Chapter Notes:

Character death, not graphic

A huge thanks to the ever patient Telsa. I promise her and my readers that this chapter marks a critical turning point for...everything!

 


The One Where I Don’t Wait for Spike

 

My mom was great. I’m glad I finally talked to her about my encounter with Spike. I didn’t tell her the guy in question was a vampire. I told her it was sort of a one night stand with a guy I had a crush on.

 

“Older,” she said, like it was a given. “Someone with experience?”

 

“Yeah, something like that.” The “how did you know” must have shown in my face because she went on to tell me that what happened to me, happens to a lot of young women.

 

“You’ve had to grow up fast, and it hasn’t left time for the other parts of life to develop at their own pace. You don’t get to have boyfriends, and of course…you’re just as curious as any of us.”

 

I let that sink in. Here was my mother, even though I’d been 100 kinds of stupid, not busting my chops over it. She was being supportive, which  was just what I needed.

 

“It wasn’t all bad.” I was quick to tell her. “In fact…it wasn’t bad at all. I just feel…different. You know?”

 

“We can’t unsee what we’ve seen and we can’t undo what we’ve done,” she said with a nod.  

 

“It’s like one minute I feel stupid, and the next minute I’m glad it happened.”

 

“Have you talked to him?”

 

“Nah, he was kind of just passing through town.” Admitting that to her made me feel 101 kinds of stupid.

 

“Do you think we should get you tested? For STD’s” She was suddenly all business like and efficient. “Were you safe?”

 

“No, I think I’m good…”

 

“Buffy, do you think he does this a lot, with young girls? I mean if it’s a pattern... You said he was older. How much older.”

 

I know the color drained from my face. Did Spike do this a lot? I was nearly certain of it.

 

“He’s a...few years older.” I hoped to avoid answering her other question.

 

“I mean if he’s a predator. Not that I want to invade your privacy, but you don’t want other girls to be taken advantage of.”

 

Predator was the most accurate term for what Spike was, but we couldn’t sic the vice squad on him. The one who was supposed to deal with predatory vampires was sitting right here, bending her mother’s ear.

 

“It wasn’t really like that. I wanted to do it. He didn’t make me or anything. He didn’t seduce me.” Did he?

 

“We all want our first time to be…perfect,” she told me, “but they rarely are. You’re not the one in one hundred who get their romantic dream come true... you’re in good company, with the rest of us.”

 

“Was yours, you know…not so perfect?”

 

“Half drunk after a frat party with a guy who was not really my boyfriend. We dated for a little while, but it didn’t go anywhere.” She shrugged. “And I never thought I’d tell you that story, but I guess now...it’s OK that I did.” She was pleasantly surprised.

 

“Mom, I keep thinking about him. Not just what we did, but HIM.” Since we were sharing secrets. “I wonder where he is, and if he thinks about me or was I just…another one.”

 

I could tell from her expression that she didn’t think he thought about me, but she didn’t want to make this any harder on me than it already was.

 

“I mean, it’s totally OK if he doesn’t, because why would he? Right?” I said with a forced laugh.

 

“Because you’re special and beautiful,” she told me, as if it made perfect sense that even some old guy who leches after naive girls would think I’m the bees knees. (a term so ridiculous it’s awesome)

 

Deep down inside, I believed Spike did think of me, and not only because I was the Slayer, or because I was a good lay.

 

“Let’s go out to dinner,” she said. “Even if it wasn’t perfect, it’s a big deal.”

 

I wondered if I should tell her that he wasn’t the first. I decided not to. The thing with Scott seemed like a non-thing now.  I’d had zero compulsion, after that happened, to talk to her about it. I certainly wasn’t going to tell her the part of that experience that was so memorable, Angel’s entrance, so there was no point in telling her about some groping on the couch.

 

We went out to eat and then we went shopping. I’m not going to claim that I can reduce what happened between me and Spike to a plateful of chicken Alfredo and two new blouses, but it really did help. Plus, I felt closer to my mom than I had for a long time. I had been avoiding her since the Spike thing, honestly, even long before that,  and now we could really talk about things. Another piece was falling into place. It was one more reason to be glad it happened the way it did.

