Part 15: “They Dust Vampires Don’t They?”

“Turn here! Colson Street and 50th! “ Buffy leaned so far forward that her nose was nearly touching the windscreen. As the van turned the corner she felt relief crash over her when she saw Joyce standing on the sidewalk, spotlit under the streetlight. Before the van had come to a complete halt Buffy was out and running towards her mother. The dust disturbed by her passing swirled in tiny spirals in her wake.

“Mom!” Buffy lifted the taller woman off her feet in a fierce hug.

“Buffy!” Her mother gasped as she hugged her back as hard as she could. Buffy forgot and let herself relax into the familiar embrace.

Unnoticed the other White Hats – Giles, Oz, and Nancy—emerged from the white van. Giles and Nancy hurried over to Joyce and Buffy while the two boys stood gawking at the ash carpeting the ground

Larry grinned and high-fived Oz. “Looks like your UV-grenade worked man! Ace!”

Oz smiled.

“Mrs. Summers! Are you injured?” Giles asked worriedly.

Buffy stiffened and let go, stepping back from Joyce.

Joyce looked a little sad as she reassured them that she was fine. “It’s Spike…”

Buffy looked down at the crumpled figure she’d barely registered before and whistled. “Whoa! What happened to him?”

“Vampires, I think they came from the Master.”

“Huh.” She prodded the inert body with her toe. No response. Buffy didn’t think she’d ever seen a vamp in this bad a shape. He wasn’t going to be doing any fighting anytime soon. She pulled a stake out and bent down to do him a favor.

“Buffy! What are you doing!” Buffy frowned.

“Her duty,” Giles said. “And a mercy, in this instance.”

Joyce stared at them both, horrified. “He’s not an animal! He was hurt fighting them off! If he hadn’t been here I’d be dead!”

“If the asshole hadn’t dragged you here in the first place there wouldn’t have been a problem in the first place!” Buffy pointed out. “I told you it was a bad idea!”

Giles cleared his throat. “You can’t let yourself be lured into sentimentality because he’s been pleasant to you,” Giles said in an infuriatingly kindly tone. “Spike is still a killer. He agreed to help us for his own selfish reasons and he’ll turn on us in an instant when it suits him.”

Joyce shook her head in denial. “I think I know him better than you do. I’m not going to leave him here!”

Buffy’s face closed in on itself. “Fuck this, I’m not hanging around to nursemaid the bloodsucker. I’ll see you guys later.”

“Buffy, please…” But her daughter had already disappeared into the night in search of something to kill.

Giles’ gaze flickered over Spike. “Yes. Well. We’ll take him to SunnyRest – there are a number of unoccupied crypts. Vampires have amazing recuperative ability.”

Joyce shook her head in disbelief. “You mean dump him. When he’s helpless. You might as well stake him.”

“Works for me,” Nancy mumbled; Oz took hold of her hand shaking his head.

“It’s not like you can take him to Emergency,” Larry pointed out. “I mean, you could, but it’s not like they’d know what to do with him.”

“Yes, what do you propose be done with Spike, Mrs. Summers?”


Giles watched, his mouth fixed in a disapproving line as Larry and Oz carried Spike in and dumped him onto her bed. He never said a word, not even good-night as he turned and left with the others, leaving her alone with Spike.

The door clicked shut and there they were. Joyce sighed, regrets crowding in, too late. She stared at Spike. He hadn’t stirred the whole way over there, lying on the bottom of Oz’s van. What on earth was she going to do now?

Her hands shook a little as she peeled off his coat. The soft old leather was ripped and sticky with gore but she folded it up carefully and put it in a shopping bag in case he still wanted it. She hated blood, hated the stains on Buffy’s clothes, the blood dripping down Dawn’s arm as she cried… The past few years of her life had been soaked in blood, she didn’t seem to be able to get away from it. She cut off the t-shirt underneath with scissors (thank you ER) and let it drop to the floor as she stared in shock at the disaster revealed. Dear God. His torso was mottled with bruises in various colors and crisscrossed with cuts that gaped bloodlessly. The bits of skin between the bruises and the dried gore were an unnerving eggshell white. He’d need blood. Tomorrow morning she’d go to the butcher’s and stock up.

She cleaned him up and bandaged him as best she could. She didn’t know whether anything she was doing would do any good but she felt better doing something. She noticed that his flesh felt warmer than it had in the club. Did vampires run fevers? She’d call Angel up tomorrow and ask.

When she’d done everything she could think to do she pulled a blanket over him and went out to the living room. She dropped down onto the couch and leaned back feeling every minute of her age squatting on her shoulders. She felt grimy, she could use a bath, or at least a shower. She yawned and closed her eyes, just for a minute...


The Chase mansion was dark except for one light at the back of the house when Giles got there. He was somehow not surprised to find Angel sitting pale and handsome all in black, reading Baudelaire by the single lamp. The man—vampire—was such a bloody cliché. No wonder an innocent teenaged girl might fall for him. Hard as it was to imagine Buffy Summers as an innocent. He tapped on the window and felt a mean sort of pleasure when Angel startled and dropped his book.

