The Watchers' Diaries: The Apocrypha
Post-Older and Far Away
Entry 6 - Reasons
the person I was hoping to see."
in Anya's voice made Spike pause on the steps that led down into the central
portion of the Magic Box. A grim-faced Whelp seated on a stool in front
of the counter did little to reassure him he wasn't about to be accused
Even as he
hesitated, Anya was around the counter and grabbing his arm to pull him
forward. "I need your opinion on something."
looked grimmer and Spike had the terrible feeling he was about to be used
to settle an argument. A wedding-related argument. "Um, vampire, remember?
We're not known for our taste."
sure," Xander grumbled under his breath. Spike decided it wasn't even
I've known lots of vampires in my thousand years, and a great many had
wonderful taste." She indicated the fabric samples on the counter. "Xander
and I are having a disagreement as to whether or not the napkins should
match or contrast with the tablecloths. I'd like your opinion. The green
is the color of the tablecloth."
And a hideous
green it was. What was it about becoming a vengeance demon that gave women
such awful taste? Wait. If they'd exhibited good taste in, say, men before
they became vengeance demons, they wouldn't have taken such a route. "Um,
matching?" Spike offered, wondering whose side he'd come down on. Matching
wasn't great, but it was better than the alternatives.
relieved and a moment of male solidarity was achieved. "See, Ahn? Even
Fang Breath thinks we should do matching."
wasn't the answer she wanted, given the way Anya was pouting. "If it was
up to you, what would you choose?" she demanded.
white." He flashed her a smile. "Anything other than that would have me
poor mum rolling in her grave. Anything from Giles?"
over to pull an envelope from the space next to the cash register and
thrust it into Spike's hands. "I should have known better than to ask
As he beat
a hasty retreat toward the front door, Spike heard Xander saying, "He
has a point about the white…"
Glad to have
escaped the land of wedding preparations, Spike wandered down Sunnydale's
main drag, heavily populated in the early evening. He was eager to read
the Watcher's latest news, but he didn't feel particularly like wandering
back to his crypt. The night was pleasant, hinting at an early spring.
On a whim,
he stopped at the Expresso Pump and ordered up a large cocoa. A single
sip told him it wasn't anywhere near as good as Joyce's, but it did buy
him the right to occupy one of the establishment's tables and he claimed
one that allowed him a clear view of the people strolling by. Settling
into one chair, he propped his feet on another and pulled the envelope
from his pocket.
hear that you received the thesis and I do understand your difficulties
in getting through it. Miss Chalmers' style is, unfortunately, just as
solid as her research. The comments will be welcomed. She knows I maintain
some form of contact with you (though I have intimated it is through Anya
rather than directly) and was pleased to learn you'd begun reading.
to make as many comments regarding Angel as you wish; they will be more
than welcome. There's been an increased interest in him due to certain
recent events and several younger members of the Council, Miss Chalmers
among them, are competing to see who can produce the best paper. I am
certain that your particular…viewpoint of Angel will be greatly prized,
and I trust you will express yourself in your own inimitable style. I,
for one, would like to hear the origin of the nickname "Peaches."
So the news
of Angel's fatherhood had made it across the Atlantic; it was the only
possible spin Spike could put on the phrase "certain recent events." Not
surprising, really. Every demon on the West Coast knew and more than one
had been more than happy to communicate the news to Spike -- at least
until he made it painfully clear the topic was off-limits with him. He'd
spin Miss Chalmers a right pretty tale about the Great Poof, include all
the embarrassing details he could remember. Rupert should enjoy that.
are more mentions of Angel to come; I especially look forward to your
comments on the theory that Angel sired Drusilla out of his jealousy over
your liaison with Darla.
on his cocoa and barely managed to avoid upsetting the cup as he hastily
set it down. Darla? Him? Sure, when they were drunk and Angelus wasn't
available, but he'd spent a hundred years blotting out those particular
Wait a sec.
