Chapter Eight-Lies Buffy Told Me
The loud bell rang, as was to be expected at 3 o’clock, sounding the release of all of Sunnydale High’s students from their mundane Monday afternoon classes. It was also the signal of Buffy’s freedom, giving her the cue to run out of the school’s main office like a bat out of hell. Strangely enough however, the quasi, not really qualified guidance counselor remained seated at her desk, staring at the closed wooden door that barred her out of the Principal’s Office.
Last night in the comforting arms of her vampire boyfriend, after spending a long and tiresome day training the Potentials with Spike, Buffy had decided that she would tell Wood about them. She had been debating the issue the whole weekend, but when it came down to it, her newest ally needed to know. Buffy felt she owed him that much. If Wood was going to risk his life to help them against the First, then he should know everything, and not just her current dating status. Wood needed to know about what had happened to her in that alternate dimension, along with the prophecy they had discovered. Buffy had partly omitted certain facts because she hadn’t wanted him to become even more worried about things he had absolutely no control over. To be honest, Buffy had also been still reeling from the whole experience and had wanted to keep thinking about the whole ‘possession’ ordeal to an absolute minimum. But now thanks to Spike, she had dealt with it, or at least felt comfortable enough to talk about it to someone outside her close knit group of friends.
Taking in a deep soothing breath, Buffy pushed herself up from her desk. Taking the first hesitant step toward the Principal’s office, Buffy’s uncertainty began to kick in. ‘What if he totally flips?’ she worried, coming to a complete halt outside his door.
Buffy had no doubt in her mind that the son of a slayer would be against her relationship with a vampire. She knew he disliked the fact that Spike was even fighting on their side. How was Wood going to react when she told him that not only was she dating Spike, but that the vampire was also prophesized to somehow help her against the First? Buffy began to fidget with her hands as her second thoughts augmented her nervousness.
Abruptly stomping her foot, the Slayer growled quietly. ‘Get a grip Buffy! You’ve faced off against a Hell god! You think you could handle telling someone outside of the Scoobies that you’re dating Spike!’
Squaring off her shoulders and raising her head high, Buffy was about to lift her hand to knock on the door when it suddenly swung open, revealing a startled Principal Wood.
“Buffy, you’re still here,” Robin remarked, slightly surprised by her presence. “I would’ve figured you left the second the bell rang.”
“Uh yeah, I actually have to talk to you about something,” she minimally replied. “You know, about my other job.”
Her cryptic response snapped him to full attention, completely understanding its real meaning. Smiling to the few remaining office employees as they waved their goodbyes, Principal Wood quickly ushered Buffy into his office.
“I hope everything is alright,” Wood said as he carefully closed the door.
“Apocalypse status still the same as it was yesterday,” Buffy quipped apprehensively before shrugging her shoulders. “Still pending.”
Robin exhaled, but not completely relieved. They were talking about the apocalypse after all. “So, what’s on your mind?” he asked outright, sitting on his desk as he awaited her news.
Buffy immediately broke out into a pace, anxiously walking back and forth in the limited space of the office. “Okay. So there’s this thing I’ve been meaning to tell you,” Buffy began, twisting her fingers together nervously.
“This sounds serious,” Wood stated, concern marring his brow.
“Yeah, kinda is. Ummm, remember the vision I had when I came out of that portal from that box in your mom’s slayer kit?” she tentatively asked though she already knew the answer.
“Sure. If I recall correctly you said it was like a scene out of the Lord of the Rings, but without the cute little hobbits,” he replied, an amused grin splayed across his lips.
A disgusted look instantaneously came over Buffy’s face. “I did?”
“Uh huh,” he assured.
The Slayer ceased her agitated pacing to look up at the ceiling, incredulously shaking her head. “I really gotta stop letting Andrew pick out the movies for movie night. Next thing you’ll know, I’ll be throwing around Griffindor and Ewok references like it’s completely part of normal human conversation,” Buffy self-deprecatingly remarked.
“Uhhh…Griffin-what?” Wood inquired; clearly unfamiliar with whatever it was she was referring to.
“Uggghhh. Nevermind,” Buffy said with a defeated groan as she rubbed her forehead. “The point I was trying to make was that the vision wasn’t the only thing to come out of my dimension hopping.”
Wood grew alarmed. “You mean something followed you here through the portal?” he asked with wide brown eyes.
