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Ready To Serve by pfeifferpack
Chapter 5
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Giles poured yet another shot of single malt and prayed he could keep fuzzy as long as possible. Last night had been a nightmare.

He had started the night worried that his Slayer was either dead or turned at the hands of Angelus. If possible, the night only became worse as Buffy was now more angry than he had ever seen her. She was barely speaking to him or to Angel. She was also showing signs of intending to walk--no, run--right into the coils of that other vampire Giles just could not seem to pry away from his Slayer ...Spike.

God, not even being burned to ash could keep the bloody bastard away! Giles was beginning to believe that Spike was his own personal punishment from the Powers that Be for his Ripper years!

He had a hellish headache and hadn't even begun to experience the hangover sure to come. Perhaps if he remained drunk all of this would just go away.

He was glad to live in a detached home as his neighbors would surely despise him for all the yelling and the fair amount of cursing that had come from his usually quiet home last night.

The four people involved in this tawdry melodrama had gone to Giles' home--followed him, actually--to hash it all out after he had blurted out the unmentionable name. "Blast and damn. Now Spike is mucking up my life from across the bloody ocean," he groused. "Is there no end to this?" he pled with whatever Powers listened to the woes of middle-aged Watchers.

Slowly, Buffy had gotten the story from the two conspirators in silence, her angry insistence making sure they left out no detail, no matter how small. The two managed to put the best possible spin on the events that they chose to divulge, giving Buffy MOST of the story in a sanitized form.

Willow sat, her mouth gaping open, amazed at what she was hearing. She wasn't really surprised at Angel's highhanded decision to make choices for Buffy; he always had, after all. But she thought that Giles had learned his lesson after meeting Buffy's cold fury over the botched plan to kill Spike before that last battle. Apparently he hadn't.

"Over a year and a half...over a year and a half you've kept this from me!" Buffy practically screamed more than once. "Why the hell did you think I shouldn't know something as monumental as Spike resurrecting?" Buffy demanded from Angel and then Giles.

They both tried to explain the reasoning behind their mutual decision in favor of silence, but to no avail.

"And Spike, good thing for him he's not here right now or I'd send him someplace he'd NEVER resurrect from!" she continued. "You two, I can almost get you two ....you're both great at makin' the big decisions behind my back, planning my life out for me, but Spike…," she sputtered, then fled the room in tears.

Everyone decided to give Buffy a bit of time to collect herself - and possibly use the time to hide all the weapons in Giles' home.

Willow shook her head in disappointment at the two nervous men pacing in front of her. "Really, don't you think Buffy has earned the right to think for herself by now?" she chided them. "And Angel, if you're the one who convinced Spike to stay away, I'd have to say you're not a very good influence on him…shame on you! Shame on you both!" Willow pronounced. "You, you, men you...so it's okay for Buffy to go out every night and kill the big bads, but she needs the ‘clearer thinking’ of a manly man to make all those life choices for her? Glad I swore off guys!"

The two targets of the ladies’ wrath had the decency to look chagrined.

"Could you pour me one of those, Giles?" Angel begged his reluctant host, "or maybe two or three? Think we should phone Spike? Kinda warn him about the incoming storm....tell him to hide all the sharp wooden stuff?"

"No," said a vengeful Giles, "Why should WE have all the fun? Maybe she'll still be angry enough to stake him and we will all be better off." He defiantly stared back into Willow’s glower.


Buffy decided the best thing to do would be to do the surprising herself. Then she made sure that no one would spread word of her mission. "You boys are so good at keeping secrets that this shouldn't be too hard for you," she stated, staring at them both with icy cold eyes.

Angel never thought he'd ever feel sorry for Spike, but unless Buffy calmed down a lot before her flight landed, Spike was in for one hell of a ‘welcome back’. Then the less mature side of Angel chimed in with an evil laugh. He wished he could go back on his promise to keep quiet if only to get Fred or Gunn to videotape the reunion.

A brand new Hellmouth was about to open. Angel just hoped there'd be some of L.A. left to return to when it was all over.
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