He reread the paragraph and smiled. The Watchers' precious records had
gotten it wrong yet again, and Giles knew it. Spike wondered if the theory
was Miss Chalmers' or belonged to someone Giles had a particular dislike
for. He'd have to skip ahead to check.
continues to plod on the subject of research into the protocols of Osiris,
and I have formed my own small group to see what we can uncover. This
is strictly unofficial, so not all of the material is available to me,
but we will do what we can. There are certain items the spell requires
and I need to see if you can uncover where Anya procured the Urn of Osiris
and what happened to it after the ritual. This could have a powerful impact
on our findings.
hope someone is actually watching Willow when she's allowed in the Magic
Box, rather than just accompanying her and leaving her at the table once
they get inside. There's a reason why I put the more dangerous texts and
items upstairs and I imagine Anya would be the first to notice if she
tried to go up there. However, even the simplest of spells could prove
destructive in her current state. I fear the only way to "cure" this is
for her to go back to ground zero and decide whether or not she really
wants to do magic and why. Given life on the Hellmouth, I imagine there
are numerous temptations vying for her attention.
brings up a point I've been pondering, Spike -- just how much magic do
you know? You seem to have a fair knowledge of the demon world and I know
you have done at least one major ritual, but how extensive is your knowledge?
When Willow's spell blinded me, you seemed to have a good idea where to
look for a reversal spell. I'm asking partly for my own curiosity, but
also to know how to explain what I do uncover.
a frown to Spike's face as he wondered how much he should share. He couldn't
lie and claim he'd done little or none, as Giles would see through it
instantly. He had to know how much research had gone into the ritual to
restore Dru's health and that it wasn't something to be undertaken by
a rank amateur. Of course, Red had been close to that when she'd ensouled
Angel and only a little better when she brought Buffy back.
Dawn, it was probably best that you enforced Buffy's desires as to her
visits to your crypt. I do hope you are making some time to visit her,
though, as you said you would attempt to; she grew quite attached to you
during the summer and I have the feeling from your letters that Buffy
might not be providing all the attention that she needs. If more comes
of the Social Services issue, please let Buffy know I'd be happy to do
what I can to provide a reference for her. I know she won't tell me herself
until too late, so I fear I will have to rely on your good graces once
confess that the anniversary of Joyce's death had slipped my mind. Strange,
but sitting here so far away, it's easy to think of her as still with
us, perhaps just stepped out to the kitchen to fetch more tea or cocoa.
She was a great source of strength and I sometimes wonder if Buffy has
ever truly grieved for her loss.
and I did discuss you once. It was after the disinvite spell, though I'm
unsure as to whether it was before or after you spoke with her. She was
worried -- and with some justification, I might add. Angelus caused her
a great deal of distress when he told her that he and Buffy had been together
and with the death of Jenny Calendar and his other tricks, she was not
at all happy at the idea of yet another obsessed vampire stalking her
daughter. To my surprise, she was upset you had behaved in such a manner
because she held a genuine affection for you, far more than she ever did
for Angel. I believe she hoped the two of you could make your peace with
one another eventually.
and the words on the page momentarily swam out of focus. Dear Joyce. What
would you think of me now? I hope you know I'm doing my best with your
girl and I'll make her happy if she lets me.
a request for flowers to Sunnydale Florists to mark the anniversary and
sent word to Anya to pick them up and make certain they're placed on Joyce's
grave. Could you please check with the florists before they close that
evening and deliver them if Anya should forget? I didn't think you would
mind the imposition.
you prove to be my only source of news, much to my annoyance. I have heard
nothing from Buffy regarding the incident with the girl you describe,
though her behavior is not as out of character as you might think. Remember
Faith, the rogue Slayer we were looking for at one point? After you had
left Sunnydale the first time, Faith worked with us for a while. She was
somewhat uncontrollable, giving in to her darker impulses and one night
accidentally mistook the Deputy Mayor for a vampire, plunging a stake
through his heart. The man died and Faith disposed of the body over Buffy's
objections. Faith turned rogue shortly thereafter, joining forces with
the Mayor. To make a long and complicated story short, she is now serving
time in prison for what she did, but not before causing a great deal of
havoc and emotional upset.
remembering. He'd snarked at Giles' request for help, saying he'd point
the girl in their direction, but he'd walked away with a firm intention
to avoid the woman. Rogue slayers were nothing to laugh at; he'd seen
only one, a girl in Chicago during the Twenties. He had watched her fight
four of his minions at once, high on bathtub gin and cocaine. Angelus
would have been impressed with her viciousness.
It was just
his luck; he'd tried to help Buffy and bollixed it in more ways than one.