 

Mom had said it herself, these things happen. I wasn’t stupid or a freak. I was another young woman who fell for an older guy and got shown the ropes in a shocking way.

 

Shortly after my adventure with St Whatchamacallit and the missing leg, I had my 18th birthday, the birthday that supposedly signaled that I’d survive Slayerhood.

 

I can admit now, that I thought Spike might show up. It was silly. He hadn’t known how old I was, why would he have known it was my birthday? True, he could have looked it up, the Vampire Tribunal has the stats on the Slayer. It wasn’t impossible, just very unlikely.

 

I didn’t expect him to come to my party carrying a wrapped present with a bow on it, but I thought there might be some acknowledgement. I even checked the rain gutter near my window for tell tale cigarette butts.

 

I didn’t have a big party, just my mom, sister and a few friends (and my Watchers of course) gathered at my house for cake and presents, then me and my crew of merry men went and hung out at the arcade. Yes, it’s  lame, but cut me some slack, this was Collinsville after all. Point is, it came and went with no Spike.

 

It took me three weeks to work up to it, but after Spike’s no show, I told Wendy not to keep looking into the Council files for information on him. I knew it was time to make a clean break. Another piece had fallen into place. He had told me not to wait. I’d known what HE meant, and why he’d said it, but I hadn’t understood what it meant from my side. When my birthday came I realized that I had been waiting, even when I told myself that I wasn’t. I needed to move on.

 

I graduated that spring. I hope you’re not too disappointed but it was uneventful (though it did threaten to rain) No snake mayor, and the school didn’t go up in a big explosion. That was just a metaphor. There’s an old song by Alice Cooper (look him up) that says “school’s been blown to pieces!

 

That summer I was flown to England for six weeks of training at Council Headquarters. I met one of the Slayers who lived to see her 22nd birthday. It was amazing, and a little sobering. She was pretty banged up. She had some serious scars from a fire that nearly took her out, but she had made it out. She was married to a man who worked for the Council, and had a little girl.

 

Sometimes I think that was the most important thing that happened during those weeks. It is true I learned things that probably saved my life and a lot of other lives besides, but meeting a surviving Slayer, who was living a semblance of normal life, had a profound effect on me.

 

The other living Slayer I didn’t meet. She hadn’t fared so well. There had been drug issues and depression, a few psych admissions and numerous charges for domestic violence against boyfriends and girlfriends. Apparently she didn’t get along well with partners of either gender.

 

Her’s was a cautionary tale. There were several volumes of cautionary tales for Slayers, so her story didn’t especially surprise me. The surprise was that there was at least one that made the transition well. If she could, it was possible that I could too.

 

The Slayer has supernatural powers to fight supernatural beings, but she doesn’t have magic at her disposal. I can’t cast a spell, or throw a bolt of lightning or turn myself into an eagle and fly away. My immersion training in England was to teach me everything I COULD do on my own behalf, as well as how to take advantage of advanced technology.

 

The Council suggested placing a tracking device under my skin. Obviously this could work in my favor. If I got kidnapped or in a bind, they could easily locate me. Trackers weren’t foolproof, but they were helpful. On the other hand, it was an invasion of privacy, and as Slayer I had the right of refusal.

 

The Council assured me the tracker could be removed at any time, so I decided to go for it. It had run through my mind that I didn’t want them to be able to track me just in case Spike came back. That is how I knew that I had to get the device. I couldn’t allow anything about him to influence my decisions as a Slayer, or as a woman. He had said as much himself.

 

I got to go sightseeing while I was in England. The Council isn’t just a stuffy group of prudish old men. Being at Council Headquarters was a bit like being on the Starship Enterprise. There was a huge variety of people who worked there doing all kinds of jobs, there were a many “not quite humans” that worked there too.

 

Council members took me to pubs and bought me a half pint now and then. I didn’t care for them, two tries were enough. I went to Stonehenge, Westminster Abbey, and the Tower Bridge.

