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Woo Hoo! It’s only been a handful of days, and liliaeth and I have a small interlude of Beloved to share with you. We’re still about a week or so shy of six months into William’s captivity. This takes place immediately following the last chapter. Please follow the Warning Alert System.

2014 - November
William is ten and a half years old.

Green Alert
Another day in the life of our William. Life seems to have gotten better for the lad. Some new freedoms. A new companion. What more can the little guy ask for?

Please, as always, read and comment! We decided to line the muse’s manacles with foam and fleece – we’re not heartless after all… and the sweetling has been rather cooperative since her re-capture returning. Feedback is always welcomed.

Goddess bless willa_writes - my muse's muse and beta-supreme, and gillo, for her continued encouragement, and just_sue, for pushing me to continue when I'm feeling lazy (and totally untalented).

To read Beloved from the beginning, go Here.

Full-sized banner by liliaeth beneath the cut.

Beloved – Interlude 19-20A – Sugar and Spike

Will shook off the last effects of his dream as he tugged down the hem of his sweatshirt before opening the door. The last thing he needed to start off his day was a crack about his appearance from EJ. She could be ruthless if the mood struck her.

She wasn’t exactly a demon. EJ was a slayer, like his Buffy, and just a little bit older than him. According to Mr. Chalmers, she was ‘called’ by the spell that activated all the slayers while she was still in her mother’s belly. EJ liked to tell the tale that she was so strong before she was born that she nearly killed her mother during her birth.

EJ’s mom had never married, and drugs and alcohol had been issues, too. EJ was rescued by the Council a few years ago and raised in a foster home. The Council could do no wrong in her eyes.

Leaning against the doorframe, EJ tapped her watch, a duplicate of his. “Come on, short-stuff – you know Mr. Chalmers hates it when we’re late.”

Will simply ignored her friendly taunt. He’d grown several inches since he’d been… away, and was nearly as tall as she was,

“Race you there?” he challenged, bending down to tighten his laces.

With a wicked grin, EJ took off, leaving Will in her wake.

As he closed the door, he gave thanks that Mr. Chalmers now trusted him enough to be where he was supposed to be at the proper time. With a grin of his own, Will began to run, catching sight of EJ’s feet as she rounded the first turn on the way to the door leading to the outside track.

Will checked his watch as they raced alongside each other.

“Getting’ slow in your old age, Eej,” he laughed as he grabbed a lock of her short brown hair, playfully. “Never used to be able to catch you with a head start.”

Emma Jane wrinkled her nose in disdain, tilting her chin up slightly as she looked at her companion. “And what makes you think I was running flat out, boy? I felt sorry for you, that’s all. Slowed down so you wouldn’t get lost all by yourself.”

A sharp huff was Will’s only reply, as the two continued to hare down the corridors. They’d become a familiar sight in the past two weeks, and wandering Watchers made sure to stick close to the walls to give the children uninterrupted passage. And to keep from getting knocked down as they rushed by.

With a quick glance to his watch, Will yelled, “Think we’re gonna beat Mr. Chalmers to the field?”

“Turn left up ahead,” EJ yelled back. “I think it’s a shortcut .”

“Gotcha!” Will jumped over a briefcase dropped in the effort to get out of his way, his step never faltering as he followed after the young slayer.

They tore through a labyrinth of corridors in a seldom-used wing, coming to an abrupt halt in a dimly-lit hall lined with rows and rows of portraits. Both were panting mildly, having exerted themselves trying to outdo each other.

“Where are we?” Will asked as he hunched over, trying to oxygenate his system. “Who are all these girls?”

EJ stood frozen in front of the paintings. “I think… I think they’re slayers.”

Will ran his hand over the bottom row of portraits. Each one had a small brass plaque beneath it, most inscribed with only a name and a pair of dates.

“They’re all dead, aren’t they?” he whispered, a chill going through his body.

EJ didn’t reply, too busy looking at the portraits on the opposite wall.

He noticed the march of years as much from the style of clothing as the dates on the plaques, but didn’t recognize anyone until the final portrait… hers. Buffy Anne Summers. Born February 1981 – Died June 2004. There was also a list of her accomplishments: Killed The Master. Thwarted Ascension. Destroyed Glorificus. Closed Sunnydale Hellmouth.

“Buffy,” he murmured, his voice a pained whisper drawing EJ’s attention.

“What’s up, shrimp?”

“Why is she here, Eej? She’s not dead,” Will insisted. “Why does this say she is?”

“Are you sure? I don’t think the Council would get something like that wrong. Slayers are important and taken care of – like me.” She pushed at Will’s shoulder trying to lure his attention away from the portrait. “If she’s not dead, where is she?”

