. One of the oldest among us. thinking for a moment, he then came to a decision. Ill pay him a visit a little later on. Now, tell me bout your meeting. Did you impress the hell out of them?
Of course I did. then proceeded to describe the meeting with the Prince. By the end, Angelus was roaring with laughter.
I would have paid to have seen the looks on their faces when you brought down Cash! he said, still laughing.
Im glad you approve. Any regrets about sending me, and not Spike? she asked with the supreme confidence of those who know theyre right.
I love you, baby. was all he said before he drove all thought from her head. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Daedalus was sitting in his chair, drinking his blood-wine when he felt the presence behind him. You must be the new Brujah Primogen. he said, not turning around.
Very good. I must applaud your abilities. She said you were powerful, but I didnt quite believe her when she said how much. I should have learned by now to trust her insight. said Angelus, moving to sit in the only other chair, which was on an angle to the one Daedalus occupied.
That would be the red headed witch, Willow. Did you embrace her? he asked casually.
So, you figured that out, too. not really put out by the fact that the Nosferatu knew so much. Hed expected nothing less from one of his clan. Angelus had no problem with the Nosferatu, as others seemed to.
The Prince wants his niece returned to him. he informed the Brujah.
Thats not possible. Shes already found her mate, and he wont allow her to leave him, if she even wanted to. I can guarantee you that she doesnt.
Mate? inquired the Nosferatu, not quite certain of the term, but knowing he wouldnt like the answer.
Each clan has a different way of acquiring a partner. The Gangrel are bonded, the Ventrue are partnered, the Toreador are joined, and the Brujah are mated. In our case, however, it is not a conscious choice. The two are drawn to each other, and are mated for life. The male is more often than not over two hundred - dont ask me why. A good analogy would be wolves. We mate for life, and become self-destructive if the other dies. explained Angelus. He could see the wheels turning in the Nosferatus mind as he processed this.
The blonde? he questioned, looking into dark eyes.
Yes. That was Spike. The first of my children, and one of the best. Angelus confirmed.
And what would Willow be? Your mate?
Yes. was the only reply.
She is very... impressive, and very dangerous.
Why thank you. I think so. Angelus was amused and pleased at this. His Willow was that and more, but the others didnt need to know that. Im sure Cash discovered that for himself. He should feel lucky that Willow was in a good mood, otherwise hed be dead. at Daedalus look, he continued. She doesnt tolerate guns. Hates them.
Theres a Conclave meeting tonight. Midnight. At the Haven. said Daedalus after a moment of silence. This one, he was a mystery, he thought. One he was eager to solve.
I know. he said with a smile that made the older Kindred wonder how much this dark haired one knew, and how hed gotten the information. Turning to leave, Angelus was stopped by the Nosferatus next words.
Will you bring Sasha to the club tonight? Im sure Julian will want to see his niece.
Shes not being held prisoner. If she wants to come, she will. he said, then quickly made his was back home through the sewers.
Willow was making her way down the stairs when Sasha and Spike came in the front door.
Sasha. There you are. Ive been looking all over for you. said Willow, descending the stairs to stand in front of the couple.
Why? came the nervous inquiry from the young woman. She hadnt really had a chance to get to know the red head, as Spike had kept her in bed all night and most of the day, and Sasha was scared. <What if she doesnt like me?> she thought. Shed not had any real acceptance since being embraced, every clan, including her own, keeping her at arms length. Spike said not to worry, that Willow had already accepted her. Sasha wouldnt be here if Willow didnt already like what she saw in the young Brujah.
Feeling Spikes arm tighten around her waist, some of her nervousness dissipated.
Were going shopping. she said, reaching into Spikes back pocket for his wallet. Theres a Conclave meeting tonight, and wed like you to come with us. Show your uncle that we havent kept you locked up in chains....... though, knowing Spike... all this was said in a brusk, business- like manner, while she plucked several credit cards from the wallet, before handing it back to its owner.
Shopping..? asked Sasha, trying to keep up with the red head.
Yes. Willow said, before clarifying. Youre Brujah. Mated with one of our oldest. You need to look the part. taking her arm, Willow led Sasha out the door and into the waiting car. And quite frankly, you need some new outfits.
Whats wrong with what Im wearing? looking down at her white t-shirt, blue jeans and worn, brown leather jacket. The same clothes from the night before.
Sasha, dear, you look like a Gangrel. Its time you looked like a Brujah. Willow said, as gently as possible. And before you start in on the but Spike wears.. line of thinking, he has a decent wardrobe. He just wears that one outfit to piss me off. But tonight, hes getting dressed up.
But.... was all she could stammer, overwhelmed by this woman.
Now. said Willow, turning to Spikes mate, smiling. Any ideas? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I have some information, my Prince. said Daedalus, as he came upon Julian in a sitting room, on the ground floor of the Princes home.
What did you learn? asked Julian, calmly.
The new Brujah Primogen is old. Older than you. he began, as he slowly wandered around the room absently, after handing a folder to the Ventrue. The blonde Kindred we saw last night is his first childe. They have both seen two centuries.
Tell me about the Primogen. Whats his name?
Angelus. Called the Angel of Death in Europe and England. Hes known for not only his viciousness, but his sharp mind. Angelus finds more pleasure in the hunt, then the feeding. Beware of him. He likes to play games. explained Daedalus. He didnt inform his Prince of the fact that Angelus was also known for making several of his children mad. It was all in the file hed handed to him. He could read it for himself.
What about the others? Did you find out anything about them?
Yes. pausing while he sipped his newly poured red wine. The blonde one earned the name William the Bloody. Now he goes by Spike, a name he received by torturing his victims with railroad spikes. the Nosferatu let that sink in before he continued. Willow is a relatively new Kindred, in comparison. Angelus embraced her 3 years ago.
She is so young, yet manages to enter my home - unnoticed, be in the same room as us - unnoticed, and she takes down my bodyguard. How is that possible? asked Julian, truly perplexed.
Her mental abilities were carried over when she was embraced - she was a witch of moderate power. Her strength came from being mated with Angelus. explained the Nosferatu.
Mated? What is that? Julian was curious.
Brujah find their partner differently than other Kindred. The two individuals are drawn to each other. They gain in strength and power, to become very strong, and very deadly.
Why havent I heard of this? asked the frustrated Julian. These newcomers were going to be a problem. He knew it.
When was the last time you had heard of a Brujah so old? answering the Princes question with his own. Members of that clan are destined to have short life spans, and only very old members of that clan find mates.