 

I tried not to dwell on Spike while I was in London. There were a lot of old buildings and houses that had been there when he was young. I knew he had walked these streets, and terrorized these streets. I wondered as we drove around at night, if he was out there now.

 

About 4 weeks into my stay at the Council Headquarters, Giles and Wendy flew in. It was an amazing surprise. Both of them practice magic and sorcery, and the Council wanted to train them, as well as bring them up to speed on the details of the tracker. They referred to it  as “tracer” which is British term meaning the same. I always felt they used “tracer” because it gave the sense that they weren’t following me 24/7, but would only use it to find me if I went missing. I never kidded myself that they weren’t following me 24/7.

 

The tracer could also sense my metabolic rates and functions. It wasn’t only to keep me safe, the information gathered would add to the body of knowledge on Slayers. I tried to keep in mind that I was part of a sisterhood. Just as the stories and legacies of the Slayers before me were making me safer and more efficient, so my contribution would help future Slayers.

 

I was glad to see Giles, but he turned out to be a bit of a buzzkill. He followed me around bugging me to make sure I’d taken advantage of this or that resource or training. Luckily, he spent several afternoons and evenings visiting friends or in Council meetings so Wendy and I got some BFF time.

 

They even let us loose in London! We had two days to wander around and do our own thing. True, by then I had the tracer, still, all thoughts of Slayerage were left behind for all thoughts of shopping and sightseeing. We were two young woman on their own in a big city. Wendy and I went to a London club one night. The place was painfully loud and smoky, and actually pretty awful, but we got tipsy and danced and it was one more experience for our book of memories.

 

That, coupled with having met the surviving Slayer, went a long way in reminding me that even though I was different, I wasn’t SO different that I couldn’t have a normal life.

 

“Has Giles shown you where he grew up?” Wendy wondered.

 

“Nah, it’s not Slayer related and he’s all about maximizing my time here to focus on all things dangerous and creepy.”

 

“I’d like to see it. You know, I’ll bet his parents are still alive, he’s not very old. I’d love to meet Mrs Giles.”

 

“And hear some stories about how he was as a boy!”

 

“I’ll bet he was cool, and we know he played sports.”

 

“Quite the footballer, is how he puts it,” I reminded her. “His father is on the Council, but I don’t think I’ve met him.”

 

I wondered if that was on purpose. Some of the Council members had been introduced to me as Ms. This or Mr. That, and some only by first name. It’s possible that I’d been hanging out with Giles’s dad and not even known it.

 

A few days before we left we met Giles’s younger BROTHER, who we didn’t know even existed! There was no mistaking the family resemblance, we could tell right away. His name was Randy (yeah, that was a joke in the show. A wink at the actual Randy Giles) Wendy instantly developed a massive crush.

 

I kind of hated for her that we met him so late on our trip, on the other hand sometimes it’s better when a crush doesn’t have too much time to ferment. She had only made it to the starry eyed phase and brought home only happy memories of him.

 

It may sound like I’m comparing her crush on Randy with my feelings for Spike, but I’m not. What I felt for Spike wasn’t a crush, no matter that I’d used that word with my mother.  In spite of all evidence to the contrary, I felt like I had Spike, and not just in that moment. No matter how many times I called myself stupid, I didn’t completely believe it. A crush is something hopeless. Spike and I weren’t hopeless, we were impossible.

 

I hadn’t been abandoned by Spike, I already knew he couldn’t be in my “big picture”, but he did stay with me as long as he could. That’s not a crush, it’s something in the hazy zone of “what the hell is going on here?” Spike and I weren’t together, but what we’d had was real.

 

Wendy wasn’t going to have any of that with Randy, not even some sad longing for sex with an older guy. It never got anywhere near that point. She got the good feelings without the overly confusing yearning or the embarrassment of rejection.

 

England was a blast, and though the trip included intense Slayer training, it still felt like a vacation. I came home feeling refreshed and with lots of great stories to tell my mom and sister, and lots of Slayer goodness to relate to Wesley, who had been holding down the fort in Collinsville.