The Slayer considered his question carefully. “I guess you could say that,” she replied slowly.
“What was it? Another demon?” he urged her to elaborate, getting the wrong idea of what Buffy was trying to tell him.
“You could say that too,” she answered cautiously.
Wood gave her a perplexed expression, quirking an eyebrow ever so slightly. “Okay, how about I just let you tell me what happened.”
Buffy nodded. “So when I went through the portal, I met the guys responsible for creating the Slayer. To make a long story short, these guys took one part human girl and one part ‘demon spirit’, mixed them together and presto! The First Slayer,” she quirkily explained.
“Demon spirit? The slayer is part demon?!” To say Wood was surprised would’ve been an understatement. His jaw nearly hit the floor at the unexpected news.
“You could look at it that way. The slayer powers that get passed down anyway have demon origins. That’s all we really know,” Buffy continued to enlighten, all the while knowing that her little confession was no way near close to being finished.
“Wow,” Robin uttered, still flabbergasted by the revelation. It made a lot of sense when you sat down and thought about it. How else could one lone girl face off against vampires if her strength didn’t equal, of even excel their own? The implications of this newly divulged information slowly materialized amongst Wood’s chaotic thoughts. Not only did this all mean Buffy was part demon, but that his own mother had been as well. The idea was unsettling, causing his dumbstruck gawk to transform into a disturbed grimace.
Buffy sighed audibly. “Yeah. It’s definitely a wow-worthy bulletin. But there’s more,” she solemnly stated, finally deciding to take a seat in one of the office’s chairs.
“Really? Just how much have you been keeping from me?” Wood wondered, his tone still predominantly stunned, however the tiniest underlying traces of resentment could easily be detected. ‘What else could she possibly tell me? Why was Buffy hiding this from me? Doesn’t she trust me?’
Buffy bowed her head, slightly ashamed with herself. She should have told Robin a lot sooner. He was obviously offended that she hadn’t. “Ummm, well, those shadow guys I was talking about, the ones I met in the other dimension, kinda decided it was time for a little reenactment. They…they…” Buffy struggled to finish the sentence. The whole experience had been very traumatic for her. Maybe she wasn’t as over it as she thought she was.
Wood let out a throaty gasp with a few ‘Oh my God’s swiftly muttered beneath his breath. “They did to you what they did to the First Slayer, didn’t they?” he inquired, the sympathy palpable in his voice.
“Yeah,” Buffy whispered, continuing to gaze down into her lap. “They choked me full of black ‘demon spirit’ mistiness.”
“Ar-are you alright?” Wood asked, his soulful brown eyes remaining transfixed upon her, partly out of concern, but also somewhat out of curiosity.
Buffy snorted lightly. “At first I wasn’t. I was majorly freaked and in total denial, but I got through it thanks to my friends,” she admitted while mentally adding, ‘but mostly thanks to Spike.’
Robin nodded understandingly but he was still plagued by a bunch of questions. “Do you feel any different? And why would they do such a thing? Does it involve the First?”
Buffy lifted her head up to look back at him. “I feel the exact same. And to answer your last two questions, yes it has to do with the First. They said I needed the extra strength if I’m going to go up against it,” she explained, watching his face warily to make sure he comprehended what she was saying. “The weird thing is that this demon power or whatever it is doesn’t get superpowery until some prophecy gets fulfilled.”
“Prophecy?” Just when Wood was beginning to think he had a good grasp on what was going on.
“Umm…yeah…it’s actually the reason I brought all this up. Well sort of,” Buffy replied, deciding to get up out of the chair, resuming her pace of the Principal’s office.
“Well, I don’t think there’s anything else that you could tell me that’ll shock me any more than I already am,” Wood remarked skeptically.
“After I got possessed, Willow found a prophecy that said I would eventually gain these extra powers after Spike kills some baddy so that I can wield some kinda weapon. Or so we think,” Buffy quickly uttered, still roaming around the room.
Wood’s jaw finally hit the floor. “I stand corrected,” he announced. Suddenly what she had actually said slowly sank in, bringing with it the instinctive feelings of hate. Spike. The name alone made him see red. He couldn’t possibly be the hero described in the prophecy. Buffy must have misinterpreted it.
Buffy noticed the angered look distorting Robin’s usually handsome features. “What’s wrong?” she wondered. ‘He can’t be mad yet. I haven’t even gotten to the dating Spike part.’
