The Secret Slayer, Chapter 3

This entry is part 3 of 11 in the series The Secret Slayer
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Halloween.

Chapter 3

Chapter 1: here
Chapter 2: here

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While Cassie rescued Xander from his second demon date, Beth introduced Spike to Clem. She sent the two male demons off to a kitten poker game together. She was glad Clem was easygoing. Clem didn’t take offense from anything the sardonic master vampire said.

While Cassie and Cordelia fought against being sacrificed to a big snake, Beth was trying desperately to decide what kind of costume to wear to work on Halloween. She was glad to see advertisements for a new store called Ethan’s. It was going to open the next week, just in time for the holiday.

~~~~~~~~

The Specter landed flat on her back on the top of a lit candle. She rolled off before she could go up in flames, since she was so much more flammable now. The Specter looked at the vampire that had just tossed her, and she saw that he was coming towards her. She grabbed a nearby pumpkin, and she tossed it at the vampire, momentarily stunning him. The Specter hopped to her feet. She grabbed her last stake, and she flung it towards the vampire.

The vamp saw the stake coming his way. So, he grabbed a nearby scarecrow to block the flying piece of wood. Then the vamp shoved the scarecrow away, and he launched himself at the Specter in the hopes that now that she was stakeless he had an advantage.

Neither one of the combatants noticed a minion nearby videotaping their every move. The minion moved closer to get a better view. He watched as the Specter continued to pummel the other vampire, even without her stakes. The low battery light came on, and the minion shook it till it started to work right.

In a few minutes, the Specter was knocked into a haywagon. She held onto the side of the wagon, and she kicked out catching the vampire in the head. The Specter tightened her hold on the wagon. When the vamp tried to rise up off the ground, she grabbed his head in a scissor hold between her legs. She flipped him to the ground, and she searched around for her stake. When she didn’t see it anywhere, she settled for a nearby sign. The Specter grabbed the sign, and she jammed the sign down into the vampire’s chest.

The minion videotaping the scene watched as the Specter appeared to sniff the air. He didn’t realize that the creature in front of him could smell him.

The Specter could smell that the minion had been with Spike lately. She wondered just what the master vampire was up to sending a minion to spy on her.  Maybe I might have to have a talk with Spike about that somehow, she thought.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Beth slipped into the costume shop just after dark. She noticed Cassie and Willow as they admired an old-fashioned ball gown. Beth gasped when someone bumped into her. She looked up and discovered it was the Slayer’s friend, Xander.

“Hey, sorry,” Xander said. He looked down into the face of the girl he bumped into, and recognition passed through his eyes. “You work at the Bronze, don’t you?”

“Yeah,” Beth answered quietly. “Hafta work. I need a costume. You should get back to your friends.” She turned to the nearby costumes, and she started to look at them closely.

Xander raised an eyebrow at the strange girl, but then went back to his friends. He promptly forgot about Beth, because, hey, she wasn’t the strangest thing he had ever witnessed in Sunnydale.

After the teenager left, costumes in hand, the proprietor turned his attention to his last customer of the day. Ethan nearly gasped in surprise as he realized who and what she was. This was not good. This was the one creature that could really mess things up for him. Ethan had the feeling that his old good friend Ripper had no idea what lurked in the midst of this quiet little town.

“Hello, miss. Can I be of service?” Ethan asked politely. He gulped when the girl turned her bright green eyes on him, and he worried that she would see right through him. His little plan for Chaos depended greatly on no one realizing he was here.

“I have to work, and I need a costume,” Beth said. She continued to study the variety of costumes. This was such a hard decision to make. She knew it couldn’t be to risque, but she wanted something cool. She tried to ignore the dark vibes that she felt emanating from the shopkeeper.

“I have the perfect costume for you.” Ethan walked over to one of the racks, and he pulled out a little girl costume. “Your hair is already perfect. All you need is some Mary Janes and a dress.”

Beth looked at the costume, and she desperately wished she could check herself out in the mirror. She nibbled on her lip as she debated with herself.

“I’ll even give you a discount since it’s the last sale of the day,” Ethan offered. He really wanted to make sure this girl took this costume. It would do him no good having a powerful being running around to muck up his fun.

“Okay. I’ll take it.” Beth nodded. She laid her money on the counter, and she took the bag from Ethan. “Thanks for your help.” Right before she left the shop, she turned back tosay something to Ethan, “You could be a nice man if you wanted to be.” She rushed out the door leaving a perplexed Ethan Rayne behind her.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Spike watched the video of the Specter fighting. He had so many things on his mind, and not one of them was the Slayer that he had come to town to kill. Spike wanted to fight the Specter and coddle Beth the girl almost as much as he needed blood to live. The one time he had seen Beth in game face, it had taken all of his control not to jump the girl. He was terrified of his own reactions to the vampiress, and he strove to hide it all from his insane and jealous Sire.

“God, she’s tricky. Baby really likes to play,” Spike muttered. He rewound the tape to watch where the Specter staked the vamp she was fighting with the signpost.

“Miss Edith needs her tea.” Dru’s voice called from the other room. Spike hastily turned off the VCR and television. No one knew of the tape he had made of the Specter since he dusted the minion who had made it for him.

“Coming, poodle,” Spike replied. He sauntered to the other room where he found Dru making the minions have a tea party with the dolls. Spike had no idea that he didn’t need to hide his obsession with the Specter and Beth from his Sire. Dru had seen the coming of the dual natured female into his life many years before in a vision.

“Do you love my insides, my Spike?” Dru asked dreamily, “The parts you can’t see?” She knew she was losing Spike. It was only a matter of time before he understood the truth, but that didn’t mean she had to share him too much any time before then. On the other hand, Dru didn’t want her dark prince to hurt anymore than necessary.

“Eyeballs to entrails, my sweet,” Spike replied, “That’s why I’m trying so hard to find a cure for you. Soon you will have your run of Sunnyhell, and you’ll get strong again.”

“Don’t worry. Everything’s switching. Outside to inside.” Dru leaned in to blow on Spike’s neck. “Better hurry, my prince. It will make your Moonlight weak and vulnerable. You will be with your Moonlight, my Spike, just not yet.” Dru danced over to her dolls. “I’ll let you know when it’s time. She needs time to glow and glisten. To become … effulgent.”

“Really?” Spike asked suspiciously. From past experiences he knew Dru might just be playing with him, but he was intrigued by what she was saying. “Did my pet have a vision?”

“Do you know what I miss? Leeches.” Dru ignored how Spike still called her his pet even though she knew the truth of things.

“Come on, talk to Spike. This thing that makes my Moonlight weak? What is it?” Spike suddenly felt worried. If Beth was in danger, he really wanted to know about it. He knew the feisty little vampiress could protect herself, but something about Dru’s warning told him that Beth wouldn’t be able to fight the events coming.

“Tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow’s Halloween. Nothing is supposed to happen on Halloween, Dru. It’s the one night demons take off,” Spike growled.

“Someone’s come to change it all. Someone new,” Dru crooned. “Someone who’s not a demon.”