Angel flowed to his feet and Giles’s amusement drained away. He suddenly felt like an impala seeing hungry yellow eyes in the shadows of the tall grass.

Angel let his human mask slide back into place as he recognized the face peering in at him.

“What’s going on?” Angel let Giles in. The Watcher wasn’t the last person he’d expected to see, but he was on the short list. He’d been out patrolling again; he looked tired and he carried the smells of blood and vamp dust in with him.

“I need blood,” Giles said flatly.

Well, that was a first. “Blood?”

“Yes, iii-it’s for Spike. He’s been badly hurt. He’s unconscious now, but once he wakes up he’ll need sustenance.”

Angel was intrigued. Giles barely tolerated him. Why the sudden concern for the obnoxious, unsouled little pest. “Where is he?”

“Mrs. Summers insisted we take him back to her place.”

Angel went very still. “He’s there alone with her?”

“Yes. Why, is that a problem? I’m not overfond of him, but I don’t believe he’d harm Mrs. Summers…

Angel looked around for his coat, shaking his head at the Watcher’s ignorance. “You said he was unconscious. He’s in a healing coma. When he wakes up he’ll need to feed, and the demon won’t care for Spike’s whims.”

Giles paled. “Oh, my Lord.”

Angel nodded. “We need to get back there. Now. Where’s your car?” Angel was surprised when Giles didn’t immediately move. “I’ll stake him for you, if you’re squeamish,” he told him.

Giles frowned and straightened up. “Er. That’s not the problem. Buffy already tried to stake him, but Joyce wouldn’t allow it; she claims he was hurt on her behalf, so I would rather not stake him if possible.”

Angel thought for a moment. “I have an idea. Wait here.”

A few minutes later Giles was looking down at several prescription vials that Angel had handed to him.

“Seconal and Valium,” Angel explained. “Grind them up and put them in the blood. Ought to put him out for most of the day.”

“Where did you get these?”

“Mrs. Chase, she’ll never miss them.” Her medicine cabinet was stuffed with a wide variety of prescription drugs. He half-smiled remembering what Cordelia had told him ‘trust me, no-one wants mama running out of her medication.’

Giles cleared his throat. “Er the blood?”

“Right.” Wondering why Giles was looking at him that way Angel hurried off to the kitchen.


When the knocking woke her there was pale light at the edges of the shades. She staggered up grumpily to answer the door.

“Giles?” He looked as tired as she felt.

“May I come in?”

She stepped aside to let Giles in. He looked around warily. “He’s still out then?”

“Hasn’t moved—as far as I know. I fell asleep.” She thought she saw him wince.

He raised the large thermos he was holding. “Blood,” he informed her. “Courtesy of Angel,” he elaborated at her questioning glance. “I’ll warm it up in the microwave and then we’ll see about getting it into him.”

Giles insisted on opening the door and going into the room first. He crossed the room in a few strides and stood tensely beside the bed one hand buried in the pocket of his jacket. He stared at Spike for a long moment, then nodded. Feeling foolish she stepped into the room with the super-sized coffee mug full of warmed blood steaming in her hands.

She was halfway to the bed when Spike sat up stiffly like Bela Lugosi in his coffin, yellow alien eyes fixed on her and she felt something cold gather at the back of her neck and ooze down her spine.

“Bring it here. Quickly!” Giles hissed. She made herself move, despite Spike’s unblinking gaze. Giles took the mug from her and shoved it under Spike’s nose poking the straw between his lips. Spike shuddered and began to suck it down ravenously. As he emptied the mug his slowly eyelids drifted shut and he slumped until he was lying flat in the bed again.

Giles led the way out of the room. They both sighed in relief when the door shut behind them.

“That should hold him till sundown. Angel will be coming over later to check on him.”

Joyce frowned, but didn’t protest. “Oh. Thanks. No really Rupert, thank you.”

He nodded curtly. “Since you were determined to persist in this nonsense—I felt it my duty to help.”

“Thank you.”


Giles had parked (illegally) directly in front of Joyce’s apartment building. He slid into the driver’s seat and leaned his head against the steering wheel.

“So, did it go O.K.?” Angel’s voice came from underneath the blanket in the back seat where he’d been waiting, ready to intervene if necessary.

Giles lifted his head. “Mission accomplished. He drank all of the blood, he won’t wake up before sundown. I told her you’d be coming over. Of course she has no idea of how close she came to an unpleasant death. Idiot woman.”


“At first I blamed you —for making her susceptible to Spike. But I suspect now that it was her other life that’s to blame. Or rather the other, surgically neutralized Spike. She’s confused the two and forgotten that this Spike is not harmless.”

“We need to get him away from her,” Angel said quietly.

Giles nodded in agreement.

Posted February 9, 2004

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