Sighing, Julian began to process this new information. They were dangerous, and he wanted them out of the city, but doubted that would happen.
Should I ask how you seem to know all this? Julian asked after a moment.
Angelus paid me a visit today. was all he said.
Is there anything else I should know before the meeting? he asked, getting up and preparing to leave for the Conclave meeting.
Just one. was his reply.
Yes. I asked Angelus if he would bring her tonight. at Julians questioning look, Daedalus continued. He said if she wanted to come, then she would. But she wont leave them, Julian. Shes mated with Spike.
Last night.... the repercussions of what theyd seen the night before becoming clear.
Yes. What we saw last night was each mate finding the other. There is no way to get her back unless she chooses to, and that is doubtful.
Wed best be getting to the meeting. was all the Prince would say, trying to put the Nosferatus words out of his mind.
Conversations all over the club halted as the group entered the Haven, the night club owned by Lily Langtry, Primogen of the Toreador clan. Those seated at her table became silent as well. Her table consisted of Julian, Cash and Lily.
The whole club turned to take in the two couples. The first two projected power and authority, while the second couple projected deadly menace and a warning to everyone who thought to try anything.
Willow was glowing in an emerald green silk dress that ended mid-thigh, with long sleeves and a low v-neck. Tonight she had a black choker with a silver coin in the front, and her hair pulled back in small clips. Her arm held onto Angelus, dressed all in black, as usual. But in keeping with the formality of the meeting, he had on a dress shirt, khakis pants, and his leather jacket. Spike had on a similar outfit, in black also, with khakis pants and a tight fitting, long sleeved shirt that molded to his chest. It created a startling contrast with his pale skin and bleach blonde hair. His companion, however, was the object of much speculation. They knew this young woman, wearing a dark purple satin sheath dress which set off the auburn colour of her upswept hair, as Julian Lunas niece. They also knew that hed been keeping her from others of her clan - not that the Brujah were awaiting her with open arms - yet here she was, accompanying two very old Brujah. They knew, just by looking at them, that these were the new Brujah in town. With one glance, everyone in the club could tell that the dark one in the front was the new Primogen of his clan. Some silently prayed for Camerons resurrection, because no matter how bad he was, he never came close to being as dangerous as this new Brujah looked.
Sasha, meanwhile, was almost trembling, only Spikes arm around her waist and Willows words kept her from doing it openly. Spike eased her tension, as Willows words earlier in the day gave her strength. The red head had told her several things, but mostly had taught her how to act in front of others. Just a few little rules that I live by. shed told the younger Kindred. Always dress the part - you are Spikes mate, and a part of our family. Make sure others realized youre not to be messed with by your clothes and your attitude. Take crap from no one, unless its Angelus (dont get on his bad side, itll take me forever to get off it). And most importantly, set boundaries on the amount of disrespect youll tolerate, and make sure no one crosses them. If they do, make them wish they never had. as Sasha had tried to absorb all this, Willow went on. One little piece of advice, though. Treat the fledglings with respect, and try not to get on their bad side. They can truly make your life a living hell, and in the end theyll need to be punished, which just causes more problems, and it takes time......... Its basically a pain in the ass. Taking her words to heart, Sasha was glad that Willow was by her side. Her words gave her an inner core of strength she never knew she had, and her presence helped calm her nerves. In total, Willow had quickly become her mentor and her best friend in a few short hours.
The foursome made their way to where Julian and his entourage sat. like the rest of the club, they all stopped to stare at the newcomers. Julian was not liking the look of the new Primogen. He was dangerous, and he didnt need a sixth sense to tell him that. The man oozed danger and authority. Anyone who crossed him would pay dearly, and Julian couldnt decide if that was a good thing or not. If Angelus was interested in peace in the city, then it was definitely a good trait, as hed rule the Brujah with an iron fist. However, if he decided to go against the Prince, then he could almost certainly destroy the city.
Cash couldnt take his eyes off of Sasha. She was gorgeous, but she was taken. The warning glares coming from Spike told him that much. At the same time, Lily Langtry, Primogen of the Toreador clan, was floored. Shed always had a thing for tall, dark and handsome, and thats what this Brujah was. Ever since Julian had turned away from her, shed been looking for someone to take his place. Angelus looked like a VERY good candidate. <Looks like Ive found a new playmate - but Ive got to lose that red head.> she thought, already planning on how to get this man into her bed, and keep him there.
You must be Julian Luna, Ventrue Prince of San Francisco. said Angelus upon reaching the table. As he said this, Julian had the distinct impression that he was being patronized.
And you would be Angelus. a statement, not a question. At that, Angelus let out a laugh, and introductions were made between the two groups. This Prince might turn out to be a worthy opponent, after all. He rarely showed what he was thinking or feeling, and had a sharp mind.
Julian moved his gaze from the Brujah Primogen to his niece. She was beautiful tonight, but that wasnt all. There was a confidence, a sophistication about her that few humans possessed, but that many older Kindred did. It was the same confidence that Willow possessed, but different from the Brujah arrogance. She had truly come into her own. Julian had hoped that this would happen away from her brutal clan, but knew it had only been wishful thinking.
Sasha. Its good to see you. he said.
Uncle Julian. was Sashas reply.
Perhaps we can talk after the meeting. he asked. He wanted to discuss some things with her, but would rather do it in private.
Alright. she said. She had a feeling it was going to be more of an argument than a discussion, but he was her uncle, as well as her Prince.
Nodding his head in acceptance, Julian got back to the matter at hand. Shall we begin the meeting? again, it was an order, not a question, as he rose. Lily latched on to Angelus arm as the Primogens followed the Prince up the stairs. Willow felt anger run through her when Lily sent her back a smug little smile, over her shoulder. That is, until Angelus gently pried her fingers off his arm, turned around and winked at her from the bottom of the stairs. Willow smiled with genuine amusement at Lilys ire. Shed heard of the Toreador Primogen, and had a feeling that shed just set her sights on her mate. However, Lily had learned pretty quickly that Angelus would not leave Willow, and the set down had occurred in public, in HER club, in full view of the gossip-pack in the city. Huffing in indignation, she stomped up the stairs - as best she could in high heels - followed slowly by an amused Cash and Angelus.
Spike, would you go get us something to drink? asked Willow, sitting down at the newly vacated table.
Sure, pet. What would you like? after getting their orders, he gave Sasha a quick kiss, and headed for the bar.