 

I enrolled in the local community college for the Fall semester. Wendy was going to the State University, commuting to the local campus. She wanted to keep her hand in the supernatural and continue studying sorcery. The trip to England had made her even more gung ho, and now there was some serious trouble brewing. We were definitely going to need her help. The trouble was of a magnitude that I hadn’t faced before. The timing of my Council visit wasn’t coincidental.

 

Xander enrolled in the community college with me.(Cordelia had gone off to greener pastures) Xander and I did a sort of dating thing. There had always been some interest on both sides, but he’d had Cordy and I was under lock and key.

 

Xander is hot. He’s funny and sweet and very down to earth. Down to earth is an attractive thing to a girl who straddles dimensions, has a totally chaotic life and got to meet the surviving Slayer with her nice little budding family. For a girl who was still reeling inside from a one night stand with a vampire, down to earth was very attractive. I could see settling down someday with someone LIKE Xander, if not Xander himself.

 

It’s clunky to change lanes from “just friends” to possibly something more. We skated around the issue. My lifestyle and serious relationships weren’t compatible, no matter how much Xander and I might have been. He knew what it meant to be a Slayer. Stability was out of the question and 22 was still four long years away. That is a long time to worry that the love of your life could die at any moment in a gruesome manner.

 

We played it slow, and cool. We attended parties and events together and we hung out on our own. We had never done that in High School. Our relationship was tentative, but comfortable.  We drove to campus together a few days a week, and Xander stayed for dinner at least once a week. It was really very lovely.

 

Car rides are a great way to get to know someone. The car is a non threatening place to talk, you’re not face to face, and if anything uncomfortable is said, it’s easy to act distracted or start fiddling with the radio.

 

The drive to the community college wasn’t long, but it was long enough for real conversation. Classes provided plenty of things to talk about that could serve as inroads to more personal subject matter. It was nearly a perfect crucible for a budding relationship.

 

My first semester, I came across a useful piece of information that helped me sort some things out. I was writing a research paper and in my reading I came across an article discussing what occurs hormonally before, during and after sex. Turns out that my feeling of belonging with Spike, and wanting to burrow into his side, was caused by a hormone released during the act and had nothing to do with me being a foolish, weepy girl.

 

Intense sex has that side effect, which is why I didn’t feel it with Scott. Now that I knew this, I could safely tuck away my feelings about what had happened, and in the future, avoid any embarrassing and foolish clinginess. It turns out mom was right, it’s just a human thing, not a stupid Buffy thing.

 

First semester was bumping along very nicely, academically and socially. Even if Xander and I weren’t hot and heavy it was nice to have a reliable date and partner for events. It was nice that it was him, he knew my Slayer secret which made things all kinds of easy, until  in walked Big Evil, on its evil timeline doing it’s evil thing.



As much as I complained, when I was younger, about all the things my Watchers didn’t tell me, they were doing me a favor. After I turned 18 they began telling me the things they used to keep quiet. A lot of the time I wish they hadn’t. Well, that’s not quite true. I needed to know. I needed to be making informed decisions, but I wish I didn’t need to know.



Now I had informed right of refusal, but the weight of what was hanging in the balance meant that saying no wasn’t a realistic option.  Knowing I could do something and that if I didn’t, the consequences for the world would be dire, led me to say yes when everything in me was screaming “Hell No!”

 

That winter, shit got real. Showdown at the Hell fissure complete with mini earthquake, lightning, brimstone (that’s a real thing) and the earth trying to swallow yours truly.

 

I mean it, the actual earth was pulling me in and trying to close before I could crawl back out. I came out of it with a crushed leg. Wesley didn’t make it out. Wesley was gone, and we didn’t know if he died a normal human death or if he’d been sucked into a different dimension. We watched him go and never return.

 

“Save the Slayer,” was the last thing we heard him say. Xander and Wendy were coming to pull us out before it was too late. When Wes said that, they put all their attention on pulling me out first.

 

A crushed leg is unbearably painful, and it took a long long time to heal. But I DID heal. Wes was gone. No healing for him. I can’t tell you what that felt like. It wasn’t my fault Wes died, but something felt wrong about him dying before me, since I was pretty much expected to take one for the team.

