Chapter 6 – In the Beginning

Spike looked at the Watcher with one brow raised mockingly, but didn’t repeat the obvious ‘Tell you EVERYTHING?’ aloud. Giles caught his meaning though, and flushed angrily. He muttered, “This is impossible. She hates you, I just don’t understand how this happened.”

Eyes dropping to half mast, the handsome blond drawled, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” After a short pause during which the two stared at each other stonily, Spike relented and gave Giles an edited version of the afternoon. He ended with, “We were sparring, and suddenly she got this horrified look on her face, screamed, and started sobbing that she ‘couldn’t do it again, she just couldn’t...’ Took me a long time to get her calmed down, but finally she fell asleep. Never did tell me what was wrong. She’s been like this ever since.”

Giles raised his eyebrows, pursed his lips and silently stared Spike in the eye. When he continued to look clueless, the Watcher asked sardonically, “You were sparring? And your chip didn’t fire?”

Spike’s mouth dropped open in astonishment. “How could I be such a nod cock? My chip didn’t fire! Of course that’s what’s wrong with her. Buffy!” he cried, shaking her gently, “How could you doubt me? I’d dust myself before I did anything to make you kill me. I’d never hurt you like that!” As she lay there unresponsively, Spike glanced up at the Watcher, uncomfortable with his shrewd perusal. “Sorry for the show, Rupes. I know what I need to do now to wake her.” He stood with her in his arms, “I’ll just take her back...”

Giles was astonished that Spike wasn’t rejoicing in his freedom from the chip, but instead was hurt that Buffy hadn’t understood that he’d changed. Of course she wouldn’t realize that. He hadn’t warned her about mating, just claims; and he wouldn’t have believed the vampire’s reaction himself, if he hadn’t seen it first hand. Despite seeing Spike’s concern for her, Giles moved in front of the door. He knew he was helpless to keep the vampire from leaving, but felt compelled to try. “Her fear was valid. What are you going to do now that the chip is either gone or nonfunctional?”

Spike sighed, “Guess it was asking too much to expect you’d know that my priorities’ve changed. She’s all that matters. Her values are mine. Does that answer your question?”

“You said as much to her just now, but I have to make sure. I apologize for offending you, but it’s not an easy thing to believe. Why would you come over to her side rather than taking her to yours?”

Spike rolled his eyes and sat back down with her. “Watchers. It’s so like you gits to chronicle the part of the facts that suit you, then ignore those that don’t. Can see you need some lessons in vampire history. You aware of the relationship between the slayer demon and vampires?”

Giles glanced at the unconscious slayer, cleared his throat, and replied, “It’s referred to as the slayer essence, not demon, but yes, we know that they’re related to each other. Past research indicates that is why slayers are more attuned to vampires than to other types of demons.”

Spike barked with acerbic laughter. “Essence, demon, same thing, Watcher. Giving it a pretty name doesn’t change what it is. Slayer’s more than just kin to vampires, she IS one. In the pre-existence, the Slayer was among the strongest of vampires...”

Giles was startled into bursting out, “The pre-existence?”

“What, you think you humans are the only ones in the universe with creation legends, before and after lives?” Spike shook his head with exasperation. “Bigots. As I was saying, in the pre-existence the Slayer was one of the most powerful vampires, a leader in the ruling Order, but she rebelled against it. See, the Slayer didn’t agree with killing humans when turning them, said it was wrong. Wanted to form symbiotic relationships with ‘em.

“When the vampire demon inhabits a living body, it doesn’t need to drink blood, has the real thing in abundance; but the human body is only strong and comely for a couple of decades, then everything starts going downhill; ages, eventually dies. It’s inconvenient having to find a new body every 50 years or so. Also annoying, having to put up with the vagaries of short lived humans. You lot can be so stubborn and shortsighted, and with a soul in the host body, you can’t just be ignored. The order didn’t want to deal with you. Slayer was adamant however. Believed in human rights. As she was also very beautiful and charismatic; she converted a lot of followers.” Spike gave Giles a significant look, and Giles realized that Spike had been in that number.

The vampire continued, “She eventually started a war. Of course, the Order won the fight, since people die when they’re turned. Slayer was cast out, doomed to exist forever without a body. Her followers weren’t banished with her, though; they figured she’d be too powerful if she had us with her.”

Spike’s face flattened into an expressionless mask. “Instead, we were...punished...for our rebellion. When they deemed we were suitably chastened, and that we had given up our radical ideas, we were given dead bodies.” He shrugged philosophically. “A dead body’s better than no body, after all...though it took some of us longer than others to show them the proper respect. They had the added assurance that we wouldn’t make any more trouble because as we cross the veil and receive our bodies, we forget the pre-existence.”

Giles thought of the vampire pre-existence, sometime before the first vampire came to earth, certainly thousands of years before the present time, and of Spike being “punished” until he was suitably respectful, a mere 120 years ago. He shivered.

Spike returned to his narrative. “Slayer vowed eternal retribution for the humans, but couldn’t do anything about it until around 3000 thousand years B.C., when vampires were overrunning the African continent. A group of human shamans petitioned the Powers That Be for help. Guess who answered their plea?” Spike paused, grinning.

Giles nodded thoughtfully, “The Slayer.” The story of the Slayer answering the first Watchers’ supplication was among the initial legends new watchers learned, but they weren’t aware of her origins. On second thought, some Council Head in the past had undoubtedly suppressed the truth about the slayer essence, he thought cynically. They’d have had to know her nature to infuse her into the original girl. That she was actually a disaffected vampire was an unsettling thought. The thought that demons had their own heavens and hells was bewildering as well.