“Are you certain the prophecy named Spike specifically to help you against the First?” Wood inquired, his voice hoarse as he tried to contain his aversion to the Slayer’s open friendship with the vampire that killed his mother.
“It said precisely that a ‘lifeless life’ would kill some Big Bad. If that ain’t Spike then I don’t know who else it could be,” Buffy retorted, making a valid point.
“But Buffy, how can you possibly believe that a vampire would ever genuinely help out the good guys?” Robin asked, voicing his blatant doubt. ‘Especially a vampire with his past,’ the principal/demon hunter mentally inserted.
“For one thing, that vampire has been fighting on my side for the past three years. He’s even helped me save the world from an apocalypse,” the Slayer rebutted, suddenly becoming very defensive. “Spike’s changed. He’s not evil anymore. He’s loyal and caring, and he does so much and barely gets any recognition for it.”
As Buffy continued to defend Spike, Wood noticed the starry eyed, far away looks she was making, even if only for the slightest second. Growing uncomfortable with what her facial expressions possibly meant Robin shifted restlessly on the desktop as he shook his head. ‘There’s no way. Buffy’s way smarter than that,’ he internally disbelieved.
“Ummm…this isn’t really any of my business but…” he began to hesitate.
‘Oh crap! How’d he figure it out?!’ she inwardly squeaked. ‘I gotta be the one to tell him first. Or else he’s gonna think I wasn’t planning on telling him at all.’
“I’m dating Spike!”
Wood remained utterly gobsmacked. He hadn’t expected her to blurt it out like that. Robin was actually anticipating some form of denial as a response to his almost spoken question. Not a confirmation to actually having a romantic relationship with William the Bloody. He was beyond bewildered. He was beyond upset. There wasn’t a word in the English language to describe how he felt.
“Y-you’re kidding, right?” he stammered out, his face void of any emotion as he stared blankly at the petite blonde in the middle of the room.
Buffy slowly shook her head. “No, I’m not,” she solemnly affirmed.
“Buffy, he’s a vampire. How can you even consider being involved with him?” Wood wondered, gritting his teeth as he tried very hard not to sound condescending.
“Spike has a soul now,” she countered, happy to see that that bit of information had prompted him to thoughtfully pause, even if only for a short moment. Before Robin could respond, Buffy continued. “Spike and I have a history, and it’s totally messed up and more complicated than anyone will ever know. No one truly gets him but me. They’re all bent up on his chip getting removed and the whole trigger being still activated.”
‘Really not helping out your cause here, Buffy,’ she internally scolded. Sighing loudly as she slumped her shoulders, the Slayer began to explain Spike’s history in Sunnydale. “A military ops group few years back put a behavioral modification microchip in his brain to stop him from hurting people.”
“And it’s gone!?!” Robin asked incredulously.
“It was malfunctioning. It had to be removed or it would have killed him,” Buffy told him, fully aware that she had omitted the fact that she also had had the option to repair the small defective piece of silicon in Spike’s head.
‘Pity,’ Wood thought as he readied to pose another question. “So if it’s gone, how can the trigger still be active?”
Buffy gave a curt nod, admitting that the whole thing was kind of complex. “The trigger’s actually a posthypnotic thing. The First put it in his head. It was... made him... He was killing again,” she reluctantly admitted.
“You mean now he’s killing uncontrollably and you’re still dating him?!” Wood pushed himself off the desk, walking closer to Buffy.
“Spike was, but he’s not anymore. I can’t explain it but the First has just stopped setting him off,” she responded, crossing her arms in a poignant gesture to say that he wasn’t going to get her to change her mind.
Wood couldn’t help but take her up on her silent challenge. “Buffy, how can you have him roam around the house with all those defenseless girls, let alone form some kind of relationship with that monst—”
The Slayer instantly cut him off. “He is not a monster,” she declared sternly. “Was maybe, but the present tense of that word cannot be used to describe Spike. Everything that had happened had been completely out of his control. We’re still trying to figure out a way to get rid of the First’s hold on him.”
Robin sighed at her stubbornness. “Buffy, I know you think you know him…”
“Look,” she interrupted him again, blatantly exasperated. “I thought I should tell you since it’s only fair that you know what you’re getting yourself into. I value your friendship and we need everyone we can get in this fight but I’m only going to say this once. My relationship with Spike is not up for debate and that’s final.”
