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
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.
"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
"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
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
"Who was that?" she asked.
"A doctor. A friend. You've been hurt." Joyce
"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
"Umm, do you feel, that is, do you want..umm..to
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
"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
"Hi," Willow said.
"Hey," Xander said from the couch. The doctor
frowned at him. "I think that first I had better look this young
"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
"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?"
"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
"Mrs. Summers. Rupert called me, he thinks you
might need medical assistance. If you will allow me to examine you…"
"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
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 ....to 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
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
"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
"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