How was he to know Faith had committed murder? He'd been fruitlessly chasing
after Dru at the time.
felt very strongly that Faith's behavior was wrong, that she should have
gone to the police immediately, even after I told her the Council had
ways of dealing with such matters. Believing herself to be in a similar
position, I have no doubt her first instinct was to turn herself in and
that she was unhappy with your efforts to help her. She might have well
viewed a confession as a possible escape from her current unhappiness,
but it is also in keeping with the girl I know. For what it's worth, I
believe you were honestly acting in her best interests -- the repercussions
you mentioned with Social Services were all too possible, especially when
one considers Buffy was previously accused of Kendra's murder.
It made some
sense, but Spike couldn't help but think Giles was wrong in this. That
Buffy would be horrified at the idea of causing an innocent girl's death
he had no doubt, but Giles hadn't seen how she'd been that night. More
than ever, he wished the man hadn't decided it was necessary to return
ways, however, I fear your behavior may be less than helpful. I am not
at all surprised that Buffy is feeling some separation from Xander, Willow
and the others -- I imagine she still harbors resentment toward them for
bringing her back. If you encourage her to slip away from them, no matter
how delightful the process may seem to you, she won't have a chance to
work through these feelings. Will her friendship with them be the same
as before? I doubt it, no matter how hard they try to make it so. Too
much has happened for them to fall back into the simple, trusting ways
and I predict stormy weather before all is done. Buffy needs to face her
issues, rather than hide from them.
as I don't wish to pry, you mentioned the existence of a bond between
yourself and Buffy. I will accept your statement that you have done nothing
that would allow blood to call to blood (and yes, I know exactly what
that means -- the by-product of being too well read on the subject), but
I cannot help but find myself curious as to what could be causing such
a pull. Aside from the obvious, can you think of anything that might be
the source of this?
he really didn't want to know about Buffy's sex life -- probably didn't
want to admit she had a sex life -- but his concern was obvious. Spike
hadn't given the words a second thought when he'd written them, but they'd
clearly sent Giles into a panic. He was probably imagining some horrible
dark ritual Spike had performed without Buffy's knowledge, evil doings
that should not be spoken of by any decent man. Likely the Council had
books full of such things, locked away in a "special" section where those
who were too innocent for such prurient knowledge could not be harmed.
With a chuckle,
Spike reached for his cup. If he was cruel, he could have a great deal
of fun with this. Of course, too much fun and Giles would appear in Sunnydale
to stake him. Discretion was the better part of valor.
has been dispatched for Buffy's birthday. Let me know what disaster decides
to befall Sunnydale this year. As you might have noticed, her birthdays
never pass quietly.
the pages and tapped them idly against the table. They were speaking past
each other at the moment. Was it because of the distance that separated
them or because Giles didn't want to see how tangled the situation was?
Spike didn't want to believe the latter and knew it wasn't merely the
former. Maybe it was him projecting his own fears onto the situation.
Maybe he was so deep into the thing that he couldn't see straight.
been his intention to open this dialogue with Giles, merely to get help.
Now he found himself enmeshed in a conversation that was veering far from
its original course. Unfortunately, what he'd said in that first letter
was still true -- he needed to talk to someone, and no one in Sunnydale
public space now?"
brought Spike out of his reverie. Xander was standing on the street side
of the low cement wall that surrounded the Expresso Pump. "Man's got the
right to enjoy a cuppa, Harris."
for the cup and shook it to find it empty. Shoving the letter back into
his pocket, he stood, eyeing the trashcan thoughtfully. He was about to
attempt a basket when one of the servers stopped and held out her hand.
With a shrug, Spike handed the cup over and prepared to leave.
still standing there as he reached the sidewalk. "I think Anya might be
re-thinking green for the tablecloths."
hell did she find that color? I've seen six-day corpses that looked better."
"Must be Martha Stewart's color of the moment. What can I say? I'm just
hoping that once this wedding is over, some sanity will be restored."
"This is Anya we're talking about, remember?"
seem to be anything else to say, so Spike started away down the sidewalk.
After a moment, he heard Xander call after him. "Spike."
what could possibly be going through the Whelp's head, Spike turned back,
fully ready to fall into a nasty mood. Xander didn't speak immediately,
staring at the sidewalk. Then, he looked up. "I wanted to say good job
the other evening -- with the thing and all at Buffy's. Glad you were
actually a thank you, but it came pretty damn close. A hundred smart replies
flitted across Spike's brain and he rejected them all. "Not a problem.
With a smile
and a touch to his forehead, Spike headed on down the street. If Xander
could say a kind word, maybe there was hope after all.
Continued in Entry 7 - Many Happy Returns