Wood immediately disregarded her resolute mindset. “Buffy, you don’t know everything he’s done. How can you just turn a blind eye?” he pushed.
Buffy squinted her eyes in aggravation. “Even before the soul, Spike has been fighting by my side. No one knows him, gets him, like I do. I admit I don’t know every single detail of his sordid past, but I do know of the sins he’s committed against me. And those were absolutely kyboshed the second Spike went out and willingly got his soul back. The trigger might still be working but we need him. Besides me, he’s the strongest fighter we have!” she informed Robin, her voice becoming increasingly higher. “The prophecy says he’s gonna do right by us. We need him. I need him. And that’s—”
“He killed my mother.”
The slapping sound of Buffy’s mouth instantly shutting echoed throughout the room. ‘I guess I’m not the only one who can blurt out secrets.’ She eyed Wood wearily. She would have expected a smug smirk plastered on his face but instead he just appeared outright devastated.
“He what?” she whispered softly.
“Spike is the vampire that killed my mother,” Wood reiterated, his mournful gaze locking with Buffy’s.
“Oh my God,” she gasped silently, covering her mouth with her hands. It all made sense now. The unexplainable hostility Robin exhibited whenever Spike was around or even simply mentioned. Buffy had chalked it up to general vampire mistrust and hate since his mother had been killed by one. She would have never guessed in a million years that Spike’s second slayer had been Robin’s mother. ‘Oh my God.’
Wood gently sneered at her reaction. “You still so sure of him now?”
Buffy adamantly shook her head. “He’s not the same vampire that did that.”
“Doesn’t wash blood off his hands though,” Robin quickly shot back.
Buffy didn’t know what else to say. She just remained staring at him, torn between feeling sorry for the man standing before her and threatening to hurt him six ways from Sunday if he even so much as considered touching a single hair on her boyfriend’s platinum head. Buffy also knew that if she said anything else, she might completely sway him from helping her out. As conflicted as she was about Mr. Robin Wood, the Slayer needed him on her side.
Wood didn’t avert his eyes from Buffy’s obstinate gaze. The Slayer was clearly being manipulated by Spike. There was no doubt in his mind. The vampire was a ticking time bomb, and she was too blind sighted by her feelings to come to terms with the consequences of what she was doing.
However, Spike’s involvement in the prophecy was a little too difficult to disregard. Maybe Buffy had made the whole thing up to protect Spike? Wood mentally discounted the notion. He knew that Buffy could never be that deceitful. What if Spike had reformed and was now, dare he say it, truly a champion of good? Robin’s plans for revenge were slowly beginning to quell. Not only did Buffy’s announcement set off his misgivings about the infamous vampire, but the fact that she was dating Spike made Wood think that the small, yet incredibly strong woman before him would probably exact some vengeance of her own if he ever tried to kill her undead boyfriend. Wood hated to admit it, but he was torn.
“So,” Buffy said, deciding to break the uncomfortable silence. “Where’s that leave us now?”
Wood smiled at her frankness. “The First Evil still trying to destroy the world?” he good naturedly asked.
“Yup,” she replied gleefully, her spirits suddenly brightened by his jovial manner.
“Then count me in,” he told her. He wasn’t about to ditch Buffy in her biggest moment of need. It wasn’t to say that his decision was entirely selfless. Allying himself with the Slayer allowed him access to the inner sanctum and her closest confidents, including Spike. What better way to keep an eye on him than to join Buffy. He would know the instant the vampire crossed the line, and Wood would be there, stake in hand.
Satisfied with his response, Buffy walked toward the door, ready to leave. She paused when Robin called after her. “Oh and Buffy? Just don’t leave me in a room alone with him. I can’t make any promises if you do,” he seriously told her as he sat back behind his desk.
Buffy understandingly nodded in silence. She waved goodbye before heading out the door, feeling a wash of relief flow over her as she eagerly scurried out of the hallway, suddenly compelled to see Spike again.
Back in his office, Wood stared at the door Buffy had just exited, their conversation still fresh in his mind. He had meant what he’d said. The moment he found the opportunity to be alone with the vampire; Robin wouldn’t be able to stop himself from avenging his mother. That much he was certain.
A/N: Thnx again Darkezza for the beta job. You're the best!
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