The group of Kindred Primogens - minus the Nosferatu - were making their way back down into the club, when a new arrival caught their attention. Angelus recognized him immediately as one of his, and paused at the tope of the stairs to watch him.
The young Kindred, named Christopher, quickly scanned the club, his gaze landing on his mistress. Making his way over to her, he failed to notice Angelus and the other Primogens and Prince on the stairs.
Mistress, theres a problem. he said as quietly as possible, once reaching the table. Even though it was said low, it still caused Kindred ears to tune into the conversation.
What is it, Christopher? she asked. Willow was becoming concerned. They all knew not to disturb them in public, unless it was important and couldnt wait. Seeing him look around cautiously and nervously, she understood. It was serious, but he didnt want anyone to hear. Motioning him close, she leaned towards him, and froze at him whispered words. Pulling back, she looked him directly in the eyes, and asked Are you absolutely sure?, with a serious expression on her face.
Yes, Mistress. was his reply. He had been terrified to deliver this message, but knew that it would be the death of them all, if he didnt.
Willow, meanwhile, was coldly furious and slightly frightened at the same time. Looking to the top of the stairs, she met Angelus eyes, conveying a message in them. Angelus was suddenly worried, as he met Willows eyes, never having seen that look before. He rapidly made his way down the stairs, and over to the four people at the table. Willow? he questioned.
"I believe its time we went home, darling. her gaze trying to send him a wordless message. Something was up at home. Nodding his head, he took hold of her arm, and led her out of the club, followed closely by Christopher, Sasha and Spike.
Joshua. Home. NOW! Willow snapped before getting into the car.
Willow, whats going on? asked Angelus as soon as he was in beside her. Willow waited until they were all inside, and the door closed, before explaining.
The Slayer and her band of merry misfits are at the mansion. They made it to the front door before any of those idiot guards noticed them. she said, spitting out the last part. Theyd only placed their own minions inside and around the house. Those that had belonged to Cameron were further away from the house. The Slayer had gotten past them too easily.
How the hell did she find us? he snarled, not liking this one little bit. He had a pretty good idea of how theyd gotten into the house. <Damn Camerons brood!> he thought viciously.
My guess would be one of Camerons children, though there arent too many left. said Willow. Shed hoped that things would go smoothly here, that they wouldnt need to fight, but when had her life gone smoothly.
Are we still in contact with anyone inside? Angelus asked Christopher, seeing if he could salvage anything from this mess.
I think so. A few of them still have their phones on them. I could try that. he suggested, waiting for his sires orders. He knew that Angelus would take care of the problems, and the other fledglings knew it too. The Brujah already in the city - those who were under Eddie Fiori and Cameron - didnt quite understand this. They hadnt realized yet that Angelus allowed no disrespect or disobedience among his clan, and now they would pay for it.
Tell them to fall back and to get outside. When we get there, well take care of the Scooby gang. he told Christopher.
Whats your plan once we get there? Politely ask them to leave? asked Spike. He hadnt had a good fight in awhile and was anxious to get home, but at the same time, he was worried about Sasha. She hadnt been in a real fight before, and he was truly scared that she might get killed tonight. He couldnt let that happen.
Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of killing the Slayer, killing her friends, and then killing the traitors.
Sasha halted the shiver that ran up her spine at hearing this. Spike had told her about Angelus past, as well as what happened in Sunnydale, but she hadnt seen that side of any of them until just now. She could feel that part of her coming to the fore - the dark side that became enraged at the thought of someone trying to destroy what was hers. And thats what was happening. Someone was attacking her clan, her family, in her home. They would pay.
As the car came to a halt just outside the gates, the occupants of the car leapt out, going in different directions.
Red. Spikes voice stopped Willow. Keep her safe. he asked. She instinctively knew who he meant, and nodded her head, taking off after Sasha, towards the back of the mansion, while Spike and Angelus took the front doors. The minions separated, following each groups. They had all waited impatiently for their Master to arrive, and now they took off behind each pair, as they split up. Quite a few of the minions followed Willow and Sasha, not to protect them - though they would, with their lives - but because they realized that while Angelus was dangerous and deadly, Willow was diabolical and vicious, not to mention creative. Theyd rather face an enraged Angelus and Spike, than an pissed off Willow. Thats what got her admiration, respect and loyalty from the minions, and without even raising a hand to any of them.
While Angelus and Spike went to confront the Slayer, Willow and Sasha made their way around the back and up to the second floor, where they found an lovely surprise.
Cordelia! Xander! You really should have called first. said Willow, mocking them as she stalked towards them, with Sasha and some fledglings following behind her. The two young mortals seemed shocked, then scared, and finally resolved. Oooohhh. So, you think you can kill me? she asked them softly, continuing to advance upon them slowly, as they retreated backwards.
I will if I have to. said Xander, hoping to find something of his friend still there.
Ha! Now theres a laugh a minute. said Willow, just before she attacked him. Knocking the stake out of his hand, she grabbed him by his throat, and banged his head against the wall behind him. Dropping the unconscious boy to the ground, she faced Cordelia, who had turned to run, but was blocked by two hard bodies, as the others circled around them.
Nice outfit, Willow. said Cordelia, through her fear. Green looks good on you - though black does seem to be your colour of choice. remembering the last time shed seen Willow, dressed in black clothes, mainly leather. A smile spread across Willows face as an idea came to her. Stepping closer to the terrified brunette, Willow raised her arm and waved it over Cordelias face once, saying Sleep.. One of the fledglings caught her before she hit the ground, looking to Willow for instructions.
Take her and the idiot to the room next to mine. she said. And make sure hes tied up good. Dont want him gnawing his way free. the last was said under her non-existent breath.
Friends of yours? asked Sasha, impressed with the way Willow had taken care of two of the intruders.
Old high school buddies. she said. Turning to the fledglings around her, she directed her orders to them. Find the rest of them. Bring them to us alive, but kill them if necessary. Christopher! Seeing the young Kindred step forward, she continued. Find the ones responsible for this! I want them alive. It was fairly obvious they had a traitor among their clan, probably more than one, for the group to get this close to the house with no alarm being raised. And everyone knew it!
Now, lets go find our honeys. she said to Sasha.
Meanwhile, Angelus and Spike were having their own......adventures. Theyd come across Buffy, killing the fledglings left and right. Hed sent Spike and the others on, staying to take care of Buffy and the three fledglings she was at that moment pummeling. While she was distracted with one, he motioned for the other two to back away.
Well, well. Looks like weve got company. he said, drawing her attention away from the third vampire.
Angelus. Its about time you showed yourself. she taunted back.
Hows the arm, Buffy? Better? he asked, reminding her of the last time theyd met in LA, when shed gotten away with a severely broken arm and dislocated shoulder - on the same side - and a slash across her left cheek. Looking at the thin scar, he added What? Twelve stitches? Fifteen?
Twenty-two, you bastard! she replied, angry at the memory of their last encounter. Shed been too angry to think straight, and that emotion had clouded her judgement, allowing Angelus to win. Shed crawled away from that meeting with the resolution to never let that happen again. That had been over six months ago, and shed learned to keep emotions away from the fight. At lest, as best she could.
Aww, gee Buff. I wish I could seen that. I would have loved to rip them out, one by one. he said with a smirk curving his lips and the quick twitch of one of his dark eyebrows. Her face hardening, Buffy attacked. But Angelus had had enough of teasing her in their fights. Before, hed never pulled out all the stops, until now. Each punch and kick she threw was blocked, each step forward resulted in her taking two steps back. She never managed to land a hit, but then, neither did Angelus. Until he went on the offensive. She realized very quickly that she was losing; that before, every time they fought, hed only been playing with her. As he landed a rather vicious punch to her chest, she heard the distinct crack of ribs breaking, before pain shot out in all direction. Buffy realized, as she gasped in pain, that she was going to die. She was vaguely aware of a hand wrapping around her throat tightly, her mind hazy with pain and lack of oxygen. Just as she was sure her life was over, she heard a voice. The voice of her savior.
Angelus! Let her go. said Julian Luna. He didnt know who this young woman was, but he couldnt allow her to be killed, unless it was for a good reason. Also, he was getting a strange feeling from her, which he couldnt place. Almost as if she were Kindred, but it was obvious she was alive.
Stay out of this, Julian. Its no concern of yours. he replied, not turning around or even loosening his grip oh Buffys throat.
Oh, but it is. he said calmly. There are humans involved, and I want to know why. It is obvious they know of Kindred - how? this got Angelus attention. The Prince had just about accused the Brujah Primogen of exposing the Masquerade.
Naughty, naughty, Uncle Julian. said Sasha, coming into the large room from a side door. She had a teasing smile on her face, conveying her amusement to everyone in the room. Getting involved in something that you dont understand and is none of your business. the teasing lilt was still in her voice.
This is a Brujah matter, Julian. Dont interfere. warned Angelus, turning to face the Prince, seeing Cash with him.
An attack by humans against Kindred - in MY city - IS my business. the minute theyd set foot on the property, theyd known what was happening. A group of humans had attacked the Brujah Primogens home. They had been a few minutes behind Angelus and his group, but had arrived in time to see his fight with the Slayer. They didnt know who this girl was, but didnt want her dead before she could answer some questions. Watching Angelus fight this girl had been educational, to say the least. He was calm, controlled and VERY deadly. Rarely had he seen those kinds of moves, which attested to the Brujahs strength and skill.
Deciding to ignore the Prince for the moment, he turned to Sasha to ask where Willow was. The last hed seen, the two of them had gone off together.
We met up with Spike, and they went after some brunette who felt weird. scrunching her face for a moment, she looked over at the blonde woman who had an arm across her chest, cradling her ribs, as she struggled to stand. Is that Buffy? asked Sasha, hoping she was wrong.
Why? asked Angelus.
Cause theres another just like her upstairs. Shes the brunette Spike and Willow went after. panic was rising inside of her as she looked at Angelus, horror on her face, as she realized that her mate and her friend were facing off with a Slayer.
If theres so much as a scratch on EITHER of them, your death will be as slow and as painful as possible. Angelus growled, turning back tot he now upright Slayer, though she did seem a little wobbly on her legs. Just then, Spike walked into the room, and seeing the Slayer, the Prince and company, let out a frustrated sigh.
What the bloody hell is this? Grand Central Station? And dont people usually wait for an invitation before popping over? he said in a disgusted tone. He was about to say more, but was stopped by Sashas cry of Spike! and then by her hurtling herself into his arms, wrapping her arms tightly about his waist.
I missed you, too, luv. he said, amused at her display.
I thought the Slayer might have gotten you! she cried, her face buried in his chest.
Ill die of old age before I let some prima donna Slayer take me down.
Slayer? You brought Slayers here?! exclaimed Cash.
I didnt bring them. They followed us here. said Angelus. Then, changing the subject, looked to his childe. You left Willow alone with a Slayer?!
Dont worry, mate. Shes doing fine. Probably has number two under her belt by now. said Spike, referring to Willows Slayer-count.
Angelus, I cannot allow you to kill these Slayers. Not in this city. Julian interrupted. Others will come looking for them, and then the Masquerade will be uncovered. Humans cannot be allowed to know of our existence.
Hello? said Buffy. But we already know about you guys.
You dont know everything, Buffy. mocked Angelus. The Watchers Council doesnt even know the extent of our reach. seeing the confused expression on her face, he laughed. Looking to Julian, he gave the Prince a look that said you explain it.
San Francisco, like many other cities, is controlled by Kindred - vampires. he clarified, though he hated that word. There are hundreds of Kindred in this city, maybe more.
If I cant kill her, then what do you suggest? asked Angelus. There didnt seem to be a way out of this situation that would satisfy the Prince.
Willow had just booted Spike out of one of the bedrooms. This Slayer, Faith, had said she had something important to discuss with them - to make a deal with them. Intrigued, shed kicked Spike out, knowing that she could hod her own against this brunette. Now it was just Faith and Willow, staring at each other. So talk. said Willow. From what shed seen so far, Faith was unlike any other Slayer.
I need your help. said the brunette. Underneath the surface, she was scared, but knew that if she didnt accomplish what she came for, shed be dead soon, anyways, so it really didnt matter. At the red heads raised eyebrows, Faith laughed, a small smile lighting up her face. I know. Its ironic. A Slayer asking for help from vampire, but its my only choice.
Why do you need OUR help? asked Willow, still curious.
Theres this prophecy, see. Its been kept all hush-hush for so many years it boggles the mind. Only a few Council members know it even exists. It basically says that a child will be born to a Slayer, and this child will one day either save the world or aid in its destruction. she explained.
If its such a big secret, then how do you know all this? I doubt its standard read-me material for Slayers. Willow could understand the reason for all the secrets. If it was common knowledge, Slayers would be hunted for their reproductive function, and nothing else.
