Silence reigned in the cramped room. With so many people in town and no idea what they were up against, it was decided that everyone should stay together. The only place big enough for all of them was the mansion. The four friends usurped the two decent bedrooms and left the others to fend for themselves. Xander took great delight in seeing the uncomfortable looks on all their faces when sunset fell. The two couples had taken advantage of the beds and had made love....loudly. They were really enjoying annoying their ex-friends.
It wasn't until Willow began placing pictures all over the huge livingroom that the four experienced their first awkward moment. The red-head put out a picture of the whole Scooby-gang....including Xander. The brunette was torn between sorrow and anger at the sight, but when he saw Giles duck his head and look away from the picture anger won. He wanted to tear into the watcher and make him bleed from the soul out. But it was Wesley that drove the nails into Giles' coffin.
Strolling casually over to the framed photograph he picked it up and ran his fingers over Xander's image. Moving to stand in front of Giles he cocked his head to one side and stared intently at the older man. With no warhing at all Wes struck out with his left hand. It left a perfect print of itself on the Giles' cheek. Then before anyone could move he began to speak in a low intent voice, the new southern lilt adding a weight to his words that his natural accent lacked.
"Do you know Mr.Giles that I'm also a touch telepath and an empath? Of course you do. One empath can always tell another. How could you do this? How could you find such cruelty in your heart?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Liar! You used him! You felt his love, his affection, and his pain. You twisted his trust until you could put him in your bed. And when you'd taken his innocence, almost by force at that, you threw him away like so much garbage. And for what? The opinions of a pack of spoiled brats!! You rotten manipulative bastard!! Men like you are the reason lynchmobs need to be brought back!!"
"Shut up!! You don't know what you're talking about. Giles would never do that. Xander was a coward. He got bored with trying to be a hero and left. And good riddance. He was never good for anything anyway."
"That's enough Buffy."
"Enough!! Enough. What Mr.Pryce says is true. All of it. I used Xander. And I hurt him very badly."
Taking the picture from Wes' hand, Giles moved to stand at the window. He stood there looking at the photograph. When he spoke again he kept his back to the room.
"He was a hero. He was the only one without any training or power, and he still fought. He was one of the bravest people I've ever known. I fucked up. I fucked up so bloody badly." Turning around he locked his eyes onto Wesley's. "What happened to him? Can you tell me what happened to him?"
Wesley turned to look at Xander. Smiling softly he faced Giles, with his eyes closed he swayed slowly back and forth and spoke in a low monotone.
"I see a broken soul. Dreams ground into dust by the only one entrusted with them. Fear. Pain. Despair. Rage. I see different cities and faces. A man? No. A vampire. With blonde hair and a scar over his eye. I see...an end to the pain."
"Spike? Xander ran into Spike? Is he... Did he... Is he alive?"
"What do you care? You got what you wanted. What does what happened to him after that matter to you?"
Giles grabbed Wesley by his shirt. Hauling him close, he opened his mouth to threaten the younger man when he was stopped cold by a low growl coming closer. Oz was nearly all yellow eyes and teeth. He prowled toward the two men with murder in his eyes. Glancing behind the advancing werewolf Giles saw Xander and Spike both on their feet and moving closer. Spike, or Robert as Giles knew him, was in full gameface. While the man he knew as Xavier had his hands clenched into fists, fists that glowed with purple fire. At that moment Giles understood that he was closer to death then he had ever been before.
Releasing the thin blonde, he stepped back and prepared to defend himself. The werewolf continued to advance and Buffy moved to intercept when Spike cut her off. Before the others could react, Xander raised his hands above his head and sent a bolt of lavender lightning from the ceiling to the floor. It got everyone's attention.
"Daniel! See to Michael. Robert back down. I warned all of you once, consider this your second warning. You won't receive a third. Do not threaten my family."
The Scooby-gang and the trio from L.A. stood by in awed silence as the young warlock ushered the other three men out of the room. When they heard the two doors close they all let out a deep sigh. The Slayerettes were finally convinced...these four strangers from New Orleans were not to be played with.