 

That was when Giles explained to me about Watchers and the lifetime vows they take. I needed to know that Wes went down for his own reasons. His vow wasn’t just to protect the current Slayer. He had other responsibilities and promises to keep.

 

Losing Wes hit all of us very hard. The good news was that our mission was partly successful. We didn’t accomplish all we had set out to do, but we averted a bigger disaster.

 

We rarely accomplished all we set out to do. 80% of the job is maintaining the status quo. The good days were when I went out and did some hand to hand combat and dusted some vamps or set fire to some demon’s lair. Those victories were clear cut. Now you see them, now you don’t. You know that there is one  less bad guy in the world because you took them down yourself.



I wasn’t facing a major apocalypse every May, like the gang in the television show. Our aim was to address and avert things long before they got to that level. We hoped it would never come to a point to where a teen girl was all that was standing between our world and oblivion.

 

Many of the battles I faced were ritual. It wasn’t always fists and weapons flying. There were times when it WAS fists and weapons but it was more of a dual than a war. I was the representative of this (and weirdly a few other) supernatural realms.

 

I use the word supernatural because even though the world we know seems completely natural and relatively predictable to us, to other realms WE are the supernatural, and we make no sense to them at all.

 

Many of the issues the crew and I dealt with were boundary disputes and negotiations. There are boundaries between dimensions. They’ve been hammered out over the millennia via wars, heated negotiations, and,occasionally, peaceful agreements.

 

Boundary agreements periodically need to be renegotiated or renewed. When that happened representatives from both sides meet to work things out. Sometimes this was a simple matter of a Council (or other organization) representative meeting with a parallel being from the other dimension. Other times it took the form of ritual “battle”. These battles ranged from events resembling interpretive dance and  poetry slams, to petty pissing contests, wrestling matches, and other feats of skill and strength.

 

Luckily for all of you, I was never called in for the interpretive dance or poetry slam rituals. I occasionally engaged in the petty pissing contests, and way more often in the wrestling, weaponry and feats of strength. I lived for that! That was why Wes and Giles were so focused on me learning discipline and control.

 

Since many of these “battles” were ritualistic, had I hauled off and destroyed the opponent, it would have been disastrous for negotiations. I needed to “win” while leaving their representative to fight another day.

 

I’ll fess up now and admit that I didn’t always “win”. There are times when our side conceded and gave up property, boundaries or rights in some other dimension. Sometimes we had to concede things in OUR dimension to  the other side. Many climate related events have to do with losing or winning these confrontations. A bad hurricane season might be the result of having to concede control over a particular ocean current to the opposing side.

 

The last Ice Age was due to a loss of territories critical to climate control. The “Summer that wasn’t” of 1816, was a notable result of a boundary dispute that took several months to renegotiate.

 

I mentioned the four “elements” in the previous chapter: fire, water, earth and air. Because they are recognized by many realms and dimensions, those are the things most often associated with these boundary disputes and agreements. At least those are the things YOU are most likely to understand. Things like volcanic eruptions, extreme weather conditions,and earthquakes are linked to them.

 

The flip side is that what we (I and the interdimensional poetry slammers) do, affects those sorts of things in other dimensions. Agreements, and ritual confrontations are the best bet for all parties involved. It’s all about keeping the balance, but dimensions grow rambunctious and these things can sometimes blow up. Enter...full on or partial apocalypse.

 

There are many things between the realms that need to be regularly hashed out. Sometimes I was called upon to address those, and sometimes they required intervention of beings that exist in our realm but most of us aren’t aware of: demons, angels, earth spirits, elementals, and constructs (Dawn, as portrayed on the series, is an example of a construct).

 

I was kept pretty busy engaging in confrontations that wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to outsiders. There were times that the things I did led to the demise of beings or ecosystems in other realms and dimensions. That’s not insignificant. Being asked to do things that would destroy a realm I don’t understand and had never seen, did a psychological number on me. I had to trust that it was “for the best”, and that our best was always more important that their best. My early years as a Slayer, when I didn’t know what was what, were truly blissful compared to my later years.

 

Most of the time I was only dimly aware of what was truly at stake when we entered a confrontation. I knew that the power we faced in the battle in which we lost Wes, was big and dangerous, but it wasn’t until later that I found out how big, how dangerous and what they were after.

 

Human psychology is an odd thing. My crushed leg was, and I hope will forever be, the worst physical pain I will ever know. The idea that I might ever feel anything like that again makes me break out in cold sweats and have panic attacks. I think I might rather die than go through that again. Still, having lost Wes, and not knowing what it was we lost him to, I think it was better for me to have had my leg crushed than to have gotten out unscathed.

 

I don’t think I could have psychologically dealt with the experience had I not had the physical representation of it in the form of my injury. My leg was something I could tend to and make progress with. It made what it means to be a Slayer, real. The battle wasn’t at the Fissure to Hell this time, it had followed me home in both body and soul.

 

My bone was crushed, If I wasn’t the Slayer with Slayer healing I would limp and have pain to this day. Luckily, via the Council, I had the best medical care money could buy. I also had a lot of mental and emotional fallout that needed to be processed. Even the best psychologist the Council provided, couldn’t do the work for me. There is no surgery for the soul.

 

Xander was amazingly sweet and protective during the time I was recovering. I couldn’t drive, so he took me to and from campus nearly every day. He helped me with the wheelchair during the times I was confined to it.

 

Grief over  Wes’s death, and Xander’s tender care of me, brought us closer,  but they also shifted the tone of our fledgling relationship. Xander was now in the role of taking care of me and not so much with the taking me on dates. The dynamic changed overnight.

 

My mom played a role in that too. When she spoke to Xander, a lot of the time they would be literally talking over my head as I sat in my wheelchair. She wasn’t relating to him as my potential boyfriend. They were coordinating how to get me to and from class and to my doctor’s appointments. There wasn’t a whole lot of “What do you two have planned for the weekend?” going on.

 

I have wondered what would have happened between Xander and I, had I not been injured. The shock and horror of losing Wes meant Xander worried and doted on me even more than he would have. We now knew that death, and things that might be worse than death, could happen to “one of us”. We’d had many lucky escapes before, but clearly we weren’t immune.



In a sense I was used to being doted on. That also comes with the Slayer gig. A lot is required, but I was also taken care of by two Watchers, the Council, and my amazing friends. None of them could ultimately protect me or relieve me of my responsibility, but they were there, even when I didn’t want them to be.

 

My injury made me more cognizant of just how much they were there, and I appreciated them more than I did before. Knowing what Wes did, and why he did it, I took my own role more seriously. I had, by then, accepted my fate as Slayer, but  I hadn’t fully embraced it. I had been handed a script, and had been doing a fair job of walking through the part.  But I wasn’t noble. I had been brave only because I had to be, and because I never knew more than half of what was going on.

 

I wasn’t going to take a lifelong vow the way Wes and Giles had, but I decided to take one that would last the next few years. I wasn’t going to half ass this. I wanted my time as Slayer to be more than an attempt to squeak by with the fewest scars and bruises.



Granted, there was only so much I could do post-surgery. Post three surgeries, the first, at the time of the event and two more over the next several weeks. I couldn’t be busting heads, but I could be taking my job to heart. And so another piece fell into place. I understood that I was not a Slayer, but THE Slayer. No matter how many had gone before me and how many would follow, for now, I was all there was.



My day would come, if I wanted it to, to be like the Slayer I’d met in England. That could be my real someday. I was strong enough to do both. I didn’t know how, but I trusted that the pieces would keep falling into place, the way they had been doing, just when they were needed.

 

Funny how I became a better Slayer when I was out of commission and lying on my couch. Funny how a broken leg also helped me understand my heart.

 

“Buff…” Xander gave me a gentle nudge, he was holding my hand as we watched a movie. “You good?”

 

I offered him a sleepy smile in return. “Yeah, thanks…”

 

“I’ll make up the couch.”

 

I’d been sleeping downstairs again, after the third surgery.

 

“That’d be great,” I said with the stiff requisite gratitude you use with the nurse who’s just told you they're going to change your bandages.

 

His eyes were full of question. Had my tone given something away? Had he heard a piece fall into place, but it hadn’t fallen in quite the way he hoped it would.

 

I watched him make up my bed...like a friend, like a nurse, but not like a lover. Never like a lover. When he was done he smiled at me, pulled the cover back and held it open. “My lady.” He handed me in, my gallant but unsuccessful suitor.

 

I remembered Spike, naked in the dark, holding the blankets open, knowing I would get with the program if he gave me a moment to collect myself.

 

I smiled, thanked Xander, and crawled under the covers...alone.

 

**************************************

 

 

What it the Vampire Tribunal?

Vampires are rarely turned haphazardly, most are created to serve a role: slave, worker bee, servant, sex toy, friend or beloved. The terminology varies with the purpose a person is turned. A vampire who turned someone to make a slave of them isn’t going to refer to them as their child.  There is no one term for the variety of relationships that exist. The terms sire, child, savior, fledge, project, lord, author, ward, dean, and master are all used. Usually the senior vampire will take in its fledges and train them. (I say they get domesticated, Spike prefers the term educated)

 

Newly minted vampires are violent blood addicts. Left to their own devices, most don’t make it and get taken out while they’re in the midst of a crazed killing spree. Insane bloodthirsty killers tend to draw attention to themselves and give vampires in general a bad name. Civilized vampires prefer not to be associated with the “common” variety.

 

About 750 years ago a group of reasonably domesticated vampires formed an alliance.  They looked out for each other and shared information. Sometimes they set up raiding gangs that took out, or took over, entire towns. It was loosely organized and mostly helped vampiress do terrible things without getting caught.



About 250 years ago a group of  educated, rich vampires formed a club that was based on the earlier version, but classier. They turned their friends and created a successful, upper class vampire society. They dabbled in magic and sorcery, and would gather for gross rituals where they did terrible things and had bloody orgies with unwilling partners.



Eventually this “gentleman’s club” for the rich and depraved, morphed into an organization that was less with “we’re rich and evil and can get away with it” and more about “let’s not all get killed in a changing society.”



The Tribunal rose, from the remains of that “gentleman’s” club, to address wartime issues, including putting into service vampires who wanted to work in the war effort. Even vampires have national allegiances and political preferences, they also have unique powers that can prove useful in espionage and warfare.

 

The Tribunal used property and resources, left over from the bad boy’s club, to build their intelligence agency. The Tribunal is an information clearing house that uses espionage and diplomacy to make deals with whichever side of good or evil is most beneficial to vampires at the time.

 

Modern times are difficult for vampires. It’s harder to travel and kill then it was even 50 years ago.  Vampires can provide cheap labor for bad guys. New vamps will follow nearly anyone who provides protection or blood and are often recruited by demons. It’s easy for newby vampires to fall into the wrong hands, and draw negative attention to vampires as a race. The Tribunal addresses this by providing protection and livelyhood to its own kind in exchange for money or service.



Remember TV Spike saying he wanted to keep the world around for dog racing and Happy Meals on legs? That’s the truth. Vampires aren’t interested in destroying society. They want to survive in a changing world, and they want to get back their gentleman’s club status where they attract and keep rich members and rebuild their exclusive society where they can be their bad selves.



Demons are doing better in that department these days but vampires haven’t given up hope. Rather than lose out entirely to the demons, the Vampire Tribunal provides services to its members and works with agencies like the Council who are fighting their mutual enemies. The Tribunal will just as happily side with the bad guys it it serves their purpose.

 

The Tribunal primarily serves Europe, and the Americas, and is making inroads into Africa.

A different and more secretive group operates in Asia.

Australia has a negligible vampire population.

The pacific islands have many vampires but they are dedicated to various demon groups and don’t work with the Tribunal or the Asian organization.

 

What is the Council?

There was a period in the history of the British Empire when the British upper class was funding a tremendous amount archeological excavation and collecting all over the world. Treasures and antiquities flowed into the country, including millions of items and writings related to magic, the supernatural, and ancient religions.

 

The men who funded the excavations formed a rich guy society. Sometimes  they behaved like frat boys, and were way too full of themselves. They used ritual chalices and bejeweled skulls as ashtrays or for kicks they’d stage a mummy unwrapping after dinner. One man bragged that he made his wife sleep in a gold encrusted mummy coffin.

 

Luckily they did allow scholars to access the treasures and books. As time passed the group became more interested in funding research and less interested in serving scotch and Haggis on the lid of an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus.

 

This group morphed into the Council for the Study and Preservation of the Transcendental, (not to be confused with the Society of Antiquaries). As the result of direct solicitation by scholars, donations and bequests, the Council amassed the most comprehensive library and collection of things pertaining to the supernatural. (with the possible exception of the Asian Agency)

 

Recognizing that the value of its holdings went far beyond historical and artistic the Council dedicated itself to study and protect the items and information for the good of mankind and the realm in which we reside.

 

The Slayer line is of separate and unconnected origin. However, as the result of the Council’s sworn sacred duty, many years ago it took the office of the Slayer under its wing for protection and guidance.

 

This is why even the Council doesn’t know where a new Slayer will be called. They have to use sorcery or mundane detective skills to find her. It is also why the Slayer always maintains right of refusal. The Council does not control the Slayer, but they do watch over her, hence the term Watchers.

 

 

Buffy, are you as obsess about a normal life as the Buffy on the show? If yes, was it ever among the thing you argued with your Watchers?

The chapter you just read gives you some insight into how I felt about normal life when I was 18. It was a light at the end of the tunnel, and having met Kelly, the Slayer with a family, I felt that I could one day have a life.

 

That made me a bit more relaxed about it, because I felt like it was possible, but it also made me more focused on it, because… it was possible.

 

After we lost Wes, I decided that “normal” was going to be put on hold. The Slayer gig was the real deal and I needed to stay locked in that role. Too much was riding on it. I gave up on the idea of doing “normal” now, which was good, but I became more set on doing normal “then”. Unlike TV Buffy, who has no hope of a “then”, I believed I would get my chance.



Being in college was grounding. In high school you are just doing what you are told, but in college you get to set your own schedule, pick classes, move freely on and off campus, and I felt like I did have some control over my life and future. Even though I still had all my Slayer duties, I felt like I had a life. I was making choices then weren’t all being made for me.

 

I don’t want to give any of the story away, but I will end with this...yes, I was still very “obsessed” with the idea of a normal life. You will find out just how much if you stay tuned.  



Another question, what's your favorite color, music, song, and cartoon character? What? You had to at least expected these types of questions to pop up sometime soon! 

Yey! fun questions!

 

I’m not sure it’s exactly a color, but I like gold. The shiny kind. I like when blonde hair has that shiny gold thing happening, and I love gold jewelry. 

If we are talking about a color you could paint a wall, it’s lemon yellow. Happy, but still soft.

 

I like pop music, something I can bounce to, dance around the kitchen to, and drive to. I also like sweeping, powerful orchestral music, like Tchaikovsky which is also really fun to rock out to when I’m doing the dishes or using the punching bag, or thinking about having sex with Spike.

I like Rhianna big time, especially "Diamonds" I can't post the link but you can check it out on Youtube!

 

My favorite cartoon character is kind of a joke between me and a bunch of people who know me. It’s an old comic character named Sluggo, and you can probably guess why they would sometimes call me Sluggo.

 

A very special person (but not Spike) suggests I get a tattoo of Sluggo. 

As far as Saturday morning cartoons. (A thing in the USA) my two favorites only lasted a short time, "Galaxy High" and "Ghost busters". Again, I can't post the links, but you can find these on Youtube as well. Cancelling "Galaxy High" was just wrong, wrong, wrong!


Chapter End Notes:

To any of my readers who are feeling like they want to throw something through a wall, the title of the next chapter is "The One Where Spike Comes Back"

 





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