~~~~~~~~

The next night, Spike left the factory and hurried towards The Bronze. He knew Beth was supposed to work that evening until closing, but Dru had assured him that if he wasn’t there to watch over her that his Moonlight would be hurt.

Spike strolled into The Bronze, and he was pleasantly surprised to find Beth already in costume and working. Her cute little girl outfit made her look innocent and sexy at the same time. Spike smirked at her when she gave him a little girlie wave while she skipped over to Jack the bartender. In a few minutes she skipped back over to him.

“Hi, Daddy,” Beth said in a little girl voice, “Can I sit on your knee?” She didn’t wait for him to answer, and she sat down primly on his leg. Beth looked at him shyly from under her eyelashes, and said, “I have no clue where that came from.”

“Neither do I, pet, but it’s … bloody adorable,” Spike replied. He snaked an arm around the girl to pull her closer to him. “Come tell Daddy about your day,” he snarled near Beth’s ear.

Across town in back room of the costume shop, Ethan went through the curtains, and he kneeled in front of the statue of Janus. He pressed his hands together. Ethan winced in pain, and when he opened his hands, there were freely bleeding wounds on his palms.

“The world that denies thee, thou inhabit.” Ethan daubed the blood on his left hand, and he smeared it over his right eyelid.

“The peace that ignores thee.” Then Ethan daubed the blood on his right hand, and he smeared this blood over his left eyelid. “Thou corrupt.”

Ethan daubed the blood from the palm of his left hand again, and he smeared a cross onto his forehead. “Chaos. I remain, as ever, thy faithful, degenerate son. Janus, I invoke your spirit. Hear my plea. Seize the night for your own reason. Come, appear and show to us that which is infinite power.

At The Bronze, Spike watched in horror as the young woman on his lap shrunk until she was once again the size of a little girl. He hugged her closer as she clutched at him in terror. “Shh, it’s okay, pet. I’ve got you.”

Beth looked around the nightclub, and she wondered where she was. She looked up into the nicest blue eyes she had ever seen. Not even her best dolly, Suzy, had eyes as pretty as this man. “My name’s Beffy. What’s yours? Are you a stranger? Where’s my mommy?”

Spike chuckled. Beth had babbled to him on a couple of occasions, and he was happy to see it was something that she had always done. “M’name’s Spike. No, ‘m not a stranger, ‘m your friend. Your mommy’s busy, and ‘m watching you for awhile. Is that okay?”

“Yes, sir,” Buffy murmured. She really liked Spike’s accent. It gave her funny shivers up and down her spine. “Can we have some I scream?”

“Of course, we can, sweetness,” Spike said. He noticed the bartender looking at them strangely. Spike got up, and he carried Beth over to the bar. “So Jack, how long you lived here in good ole Sunnyhell?”

The woman bartender looked the vampire up and down carefully, “Long enough to have seen some very strange things. I’m under the impression that our Miss Beth isn’t quite herself this evening.” The bartender’s eyes lit on the little girl in the vampire’s arms.

“No, the little bit isn’t herself. She wants a bite of ice cream.” Spike snuggled the little girl closer to him. She clung to him so willingly that the vampire actually felt guilt for the little ones he had helped kill over the last century. “She’s my friend. ‘m not goin’ to hurt her. We’ll be back when she’s feeling like herself.”