“She’s… stuck,” was the best he could come up with. “I’ve seen her all my life. She used to keep me company at night and tell me stories. Nobody else could see her… just me.”

EJ snorted. “You had an imaginary slayer friend? How sweet… not!”

Will pushed her back, annoyed at her attitude. “I didn’t make her up,” he insisted. “She’s as real as you and me, just not solid. She’s stuck, like I said. In a statue we had in the garden. My da… my family was trying to set her free.”

“You have a family? A dad?” An eyebrow arched as EJ shot him an incredulous look. “Then what the hell are you doing here? Why aren’t you home?”

“Mr. Wyndam-Pryce and Mr. Chalmers took me away from them,” Will choked out, staggered by a fierce wave of homesickness the likes of which he hadn’t felt in months. “They said… they said it was too dangerous for me to stay with my dad.”

He would not cry in front of EJ. He wouldn’t. He was big (bigger) and bad (tough) and he didn’t cry like a baby.

“Mr. Chalmers said that my dad wanted to make me a monster. That he didn’t really care about me at all. I didn’t believe him, but if it’s not true, then why didn’t my dad answer any of the letters I’ve written? I’ve been here so long. He won’t talk to me, either. Him or Mom. I can talk to Uncle Hugh and Lotte… but they never come to the phone.”

EJ looked perplexed. “Okay, I can understand how your folks could be ‘monsters’, like my mother with her habits. But how could he make you one? I mean, how would he do that, anyway?”

“He’s a… vampire,” Will whispered, ducking his head in embarrassment.

“Your dad’s a freaking vampire?!” EJ stared at him, her mouth open in shock. “That’s…oh my god! That’s why you’re nearly as strong and fast as I am. So… you’re half vampire? Do you have fangs?”

Now it was William’s turn to stare.

“I – I’m adopted… and my real mom died when I was born.”

“Did your vampy dad kill her? And take you?”

“No!” Will cried out, harsh and swift. “He found me at a shelter, and took care of me. He married my Mom when I was two years old. He wouldn’t… couldn’t…”

“Pffft. You never know with one of those bloodsuckers, Will. Who knows what he did to you?” EJ shivered and rubbed her arms. “I thought I was the only one the Council saved, but I guess they saved you, too.”

He nodded, uncertainly. Too many people trying to get into his head.

EJ pushed onwards, oblivious to his distress. “I mean, if it wasn’t for Mr. Chalmers and Mr. Wyndam-Pryce, my mom… she was into drugs an’ stuff. Used to bring all these different guys home, too. The last one, he liked little girls. I had to kick him to get away.”

“And your mom kicked the guy out?”

“You’re kidding, right? She got ticked off at me! She said I ran her man off, and kicked me out.”

“But you were only a little kid. How did…?”

“That’s when Mr. Chalmers found me.”

Her earnest expression brought a lump to Will’s throat.

“He brought me here. Put me with these foster-parents who are so different from the bitch!” she spat out with distaste. “They’re really cool – they made sure I was fed and clothed. I never had it so good.”

Will was so caught up in EJ’s little speech that the beeping watch alarm took them both by surprise.

“Oh crap, Eej! Mr. Chalmers is gonna kill us. We’re officially late.”

“Then let’s get a move on, kiddo. He can only kill us once!”

They flew through the corridors at breakneck speed, coming to a complete stop in front of Mr. Chalmers, who was standing in front of the track, looking at his own watch with disapproval etched on his face.




( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 17th, 2006 07:45 pm (UTC)
Poor Will's little brain is getting fair addled with so much conflicting information, isn't it?
May. 18th, 2006 08:44 am (UTC)
The evil that men do... never truer words spoken. Poor Will. Hope he's got some sanity, or he'll turn out like Auntie Dru!
May. 17th, 2006 08:38 pm (UTC)
Cleaned up nicely, love. Good stuff - again.
May. 18th, 2006 08:45 am (UTC)
Thank you, sweetling. You know how I worried over each and every word.
May. 17th, 2006 08:54 pm (UTC)
Oh crapola...

“I thought I was the only one the Council saved, but I guess they saved you, too.”

He nodded, uncertainly. Too many people trying to get into his head.

It's started, hasn't it? The gradual brainwashing. The seeds of uncertainty have taken root. Please, please, please let them be growing on stony ground.

Some things remain steadfast though. Will's belief in Buffy's existence, for one. Is that, I wonder, purely because Chalmers and the CoW just don't have her on their radar, or high enough up on their 'Things to F**k With in Will's Head' list?

