Part 7



I want you

It's the stupid details that my heart is breaking for

It's the way your shoulders shake and what they're shaking for

It's knowing that he knows you now after only guessing

I want you

It's the thought of him undressing you or you undressing

Elvis Costello, "I want you"

Giles' head was nodding over the Hamburg translation of "De Vermis Mysteriis" when he was jerked into full awareness by the doorbell. He frowned at the clock, it was nearly 11:00 p.m. Unexpected late night visitors were seldom a good thing, especially in Sunnydale. Giles picked up the aluminum bat he kept handy and held it out of sight as he cautiously opened the door.

"My God!" he gasped as Willow and Xander staggered in the door. They were supporting a semi-conscious Joyce Summers, wrapped in a blanket, between them.

"What happened?"

"One word: Spike," Xander said. "He was in Buffy's house. Tried to kill me, but Joyce hit him with a poker and Willow went William Tell on him and he ran."

Xander had been bitten and was still bleeding Giles realized. He moved forward and relieved him of Joyce's dead weight.

"I think maybe she needs to lie down." Xander collapsed onto the couch. "Me too."

He watched Giles carry Mrs. Summers upstairs, feeling like he should help, but somehow not quite able to get up. His neck really hurt. He touched the wound and was not happy when his hand came back bloody.

"Uh, Will, think I could use some first aid here." Willow went in search of first aid supplies, and returned with a bottle of Bactine® and some gauze.

"Oww, ouch," he winced at the antiseptic sting as Willow dabbed at the wound.

"Sorry, not good at this." Willow almost whispered, continuing to clean the blood away.

Spike had done this. Hurt Xander, again. Pale face, pale eyes empty of anything but lethal amusement. She'd thought she'd die when he snatched Xander up and latched onto his throat. It seemed to take forever to fumble the bow out, aim, pull the trigger. She was almost as frightened by the hot stab of pleasure she'd felt at Spike's scream of pain, when her arrow found its mark.

"What happened Xander? What did he do to her?" Xander looked at her, not sure how much he should say about what he'd seen. Especially since he wasn't 100% sure of what exactly he'd seen, it had been really dark in there. And she'd saved his life by hitting Spike when she did.

"I don't know Will," he said finally.

Giles laid Joyce down on his bed. He checked her pulse. It seemed strong, and her breathing was normal. His heart seemed to miss a beat when he saw the fang marks, on her breasts, one set so fresh it was still bleeding, and others of varying ages. He pulled up the blanket up to her shoulders, then picked up the phone and dialed.

"Hello?" Giles smiled at the smooth and slightly irritated tones. Ten years in the States had done very little to modify his old friend's Oxbridge accent.

"Deepali? It's Rupert. I have a case here I'd like you to take a look at." He glanced nervously at Joyce, still apparently unconscious.

"Ah. A special case?" Dr. Mohindra asked in a tone that let Giles know he'd taken his meaning.


"I'm sorry to hear that. I'll be there in a half hour."

"Thank you."

He put down the phone and realized that he was being watched. Joyce was looking at him. She sat up, wincing. There were deep shadows under her eyes and he was shocked to realize how thin she'd become.

"Who was that?" she asked.

"A doctor. A friend. You've been hurt." Joyce frowned.

"Where's Xander? I remember he was hurt..."

"He's fine." Giles soothed her, gently pushing her back onto the bed. "I left him downstairs, Willow's taking care of him. Here."

He draped an Afghan over her shoulders. She was emaciated. The way she'd looked two weeks ago when he'd come to visit. Buffy's concern at her change in behavior. How could they not have known? How could he have missed the signs?

"Good," she stared past him. "Buffy?"

"I'll call her," he said. "They wanted to make sure you were safe."

"Don't let her go back in the house," she grabbed his hand. "He can get in the house."

"I'll call her. Don't worry." She let him go.

"Umm, do you feel, that is, do you tell me what happened?" Giles asked carefully. She looked up at him, something unpleasant gleaming in her eyes.

"No," she said flatly. "But I have to tell someone, and I don't want it to be Buffy." Giles nodded, and gingerly sat down next to her on the bed.

"I went outside one night, and he was there. He told me he'd been watching the house for weeks..."

She told him everything in a dispassionate voice that chilled him almost as much as the events described. He had no words to help her. He felt pity, and rage, but neither would do her any good. When he awkwardly tried to hold her she flinched away. All he could do for her was listen.

"Joyce," he began when she was finally done. "I... don't know what I can..." The doorbell rang.

"Go answer the door Rupert."


"I want to be alone right now."

Xander was still on the couch, with Willow hovering over him worriedly. She'd finished cleaning and bandaging his throat, but the boy still didn't look good, she looked up anxiously as he entered the room.

"Giles! I think he needs a doctor."

"I'm fine," Xander protested, opening his eyes. "Just resting, see."

He started to haul himself up. Giles ignored him and went to the door. He almost smiled when he saw the neatly dressed dark-skinned man who stood on the doorstep.

"Deepali. You made good time." Giles waved him in.

"Rupert. It's been too long."

"Xander, Willow, this is my old friend, Dr. Mohindra. Deepali, this is Willow Rosenberg and Xander Harris...I've told you about them."

"Hi," Willow said.

"Hey," Xander said from the couch. The doctor frowned at him. "I think that first I had better look this young man over."

"Okay," Xander said.

The doctor checked Xander over quickly while Willow hovered anxiously. Giles stood quietly, Willow could tell that he had something on his mind. Not a good something.

"That's a nasty bite you have there, painful but nothing serious." Mohindra said.

"Easy for you to say," Xander mumbled. The doctor ignored him.

"Keep it clean and covered. A little antibiotic cream might be a good idea," he continued "You've lost some blood."

"Ya think?" Xander mumbled.

"Again, nothing to worry about. But you also have two broken ribs and I think you should to go in for an x-ray, just in case." He turned to Willow. "Miss Rosenberg, can you drive him to the ER?" Willow shook her head.

"I can't drive," she apologized.

"Then Rupert will have to take him. Rupert?" Giles nodded.

"First, I'd better introduce you to your other patient. She's upstairs." He led the doctor up the stairs. Xander watched as Giles paused on the landing and spoke quietly to the Doctor, obviously filling him in.



She lay on the bed huddled around herself, trying to make sense of things. Was she safe? Here in Giles' bedroom, which was so much like him, or at least his outer persona. Full sized bed, brown spread, white walls, and a few landscapes that might have come with the place. She was tired, and she knew she stank. Her knees were black with dirt and grass stains. She didn't know what she wanted. She wanted to sleep, she wanted to cry, she wanted to die. She wanted to pry the screen off the window and slide down the roof and run off into the night to find him. She was never alone anymore. She could feel him, creeping around under her skin, little black flecks of him spiraling through her blood. So tired. She needed a drink. She heard footsteps, coming toward the room and sat up, her heart hammering in her chest.

There was a knock at the door.

"Joyce?" It was only Giles.

"Come in." He came in with a small, East-Indian man carrying a large black doctor's bag.

"Joyce, this is my friend, Doctor Mohindra. Mohindra, this is Joyce Summers."

Joyce studied him. He smiled and took her hand graciously, but she could tell he wasn't any happier about the situation than she was.

"Mrs. Summers. Rupert called me, he thinks you might need medical assistance. If you will allow me to examine you…" Joyce nodded.

"I'll leave you two then. I have to take Xander to the ER. Willow is downstairs. It shouldn't take long." Giles fled. Doctor and patient looked at each other.

"Well." Joyce said. "Here we are."

"Would you feel more comfortable if Miss Rosenberg joined us?" He asked. Joyce considered, then shook her head.

"No. It's allright."

The doctor nodded. "Then if you could remove your robe please."

He was probably a very good doctor, but in Joyce's opinion, his bedside manner needed work. It was a very thorough and completely impersonal examination. His questions were strictly clinical, and he didn't flinch from her answers. He took samples of her skin, hair, spit, blood; he only showed signs of humanity when he drew the blood sample, apologizing twice for the necessity, she almost laughed. Then she found herself fascinated by her own dark blood filling the vial, caught him watching her and looked away.

"Well," he said, done at last. Joyce wrapped her arms around herself and waited for the bad news. "Mrs. Summers, you need food, rest, and time to heal. A bath will make you feel better."

"It will make you feel better," he repeated. "I'll send Miss Rosenberg up to help you."

"I can take a bath by myself," Joyce protested.

"Don't refuse help when it's offered," Mohindra chided her gently. He pulled out a small bottle, a prescription pad and a pen. "Take two of these after your bath, they will help you sleep." He scribbled quickly and handed the prescription to her. "Get this filled tomorrow. It's a mild painkiller."

"Thank you," Joyce said.

"Good bye Mrs. Summers. Take care."



"Stop fucking around and pull the bloody thing out!" Spike roared, resisting the temptation to break the nervous minion's idiot neck and draft another volunteer. It was one of the Master's moronic get; they were all the same, pretty, but with fewer brains than the average rutabaga.

"Let's try it again, shall we?" he said through gritted teeth. "Right, on three. One, two, aaaaargh!"

He snatched the extracted bolt from the wide-eyed vampire's hand and splintered the bolt. Hopefully he'd be able to do something to that po-faced redhead some day. And her peeping tom boyfriend. The taste of him still lingered unpleasantly in his mouth.

He stalked past the terrified vampires to his chamber. It wasn't much, his new headquarters in what had been the Sunnybitz™ cookie factory weren't up to much. He'd been better off in his old digs in the storm drains beneath Sunnydale, but he suspected the Slayer knew about them. It was time and past time he ditched Sunnydale. And he would, as soon as he got her back. He threw himself down on the bare mattress and closed his eyes. The sun was coming up in the world above. He could still sense her through the slowly fading traces of his blood inside her. She was asleep. Somewhere hidden, thinking herself safe, from him. A cold rage filled him at the thought. She was his, forever. And there was nothing in this pathetic fucking town that could keep him from getting her back.


Willow opened the door slowly. Buffy's mom was lying on the tightly made bed, apparently asleep. Maybe she shouldn't wake her. Giles' bedroom. She couldn't help being curious. He was really neat. The toiletries on the dresser looked as though they'd been lined up with a ruler. There was a black and white portrait of a couple in 40's era clothing. Giles' parents, maybe?

"Willow," she jumped at the raspy voice and turned to find Mrs. Summers awake. "What happened, where... Oh. Shit." Her face crumpled as memory flooded back.

"No. No, please don't do that. I just came up because...the doctor said you wanted take a bath." Willow babbled, her eyes sliding away from Joyce. She knew she was doing it, and she hated herself for it, but she couldn't seem to stop herself.

"It's alright Willow, I just fell asleep. I…" Distractedly she brushed at a grass stain on her arm and wrinkled her nose in disgust. "A bath would be a good idea. Could you run the water for me?"

"Yes." Willow almost ran into the bathroom.

When Joyce tried to stand, she found that her various bruises and strains had tightened up on her. Willow had to help her get up from the bed and into the bathroom. Once in the bathroom, with a wince Joyce shrugged out of her robe.

Willow thought she'd prepared herself for the sight of Buffy's mom in the nude, but she wasn't prepared for what she saw. Her face and her arms were relatively untouched. But scratches and bruises, some freshly purple, others fading to shades of green and yellow covered her body. The bites were the hardest for her to look at. There were neat punctures of fangs and the ragged semicircles left by human teeth on her breasts, belly, buttocks, and thighs.

His cold hands slamming Xander into the wall, holding her holding her helpless, too close to him. The layered stink of him -- alcohol, dirt, and under it that undead reek of blood and decay. Angelus had smelled the same in that horrible moment when he'd had his hard hands on her neck, laughing, stretching out the terror; but she'd known he only meant to kill her. Spike, his hands on her while he whined about his lost loony love, his cold breath against her throat. "Mmm. That smell... Your neck... I haven't had a woman in weeks." And she'd realized that there might actually be a fate worse than death.

Joyce looked at Willow's pale face and something twisted deep inside her. Poor widdle baby, more than you wanted to know? whispered a dry voice she didn't want to recognize as her own. Oh hell.

"You don't have to stay. I can cope," Joyce offered, taking pity on her.

Willow was ashamed of herself. It wasn't about her. She wasn't the one who'd been hurt, even though when she looked at the ruin of Joyce's body, she could feel his hands on her again. She put on her resolve face.

"No, it's O.K." She took her arm again and helped her into the bath. "Let me do your back."

She squeezed the sponge and water ran over her back, clear and clean.


The doctor was waiting for him downstairs when Giles returned. His fingers flew as he entered data into the notebook computer he'd set up on the counter.

"Willow?" Giles asked.

"She's helping Mrs. Summers." He finished typing and put the notepad away. "I'll cut to the chase, shall I? She should recover. She's battered, bruised, and anemic, but I don't believe her soul is in peril, she's in no danger of being turned. She admits being contaminated by his blood, and the tests do show traces, but well below the critical level. Nothing her immune system can't handle."

"Thank God."

"Considering the length of her ordeal, she's in remarkably good shape. She might have lasted another month without intervention. It's unprecedented for a vampire toy to last so long. Quite fascinating, I don't believe I've ever heard of a case like it. If you don't mind, I'd like to follow up…" The doctor noticed the look Giles was giving him, and caught himself.

"Er. In any case, if you can keep him away from her, there's no reason she won't make a full physical recovery. She seems strong. Tell me, what do you know about her attacker this "Spike"? How persistent is he likely to be, now that he's been discovered?"

"He has something of a history of...obsessiveness." Giles gave the doctor a quick overview of Spike's relationship with Drusilla. When he was done, Mohindra shook his head sadly.

"That is not good news. I think you're correct. He won't give her up."

"He'll never get near her again," Giles said coldly. "I'll make sure of it."



Alone again in the dark, Joyce waited for the doctor's sleeping pills to take effect. Willow had left her after helping her dress in Giles' oversized pajamas. She'd offered to do a blessing spell tomorrow as soon as she could get the materials together, and Joyce had accepted. It couldn't hurt. Right now, she just wanted to sleep.

"Mom?" The familiar voice dragged her back from fluffy black oblivion she looked up to see her daughters pale worried face hanging over her. "Oh, mom. He hurt you."

"Buffy, oh thank God." She sat up and opened her arms. Mother and daughter clung together and cried.

"He's going to die, Mom. Promise." Buffy whispered into her ear when the crying had died down.

"Good." Joyce whispered back. "That's my good girl."


END Part 7


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