“Right in one; the Slayer,” Spike answered. “She picked some poor girl, her human soul mate, to be the ‘Chosen One’ and with the shamans’ mojo, the Vampire Slayer was born. She’s been fighting for you ever since. Must be a wee bit frustrating to her that you all keep dusting her vampire mates and killing her humans. I’m amazed that she hasn’t washed her hands of you.”

Giles felt a shock of surprise at that thought. Yes, under the circumstances, it was surprising that the Slayer was still fighting for them. It behooved the Council to rethink their philosophy. If he ever got the chance, he’d take that crucible up. What a fight that would be.

Spike snorted, shook his head and continued, “Occasionally down through history, the demon slayer has met vampires that were on her side of the war in the pre-existence. A few times they’ve fallen in love before killing each other. If he’s a soul mate to both her and her human, they mate.

“That’s why you watchers should trust a slayer’s mate. He has a history of fighting alongside the Slayer for the sake of humans. His empathy with them is brought out during the mating. He’s double bonded to the demon and the human. There’s no way he’ll subvert the Slayer, he has two good women keeping him in line.” Spike grinned wickedly, “Yeah, Watcher, I know, I’m well and truly pussy whipped.”

Giles gave a quick snort of laughter; shook his head, then asked seriously, “How is it that you’re so conversant with all of this? You’ve always given the impression that you were an uneducated hoodlum.” Watching the smirk widen on Spike’s face, the watcher was reminded anew that he had underestimated him, that there was more to the vampire than they’d given him credit for. He was deeper, capable of subterfuge, more dangerous than expected. He felt an unexpected flash of relief that Spike was no longer a threat to Buffy, then felt disgusted with his past complacency.

How could he have forgotten the night when Angel had warned them all that Spike was worse than other vampires, that he never stopped until he got what he wanted. The vampire had not decided to kill Buffy as they had originally feared he’d do. Instead he’d fallen for her. Giles was aghast that he had so completely ignored Angel’s warning. Spike had persevered until he’d unaccountably, inconceivably, gotten what he wanted—her. Dangerous indeed. Spike’s chuckle brought the watcher back to the present.

Still amused with himself, Spike confided, “William was bookish. I’ve gotten out of the habit, not cool, don’t you know; but actually I’m rather bookish myself. When Angelus first told me about the existence of slayers, I became fascinated with them, obsessed you might say. Learned everything I could about ‘em, and about where they come from. Went so far as to hunt ‘em down and ‘study’ them.

Then, the mating brought the memorys forth, so I remember it all as well. Now I know why I’ve always been drawn to slayers,” he murmured, smoothing Buffy’s hair back gently from her face.

Giles’ eyebrows rose in surprise and he removed his glasses to polish them again. He’d known of Spike’s obsession with slayers, of course. It made him more deadly than other vampires to Buffy personally, and had been the basis for why he’d studied the vampire so extensively. But to call himself “bookish”, suggested character traits beyond what Giles had expected. “Do all vampires have distinct interests and personalities?”

“Just like all human beings do, Watcher. When someone is turned, a vampire soul that best matches the body takes over. ‘Soul mates,’ if you will. Makes a stronger bond that way. A body that belonged to a bookish human will go to a bookish vampire. Witness my friend Dalton.” He shrugged, “Witness me. Of course, poor ol’ William and I had other traits in common besides just bookishness.” Then he laughed, “On the other hand, note what kind of vampire Harmony is.”

Rupert Giles had never for a moment considered that individual demons were different or distinct from each other. “Huh...We’ve always believed that the vampire simply retained the memories and some characteristics of the person it supplanted. And vampire souls? You’re actually saying that vampires have souls as well?”

“Not only are you watchers bigots, you’re idiots as well! Every living thing has a soul. What do you think makes it alive, aware? The vampire demon ‘is’ a soul. Every species of demon has its own kind of soul. If you want to be precise, humans are just another type of demon. Animal souls are different yet again, but they’re all still souls.”

Giles’ agile mind was intrigued. This was a revolutionary way of thinking. It was natural, he supposed that people would be human-centric, but it had never occurred to him that there was an entire other philosophy of life. The superiority of the human soul over a demon was fundamental in human psychology; in fact, the majority of humans didn’t even believe in the existence of demons, let alone that they had souls! He wondered if it might not be integral to the survival of the human species, as many kinds of demons were inimical to and decidedly fiercer than humans. If people were sympathetic to demons, they’d be at an even bigger disadvantage in the struggle.

This would require study & pondering; things that took a lot of time that he hadn’t had in the past, but did now. Giles had found a new passion; thoughts of drowning his misery in the bottom of a bottle, and his feeling of uselessness now that he no longer worked for the Council, faded from his awareness.

“I’d like to continue this discussion from time to time. Is that agreeable with you?” he asked the vampire who had been patiently observing as the Watcher found new meaning in his life, new horizons to investigate.

“Sure, I’m at your disposal, so to speak.” Spike grinned cheekily, and stood with Buffy once again.

Giles gave Spike a half smile in acknowledgement of his wit, then seeing him move towards the door, looked pained but resolute. “Bring her back, please, when she’s awake so that I know everything is all right?” Spike called over his shoulder, “Will do, Watcher.” The scholar selected a couple of philosophy books from the shelf to distract himself from the thought of his Slayer being mated to a Master Vampire, and began his new line of research.


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