This is where it gets interesting. See, about a year ago, perfect little Miss Do-No-Wrong Slayer- girl, Buffy, got herself knocked-up. Faith didnt think that Willows eyebrows could go any higher. I know! Color me shocked when I found out.
Who was the proud papa? asked Willow. So far, she was having a great time. It was always good to catch up on gossip.
She wouldnt say, but by the looks passing between them, and all the hushed conversations I interrupted, Id lay my bets on Giles. Willow started to laugh uproariously. Tweed-clad, proper, British-Watcher Giles had knocked-up his Slayer. Priceless.
Can I finish my story, or would you like a few minutes to compose yourself? asked Faith sarcastically. Willow got herself under control, and motioned for the brunette to continue. So, anyways, Giles calls the Council and tells them this. They get into this huge panic, because B isnt the most obedient Slayer, and they only way for them to be sure that this child doesnt destroy the world, is for them to raise it.
Buffys always wanted a normal life. I dont believe that shed willingly give up her child to be raised by the Council she hates. said Willow, wondering where this story was going, and what had happened. Theys seen Buffy six months ago, and she hadnt been pregnant.
She didnt. She fought them tooth and nail, saying who better than the longest living Slayer to raise this child. The Council wouldnt budge. They decided that if they couldnt raise it themselves, then it wouldnt be born at all. So they made the decision to kill Buffy, before she had the baby.
Bunch of self-serving pricks with their heads up their asses. Willow muttered quietly. This was so like those damn, stuffy Brits. Acting like children - if we cant have it, no one can.
My thoughts exactly. agreed Faith. So far, this had gone pretty good. She only hooped the rest would be the same.
So what happened to the baby? Buffy obviously didnt have it.
Actually, its kind of ironic. said Faith, recalling the incident. She fell down some stairs and had a miscarriage. Thinking this over, Willow was definitely amused. Losing the one normal thing in her life had ended up saving her life. Almost poetic justice, in a sense.
So why are you telling me this? asked Willow.
Because now Im pregnant, and I refuse to let those pansy-assed Watchers raise any child of mine. said Faith, anger coloring her voice and body language.
And you want us to protect you so you can have this prodigal child? said Willow, thinking it over in her head.
Basically. If I tried to do this on my own, the Council would find me in no time. I might be able to outrun them until the babys born, but after? I cant protect it 24/7, and I couldnt give it away or abandon it, cause theyd find it sooner or later. Faith had been pacing throughout the entire dialogue, but now she stopped to look the red head directly in the eye. You can protect it better that I ever could.
And the evil-vampire thing doesnt bother you?
Not particularly. said Faith, a small smirk curving her lips and tilting her eyebrows. You see, I know what by childs destiny is - it was a gift from its father - and I know that with you, shell make the right decision.
She? Willow said softly, her face softening.
I know a lot about this little girl. said Faith, placing her hands over her abdomen in a protective, motherly manner. A few moments of silence passed, before Willow spoke again.
Ok. she said firmly, reaching a decision. Stay up here till weve taken care of the problems here, then Ill bring the others and you can explain it to them. seeing her uncertain look, Willow tried to reassure the young woman. Dont worry. Theyll see it my way.
What about the others? The only way I found you was by
following them said Faith as relief poured through
her. Her babys future was secured, and she would be
safe. They both would be -
at least for a time.
Do they know youre here in San Francisco? Willow asked the other girl.
No, they think Im back in Sunnydale. I told them that someone should stay to protect the Hellmouth, and since B is the most experienced Slayer in history, that I was the logical one to stay behind. This was said with an evil grin on her face, leading Willow to understand that Faith had issues with the blonde Slayer. They werent on the best of terms.
Good, then that solves one problem. Theyll go back and find you gone, with no leads back here. But weve got a bigger problem. Willow informed her, her mind spinning as she tried to work it out in her head.
Whats the big problem? asked Faith. Like the others, she had no idea of the extent of the vampire community.
The Prince and his puppy dog have arrived. I felt them the instant they entered my home.
Prince.........what? wondered a confused Faith.
Theres a lot you still dont know about us, Faith. Ill explain it all later. In the mean time, rest or whatever, just dont show yourself until I come and get you. Dont want to give away the game, do we? she asked with a smile. Turning, Willow left the baffled Slayer sitting on the bed. Seeing a few of the boys in the hallway, she motioned for them to follow her as she went to get Xander. The Prince would most likely want all of the humans released, but she decided to keep Cordelia. <Its about time I contributed to this family.> she thought to herself with a smile. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If I cant kill her, then what do yo suggest?
Willow had come in just as Angelus asked this. Smiling, she stepped forward into the room, followed by two of the minions, who held up an unconscious Xander between them.
I think Ive found a solution to your problem, love. she said, drawing their attention to her and her followers. Speaking to the minions over her shoulder, Willow told them where to deposit her old best friend.
And what would that be, my dear? asked her mate. Hed seen the look on her face when she came in. She looked like a cat whod just eaten the ever-elusive bird.
Julian. she said, walking towards him, kissing his ring as protocol and tradition dictated. Nodding to the Kindred Primogen behind him, she explained.
Well cloud their minds, suppress these memories, and replace them with new ones. She turned to see more of the boys dragging in the struggling forms of Giles and Oz, and the dazed, blonde haired witch, Amy. Hail, hail the gangs all here! said Angelus under his breath.
Red, I hate to spoil your plans, but even WE cant affect a Slayers mind. said Spike, motioning to him and Angelus, referring to their advanced age. We would have done it by now.
How soon they forget. she said to herself before answering the blonde Brujah. Remember Drusilla? was all she had to say. Understanding crossed his face when he remembered what Willow had done for his Dru. If she could make Dru sane, then altering the Slayers mind should be no problem.
Speaking of Slayers, Willow... began Angelus, already having an idea of her answer. He watched as she bit her bottom lip and looked up at him in a child-like fashion, before smiling shyly and holding up two fingers in front of her. Angelus let out a bark of laughter at this, saying Spike, you better watch out. Shes already tied you!. Spike refused to comment.
Theyre going to know shes dead. said Cash. He wanted to see this young Kindred do what she claimed - namely cloud the mind of a Slayer. If she could do this, then she was truly powerful, and a good one to stay on the good side of.
Faith said she was staying to watch the Hellmouth.. began Buffy. <Why did Faith have to come!> she wondered, already mourning the dead Slayer.
And thats all youll remember. Youll all assume she just took off, when you get back and find her gone. And when the next Slayer is called... well, poor Faith must have had a bad accident. the last was said with a mocking, innocent look on her face, with eyes wide open.
Wheres Cordy? asked Oz, since Xander was still out cold. Even after all this time, it was still hard to believe that his Willow was gone.
Oh, Cordelias gone to live with some relatives - the weirdness of her life having forced her to re-evaluate her life. She saw she was going nowhere, outside of Sunnydale, and got out. Willowexplained in an absent manner. It was plain to see that it was just another lie - Cordelia hadnt made it.
Is that acceptable? asked Willow, turning to look at the Prince.
Yes. was forced out of him. Julian had no legitimate abjection, he just wanted the Slayer and her group gone, as well as these Brujah, but would settle for the first. They had broken no Kindred laws - these people obviously knew of the Masquerade. The Slayer couldnt be forced to just forget, and it was apparent that her friends helped her frequently. Also, since these humans had attacked first, he couldnt fault Angelus for defending himself and his clan. It was the sign of a good Primogen, or even Prince, that they jump into the fray, not stand back and order others to do what they wont. That had been Camerons and Eddies fault. They would risk others lives, but not their own.
So far, Cash had remained silent, watching the scene before him unfold.
Youre not leaving until theyve gone, are you? Angelus asked Julian, already knowing the answer. Dont you trust me?
If you were in my position, would you? retorted Julian with raised eyebrows.
No. But it doesnt mean I have to like it. said Angelus with a small smile.
Right. Not that thats settled...came Willows voice, filled with disgust for the two territorial males. Sasha. she called out to the younger red head. Have you ever done this before? referring to the influencing of mortals thoughts.
No. Uncle Julian kept me pretty well isolated. she said. Willow sent an accusing glare in Julians direction, though he refused to be provoked.
Put the others to sleep. she told Angelus and Spike. Grabbing her hand, Willow brought Sasha over to where Buffy stood.
Willow.... we wont come back...well leave you alone... began Buffy, trying in vain to not let this happen. She didnt want to forget all this, and she hated it when people messed with her mind.
Sorry, Buffy. It doesnt work like that. reaching out with her mind, she latched on to her will. Sit down and stay silent. Once the blonde had obeyed her, Willow released her hold on the girls mind. Bringing a hand up to her head, Willow groaned. Her head felt like it was splitting open.
Are you Ok, Willow? asked a concerned Sasha. The red head hat tightened her grip on Sashas hand, almost to the point of breaking it.
Yeah. I just forgot how hard it is to influence someone with such a strong will. taking a deep breath to regain her senses, she pulled herself together. I think shell be last. That said, she pulled Sasha over to Amy.
Time to learn now skills, Sasha. kneeling in front of the sleeping witch, Willow reached out a hand, and gently shook the blonde awake. Amy. Wake up, Amy. As soon as the girls eyes opened, Willow took hold of her mind. Amy, listen to me closely. You all came here to look for us, but found nothing. It was a dead end. San Francisco was nice, but not that memorable. You have no desire to come back again. When you leave here, you will go back to Sunnydale, where Faith is still watching over the Hellmouth, as far as you know. Cordelia decided that since she was here, to move in with some relatives here. She decided her life was going nowhere in Sunnydale and left. Do you understand? Willow said all this in a soother, even tone, gently forcing these memories into her mind. The others watched in amazement as Willow altered the memories of this blonde girl with ease.
Yes. came Amys dazed, quiet reply.
Good. Now, when I tell you to, you will go back to where you are staying. Once everyone is there, you will become fully aware, and remember only what Ive told you. seeing the slight nod, Willow continued. She thought shed heard the witch mumbling something earlier, and had a good idea what it was. Did you do a spell to make you remember all this? she asked.
Before you go, Amy, you will undo that spell. Right? pushed Willow.
Ok. was the witchs dreamy reply.
Now, sleep. was what the red head said, waving a hand in front of the blondes face, satisfied when Amy slumped back against the wall, asleep.
Now, Sasha, you try it. instructed Willow, leading her to Xander.
What do I do? asked Sasha, kneeling down in front of the now awake young man.
Look into his eyes. Picture his mind as a separate entity, and trap it. Let yourself fall into his mind. Willow watched closely as Sasha cautiously fell into Xanders mind. Now, imagine a door. Go through it. Youll be into his subconscious and can then influence his thoughts and memories from there. Sasha did just that, repeating what Willow had told Amy, minus the part about the spell. When she was sone, she put him to sleep, and sat back on her heels. Blinking rapidly to clear her mind, Sasha looked up into Willows smiling face.
Very good. said Willow. Turning to Julian, she spoke to him for the first time in awhile. You should have taught her this before now.
There was no need. he said, defending his actions, or lack thereof.
Thats an excuse. You must have known shed leave you someday. She should have learned it from you. said Willow in an accusing tone.
I had my reasons.
Im sure you did. she agreed scathingly. Hey Cash. How you doing, there? turning her attention to the Gangrel. No visible bruises, I see. Willows attitude changed from accusing to amused and mocking. This Gangrel was fun to provoke, she found, hearing his growl.
Cash! the Gangrel was momentarily subdued by the sharp command form the Prince. Laughing softly and grinning, Willow added her own comment.
Willow. came Angelus low warning. Quite playing with the Gangrel. seeing her pout, he had to resist the urge to grin. She had found someone new to provoke, and wanted to play. But now was not the time. Shed been doing the same thing to Spike ever since they left Sunnydale. At first, it was to help him get over Drusilla, but it had eventually turned into a game between the two of them, to see who could control their tempers the longest. So far it had been a tie. But it was always fun to watch those to play.
Disappointed that her fun had been spoiled, she turned back to Sasha and their captives. However, before she could say anything, Christopher arrived with a smug expression on his face.
We got them. Theyre in the basement. he said to the room at large, but looking at Angelus. The Primogen had an evil, deadly smile on his face at hearing this. Everyone knew what he meant. Those in his clan that had betrayed them had been caught.
Willow, finish this. motioning to the Scooby gang. Spike, come with me. The two Brujah had just begun to walk out of the room, when Willow stopped them.
Save a few for us? she called out to them, amused and questioning at the same time.
Anything for you, love. replied Angelus with a smile, before turning and heading for where the traitorous Brujah were located.
Sasha, could you take care of those two? asked Willow, pointing to Oz and Giles. That would leave Buffy for herself, and she could tell from the brief contact earlier, that it would seriously drain her, influencing the Slayers thought and altering her memories. Ignoring her audience, Willow saw Sashas nod, and sat down in front of her old friend. Silently preparing with closed eyes, Willow absently thought that these last few days had certainly left an impression on the Kindred community in the city, regarding the Brujah clan and its new leaders. Opening her eyes, she caught the Slayers gaze, and jumped into her mind.
Across the room, Julian and Cash watched silently as the two red heads altered the memories of their attackers. Looking to Sasha, Julian saw that shed blossomed in the short time shed spent in this groups company. More than she had while under his roof, and very quickly. He wasnt sure if it was a good thing or not. Cash was of a similar opinion. Sasha was more... confident now. She was no longer a confused girl, but a strong woman. It wasnt until hed seen her rush into Spikes arms that he realized hed lost her for good.
What do you think, my young friend? asked Julian, turning slightly towards Cash.
Of? wondered Cash, his gaze still fixed to Sashas form, as she moved form Oz to Giles.
Of these new Kindred in town?
Theyre different from any other Brujah Ive ever met. he said.
That they are. confirmed the Prince. That said, he turned his attention to his niece, who had just finished with the older man. Sasha. he said in greeting as the young red head made her way to where he and Cash wee observing these unusual Brujah. Eddie Fiori and Cameron, and their brood, were the mobster-type, in their dress, attitude and business. These new Brujah, as well as their brood, were dark and dangerous. Not one of them wore a suit and tie, proffering street clothes, yet everything they did was done with sophistication and style. They demanded respect wherever they went, and mostly seemed to get it. He felt sorry for those Brujah who had betrayed them. They would pay with their deaths. There was nothing he could do, had he wanted to. Julian had kept an ear to the conversation Willow was having with the blonde Slayer. Or rather, interrogation. Shed taken control of the girls mind, and was questioning her about how the group had found them. Alan, the Kindred who was next in line for Primogen, after Cameron, had contacted them in Sunnydale, and informed them of the whereabouts of Angelus and the others. What was the worst part of this betrayal, was the fact that Alan and his followers had allowed the Slayers and their group access to the house.
Uncle. she said, stopping in front of him and Cash. Cash.
How are you, Sasha? asked Julian. He would take her away and risk the wrath of her clan, if she were unhappy.
Better than I ever thought possible. she said with a wide smile.
You dont have to stay with them. Youre welcome back into my home anytime. desperately hoping shed come back. He knew she yearned to be accepted by her clan.
I never fit in there, Uncle Julian. Just like I never fit in with the other Brujah. she began softly, but firmly. But with Angelus, Willow and especially Spike, I find I finally belong somewhere. trying to make him understand.
You belong with me. he said forcefully. Cash remained silent, knowing hes already lost her. it had been doomed from the start, when shed been embraced by the Brujah. Thousands of years of clan rivalry stood between them. Theyd tried to overcome that, and maybe they could have, if these Brujah hadnt shown up.
She belongs with us, and thats exactly where shell stay. said Willow from behind Sasha. Unbeknownst to them, shed finished with Buffy, and had been listening to Julian and Sasha, as they talked. Or rather, as Julian persuaded and Sasha resisted.
You cant keep her away from me! he said forcefully. I wont allow it. raising her eyebrows at this, she attempted to rein in her temper.
You wont allow it?! she exclaimed, her eyes flashing gold. Closing her eyes for a minute, Willow slowly regained control of her anger. Opening her eyes, she looked Julian straight in the eye, saying No one tells me what to do! Not even you!... Besides, we have no intention of keeping Sasha away form you. Shes free to come and go as she pleases. her head was pounding worse than ever, she was hungry, and she was exhausted. All this added up to a very cranky vampire, and she told them so.
Sasha. she said to the younger Kindred. Take care of them, motioning to the Slayerettes with a wave of her hand, and them go downstairs. Watching Angelus deliver justice is... educational, to say the least. As Cameron discovered. said Willow.
Why, exactly, was Cameron killed? demanded Julian. He wasnt angry over the former Primogens death, but killing the Primogen of you clan was a serious offense.
He forgot the rules. He was punished. Willow said, her face and entire body tensing up. Sasha. she snapped, spinning around to leave the room, her anger and tension evident in her every step. Ill be upstairs. Theres some unfinished business I need to see to. Then she was gone. Julian looked to see his niece since, as the door slammed behind Willow.
If you value your life, you wont mention Cameron again. said Sasha.
Why? What happened? he was even more curious now.
Cameron apparently caught her off guard; attacked her. he would have either raped her or killed her if Spike hadnt come by when he did. she said. What Angelus and Spike did to him... I heard it wasnt pretty.
Julian was stunned, as was Cash. In the human world, it was a horrible crime, but for a Kindred to attempt anything of the sort, was vile and unthinkable. No one could fault the Brujah for their justice. He also understood Willows attitude, now. Hed seen her confidence and ability. Shed taken down Cash at a moments notice, and hed also heard stories about the red head. She was brutal, quick and deadly, when she needed to be. Yet shed been attacked by Cameron - caught unawares in her own home. The blow to her pride and confidence alone must have been enormous. But he still had to admire her strength of character. The same strength she was instilling in his niece.
Theres nothing more for you to se here. Sasha informed them, after sending the Slayer and Slayerettes on their way. You can go now.
Will you come see me soon? he asked quietly. He loved his niece, and missed having her around.
Soon. she said with a smile, before leaving the room, going out the same way as Angelus and Spike. Julian smiled at her retreating back, before turning and leading Cash out of the Brujah stronghold.
Ah, Faith. Youre still here, I see. Good. said Willow as she stepped into the room the brunette Slayer occupied. Where would I go? Im in a house full of vamps. I leave this room, and Id be forced to dust half your minions, which Im pretty sure you wouldnt take kindly to. came her reply. Willow smiled at this, saying Follow me. as she turned and left the room. The Slayer had no choice but to do as the red head said.
Faith followed her past rooms, down hallways and up some stairs, while she explained about the Kindred community, before stopping in front of a door. Willow entered the room, with Faith one step behind her. sitting on the bed gently, Willow bent over the still-sleeping form of Cordelia. Brushing the dark hair out of the girls face, Willow considered her old friend. Cordelia had only improved in the past few years. She looked older, but it gave her a maturity that hadnt been there before.
Whats Cordy doing here? asked Faith. She was surprised to see the other girl here, and obviously still alive, as Willow had told her what went on downstairs. The way the red head had explained it, led Faith to believe that Cordelia was dead.
Do you know that until a few days ago, I was the only female in our group? asked Willow, softly stroking the side of Cordelias face. They left it up to me to turn any women - they had enough problems with the boys.
Youre going to vamp her? asked a surprised Slayer.
Do you have a problem with that? Willow wondered, her hand stilling as her turned her gaze to meet Faiths.
Not really. But why Cordy? Shes a bitch at the best of times! said Faith.
I like challenges. was all Willow would say, before vamping-out, winking at the Slayer, and turning to her future childe. Faith watched closely as Willow sank her fangs into the brunettes throat, piercing the large vein there. Fascinated by this, Faith approached the bed from the other side in time to see Cordelias eyes open wide as she became aware of what was happening to her. Her eyes pleading with Faith to save her as small gasps of pain and horror escaped her throat. Slowly sitting down on the bed, close to the struggling girl, she placed a hand on her forehead. Stroking her hair in a comforting manner, Faith began to sooth the other girl.
Dont worry, Cordy.....Shhh...Its going to be alright... were Faiths words as Cordelias life was slowly drained from her. The Slayer looked on as the red head drank away her victims blood; her life. After a few minutes, Willow raised her head from her neck, licking her lips as she looked the Slayer in the eye. Shed heard the other girl moving around behind her, and had been prepared for an attack, but it never came. That alone had earned the vampires trust.
Returning her attention to the not-quite dead Slayerette, Willow brought her wrist up to her mouth, ripping it open with only a slight wince betraying her pain. Lowering her dripping wrist to the girls mouth, she gently opened Cordelias lips with her other hand, allowing the blood to drip into her mouth. It was a few seconds before her mouth opened of its own volition, seeking the source of the wonderful elixir. The few drops had only whetted her appetite. When Willow placed her bleeding wrist against the brunettes lips, she was unprepared for the pain of having her blood withdrawn from her with a force. Cordelias body was so starved, that she was pulling the blood out of Willow and into herself like a vacuum. The suction was so painful, that sounds of pain emanated from her mouth.
Everyone in the room, save for Cordelia, was startled when the door to the room burst open. Faith jumped off the bed, and landed in her fighter stance between Willow and the door, prepared to defend her new friend. Willow would have jumped up as well, if Cordelia hadnt had a death grip on her wrist. Turning, she saw an enraged Angelus standing in the doorway.
Angelus, meanwhile, was livid. Hed come looking for his mate, and when hed heard her cries of pain, had rushed to protect her. upon entering the room, it took him a few seconds to realize his mate wasnt being attacked. He took in the Slayer, who was standing between him and his mate in a protective manner. Looking behind her, he saw Willow, not in mortal danger as he had first thought, but in the middle of making her first childe. His rage turned to relief, and then amusement as he heard Willow call out to him.
Shit! Why didnt you TELL me it hurt this much! she almost yelled at him. Willow figured that Cordelia had had enough, but found that trying to pry the girls hands and mouth away from her wrist wasnt working. Beginning to panic, she realized that if Cordelia kept this up, she would drain Willow completely. Then anger came to her rescue. <Like hell Im going down because some prom queen wouldnt let go!> she thought angrily. Doubling her fist, she swung it at Cordelias head, effectively dislodging the other girls mouth from her wrist. Bringing her wounded wrist up to her mouth, she licked the wound, sealing it closed, before looking to the other Slayer and her mate.
Care to explain, little one? he asked, glaring at the Slayer and motioning to the two brunettes. Earlier shed all but admitted they were dead, yet she hadnt actually said Theyre dead., now that he thought about it. That omission made her actions now seem well planned - which they obviously were.
Standing up, Willow wavered for a second or two, before toppling over. Faith caught her before she hit the ground.
Angelus. said Willow, as Faith transferred her burden into Angelus waiting arms.
She took a lot, Willow. his voice full of censure.
Well, Im sorry I dont have a big, gorgeous body full of blood like you, mister. she pouted, poking his chest with her index finger. But when he swung her up into his arms, her pout turned into a smile. Lets go downstair, and while I get something to eat, Faith here can tell you all the most amusing story.
Willow sat across from the bed, patiently waiting for her first childe to awaken. Cordelia had fluttered in and out of consciousness all day, as the Change took hold of her. Finally, just after sunset, the brunettes eyes opened, and she bolted upright on the bed, her sires name on her lips.
Willow! There was a slightly panicked quality to her voice, as she scanned the room for the one who had made her. Cordelias anxiety subsided once she caught sight of the red head, sitting on the other side of the room, looking her over with considering eyes.
Crossing her legs, Willow relaxed back into the chair, looking over her childe. The hunger was already evident in her eyes. These first few moments after awakening were the most important. If not handled properly, the fledgling could become uncontrollable, listening to no one, not even their sire.
Who am I? asked Willow simply.
Youre Willow. replied Cordelia. She knew what Willow wanted to hear, but the demon now inhabiting her body fought the claim that the red head wanted her to acknowledge. However, at the red heads hardening gaze and raised eyebrow, stories that her human self had heard came flooding back to her. My sire. she quickly corrected. Just before she had said the words, the demon had become afraid. The stories of what shed to those who crossed her had horrified the mortal girl, but scared the demon even more. In some ways, she made Angelus and Spike seem like teddy bears. The newly-made vampire was relieved when her sire smiled.
Before anything else could be said, Cordelia doubled over in pain, clutching her stomach and drawing up her knees. Willow, seeing the brunettes demon emerge, knew what was wrong immediately. Her childe was hungry - starved.
Come here. Willows tone allowed for no disobedience, and Cordelia responded. Slowly crawling off the bed, she made her way to where Willow was reclining, one arm still clutching her middle. Once reaching the red head, Willow motioned for her to sit on the floor, by her feet, handing her a large glass of red liquid when she complied.
Does that take the edge off? she asked Cordelia when the glass was empty. Moving to the edge of the chair, Willow used her nails to open up her wrist again, offering it to her childe. Sires blood was rarely offered, and too good to pass up. It also reinforced Willows position in the new Kindreds mind.
As Cordelia latched on, Willow began to gently stroke her brown hair, pulling her head away when she had taken enough. Turning Cordelias face to hers, she noticed that her demon was still showing. Running her fingers over Cordelias ridges, she said Off.. Watching the demon melt away, Willow stood up, holding out a hand to Cordelias.
Its time to meet the rest of the family. said Willow when the brunette took the offered hand, before leading Cordelia out of the room to meet her new family.