Jack watched as the master vampire left the nightclub with the little girl attached to him. She shook her head. She decided that the sight was probably one of the oddest things she had ever witnessed, but she could see the caring in the vampire’s eyes as he watched both the little version of Beth and the grown up version of Beth. Jack wondered if Beth noticed it, too.

Spike strolled down the street admiring the chaos. He could see why Dru had been worried about Beth. A sweet little girl wandering the street with all these demons around would be munched on in a matter of minutes. Two blocks from the ice cream store, Spike realized the Slayer was across the street struggling with a pirate.

“Spike, that girl needs help,” Beth whispered.

Spike sighed. He just knew this might get him smacked around at some point in the evening, but he was unable to resist the pint sized version of Beth any more than he could the adult version. Spike crossed the street towards the struggling pair, deftly sidestepping demons as he went. He flashed some fang at the pirate, but put the fangs away before the Slayer turned towards him.

“Kind sir, thank you for helping me,” Cassie cried. She wrung her hands in front of her. Cassie looked around as she tried to figure out where she was.

“Only helped you because my Nibblet here asked me to. Ta.” Spike started down the street towards the ice cream shop. He heard the Slayer stumble along behind him.

“Don’t leave me, please. I saw a demon, and I’m scared,” Cassie cried. She tried to keep up with the long strides of her rescuer.

“Don’t leave her, Spike.” Beth admonished her friend with a slap on his shoulder. “That’s not nice.” She smiled and clapped when he sighed and slowed down.

The man behind the counter of the ice cream shop watched as the unlikely trio entered. The man had bleached hair, a pale complexion, and was clad almost entirely in black. He carried a little girl dressed in a white dress, black Mary Janes, and she carried a doll. The pair was accompanied by a dark haired girl wearing a pinkish ball gown.

“What kind do you want, sweets?” the man asked the little girl. He took her along the glass enclosure so she could see all the different flavors.

“I want that chocolate one with the nuts and marshmallows, Spike,” the little girl answered. She pointed to one of the tubs.

“We’ll take three,” Spike ordered. He dug around in the pocket of his duster. Spike slapped some money down on the counter to cover the sweet treat. Normally he would have flashed some fang at the counter help and just taken the ice cream, but he didn’t want to scare little girl Beth. Spike put the little girl down. “Take the Slayer and find us a spot to sit, sweets.”

“Okay,” Beth agreed. She wasn’t sure what a Slayer was, but she wasn’t worried about it. The innocence of a child overrode any fears Beth had of the Slayer as an adult vampiress. She grabbed Cassie’s hand and dragged the older girl over to one of the booths. “Spike sits next to me,” the little girl practically growled. “He’s mine.”

The amnesiac Slayer stared at the possessive little girl. “Of course he is, dear. I wouldn’t think of sitting next to him.” She looked up at Spike, who was on his way back from the counter. “Even though he rescued me, he certainly looks like a ruffian.”

“Are you ladies all settled?” Spike asked. He had heard Beth growl her possession at the Slayer, and the vampire would have thought it was hilarious if hadn’t been for the fact that he wished that the grownup Beth felt the same way.

The little girl Beth beamed up at Spike in adoration. She extended her hands for her bowl of ice cream with unmasked joy.

Maybe she growled because inside her mind she knows me as hers as an adult, too.  Spike put the ice cream down on the table. He slid into the bench seat next to Beth.

“There are demons out there,” Cassie whispered when she peered out the window into the darkness. “I saw one up close. He scared me.” She shivered at the memory of Angel in his vampiric face.

“Spike’ll protec’ you,” Beth mumbled around her spoon. She smiled up at the vampire. Her little heart showed in her big green eyes.

“There was a ghost and a strange man who was waving around a musket of some kind at this other place too,” Cassie continued on. She daintily ate her ice cream in a ladylike fashion.

Suddenly Beth was full grown again, and the Slayer looked around the ice cream shop wildly. Both girls stared at Spike who calmly continued to eat his ice cream. He looked up at them, and he shrugged his shoulders. “No clue either,” he answered before they could ask the question.

Beth and Cassie sat quietly for another minute or two while they contemplated what to do. They each finished their ice cream in silence.

“Well, that was interesting,” Spike drawled. “All set, gals? I paid cash for it.” He finished his ice cream, and he sprawled in his seat.

“I’m supposed to be at work, Spike.” Beth poked the vampire in the shoulder. She couldn’t believe she was sitting at a table with the Slayer. Beth was very nervous. She’d been careful to avoid the Slayer as much as possible. Now she waited for the Slayer to realize she was sitting with two vampire.

“Told the bartender I would have you back when you felt more yourself,” Spike replied, “Then, you made me rescue the Slayer here.” Spike stood up, and he offered his hand to Beth. He smiled down at her when she took it.

“But…” Cassie started to speak. Before she could form a coherent sentence, Spike and Beth had left the ice cream shop. A very confused Slayer slumped in the booth wondering what else the Hellmouth was going to throw her way.

 

Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/140702.html

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