For an interlude, this is nervy stuff, pets.
May. 18th, 2006 08:47 am (UTC)
A half a year is a lifetime for a ten year old. How could it not affect his thinking?

As for his belief in Buffy, it's probably the one thing they don't really know about, so they can't take that away from him. No, they can't take that away from him. (there's a song in there, somewhere, isn't there?)
May. 17th, 2006 09:45 pm (UTC)
That was freaking A Dude
Wonder If EJ is a spy or something
Can't wait to find out
get a move on missy PWEASE :~}
May. 18th, 2006 08:48 am (UTC)
More is coming... including more on EJ. Hope it'll answer your questions, soon. *smiles*
May. 17th, 2006 09:52 pm (UTC)
It's far too late for me to have anything intelligent to say, but as always I am loving this fic and the twists and turns you take us down.
May. 18th, 2006 08:49 am (UTC)
Thanks, sweetie. Glad you're enjoying. Some of those twists and turns probably come from writing in the wee small hours of the morning, like 4 or 5 am.
May. 18th, 2006 01:41 am (UTC)
I still feel so bad for William. I at least am glad that he has someone to talk to. Hope she believes him about Buffy. Love the new chapter.
May. 18th, 2006 08:50 am (UTC)
**beams** EJ's good people. Believe me, Will's glad for the company.
May. 18th, 2006 01:35 pm (UTC)
A very nice interlude. EJ's a very likeable little girl with the steadfast convictions of youth. I remember when the world was that black and white! :)
May. 18th, 2006 07:51 pm (UTC)
Losing those black and white convictions is all a part of growing up. EJ's good people, and I like that Will finally has someone near his age to interact with.
May. 18th, 2006 07:48 pm (UTC)
Poor Will, especialy seeing Buffy's portrait :(
Extremly good fic, i check everyday for updates, even if i don't post a comment ^.^
May. 18th, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC)
He does miss his Buffy. And I'm glad to see you still following us. *smiles*
May. 19th, 2006 03:12 am (UTC)
New to this fic, but loving it so far!
May. 19th, 2006 08:39 am (UTC)
So nice to add a new reader to the fold. Glad you're enjoying our little tale. More to come!
May. 19th, 2006 03:46 pm (UTC)
Ruh roh. Will's going to get it now.

Thanks for the new chap so quick. It was a great way to end my week.
May. 22nd, 2006 07:24 am (UTC)
And things seem to be going so well. What would make you so suspicious? Have we ever led you down the garden path before?

More is in the works. *grins*
(Deleted comment)
May. 22nd, 2006 07:25 am (UTC)
Are you busy next Saturday? There might be some space in his schedule for a rescue. Have to be extra careful, though. Wear sneakers.

We do promise a reacue. Eventually. But we will say it's closer now than it's been. Somewhat. *giggles*
May. 23rd, 2006 12:30 am (UTC)
Oh. My. Gosh. I have just spent the last three hours reading this fic from start to finish. I cried during some chapters and wanted to leave comments but the need to keep reading kept me from doing so. I just wanted to let you know that I've been looking for a story as good as this one since the Angel series finale. I love it so much.

I can't wait to read more!

May. 23rd, 2006 06:30 am (UTC)
We're pleased to have garnered a new reader! Welcome to our insanity. *grins* So glad to have moved you with our words.

Poked your penguin icon, btw. It dared me.
May. 31st, 2006 09:51 pm (UTC)
loving the poke penguin
May. 27th, 2006 02:42 am (UTC)
So Illy made her threats a while back I think it's time the god-king stepped up and killed all the watchers....not like they are useful for anything anyway. If Will is sort of special and the PTB have him tapped for something you would think they would get fed up with the wankers interfering all of the time and make a show of force and kill all those involved in a brutal way.....I mean to them the watchers must seem like insolent children and it's time for some smackdown....to put them in their place

I'm just looking for a good old fashioned bloodbath and I think that the wankers have it coming, hope you don't pull that humans=no kill shit....they need to die....preferable slowly :)

May. 27th, 2006 10:30 am (UTC)
Karma - they'll get theirs, those nasty watchers. At least, that's our plan. One way or another.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - May. 31st, 2006 09:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 2nd, 2006 07:57 am (UTC)
So pleased to welcome a new reader... can't wait to see what you have to say once you've caught up. Welcome to our insanity.
Jul. 16th, 2006 01:32 pm (UTC)
Poor Will is getting so confused... I do hope someone comes to his aid soon. He can't have forgotten what he overheard Nate say about Giles and his family already, could he?
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )