rngrdead (rngrdead) wrote in bloodclaim,
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Part 35 - end

Title: Ghost in the Machine

Author: josie_h

Pairing: Xander/Spike
Rating: Mature Audiences – for content and themes later on - ie M/M
Summary: Post Black Thorn and final AtS - The PtBs screw with Spike yet again.
Spoilers: Canon is Post S7 BtVS and S5 AtS.
Warnings: M/M – if you don’t like boys together, don’t play here!
Author’s Note: Don’t own the characters nor make any money from stories etc, and bow down to their original creators
Joss, et al., plus all the wonderful online writers who continue to give the Buffy/Angel verse characters life.
Previous parts here


Part 35

The following day went almost too smoothly, though convincing the ‘delivery boys’ that the sculptor and his apprentice on not only being involved with the meticulously careful loading, but also the unloading and placing the piece in situ, did require a phonecall to gain approval from Lilah. Her priorities lay with planning the spell that evening so dismissed them with a curt, “Yes of course, whatever spins his dial. Be clear, it is to be placed on the third floor, room seven. Once you are finished *everyone* is to leave. Understood?”

The young man, in truth an articles clerk who had ‘not performed’ with true Wolfram and Hart fervor, answered, “Yes Ma’am” then looked over to his compatriot with resignation. “We’d better do a good job or that bitch will have us busted to janitor duty… or worse.” Neither had any doubts as to what she was capable of doing in terms of ‘worse’.

Xander was kissed soundly by Spike, and Matti was afforded his own special blessing and farewell via a sound hug from the Mistress before they started the car and followed the van close. It would be Xander’s task to settle the piece as arranged, and Matti’s to find an appropriate, undetected position for the other piece. The younger man currently firmly held a backpack complete with unveiling material, blessed sand and sculpture in his lap.

On arrival, Xander (and Matti) made quite a fuss regarding the moving and particularly the seating of the piece on the prepared marble stand and its position in the centre of the room. Lilah had arrived just as Xander began to appeal to her minions that they alter the overhead lighting for better effect, waved her vague approval and stalked out satisfied that it mattered not a jot once the spell was done.

It was Matti’s shining hour. He requested the need for a room to organize some light material for an unveiling and needed a table. Not even looking at Xander as he departed, he was relieved to be led into the small storeroom adjoining the statue room. Thanking his guide and checking for any indication of monitoring (apparently once in the bowels of the W&H beast there was little to none), he quickly spread the material on the table, crawled underneath, drew the pentagram and set the statue.

Matti did cut a large piece from the rather lovely red satin silk, then another from the black he had stashed in his backpack. It had only taken a minute or two, and he had ‘carelessly’ left enough black material on the table to prevent anyone from observing the arrangement underneath from the door.

Xander and Matti departed soon after draping the lush material over the soon to be revealed statue. And as they drove away, simply… hoped.

Lilah swept into the room on the hour arranged for the mages to begin their spell, keen to observe and confirm her gift to the Senior Partners and (hopefully) receive a promotion as a consequence. The capture of William the Bloody’s ‘services’ via the same method, after many promises, had definitely put her efforts for furthering her unlife career intentions on the ‘back peddle’. This time she was sure there would be no such error and smiled as she entered the room, encouraged that glasses of various liquids be raised in celebration as she ceremoniously revealed the sculpture to the twenty or so guests.

“This is the night Drusilla, of the Aurelian line, a vicious, mad vampire who has previously done both credit and pain to Wolfram and Hard, and is currently residing somewhere in South America, will have her essence drawn and now be tied *here* at Wolfram and Hart to this statue.

“She has, in part worked for, and against, Wolfram and Hart, notoriously killing many of our compatriots when in Los Angeles.” Several of the audience sniggered, having heard the story. “She will provide no more threat after tonight, indeed will be an asset to be exploited, to be called out as needed and confined otherwise. So ladies and gentlemen, I give you Drusilla!”

Glasses were raised, the toast acknowledged, and Lilah nodded pointedly to the five mages ready to proceed.

As Xander and Matti drove at speed back to the coven, the chanting began. Lilah grinned, her audience cheered but what ensued was not what was expected.

From the primary mage a simple statement came as the chanting ceased, “It is done.”

There was no expected flash of light involving the statue, rather there was a strange trail of blue light made a beeline to the storeroom, followed by Lilah letting her glass shatter to the floor as her undead form collapsing in front of the ‘honored guests’. A concerned few ran forward to assist but the body simply disintegrated into a pool of black ooze. They all backed away as the liaison for the Senior Partners made himself known, stepping from the lift with a wide grin on his face.

“Good morning folks, just letting you know, there has been a slight change in plans. Worry not good people, your toast was well placed we have merely captured a different dark essence than was expected.” He looked pointedly at one of the security guards, “There is an artifact in the store room. It’s under the table. Would you be so kind as to recover it and bring it here.”

Lilah’s statue was duly recovered and placed on the central table for the viewing pleasure of the guests *she* had invited. It took her some time to recover her senses and realize what had occurred. Now trapped in the figurine, she had no voice, no ability to convey her distress, and apparently no person in the room that really gave a toss as they all toasted the Senior Partners and all their ventures once more.

Hours later and in private, the liaison Hamilton placed her effigy on a shelf in her own (now previous) office and addressed her directly.

“It does seem you have been outdone... and by the ‘’good guys” but this is not the first time, is it?! Oh don’t get me wrong, the Senior Partners did enjoy your little games, though it seems that company funds have been over spent on your little schemes of late. It’s just that you don’t seem to understand the concept of balance. Anyway, to cut to the chase, your time here has not finished by any means, it’s just so much better that you *observe* your replacement(s) over time, now that you are out of the action.”

Lilah tried her best to answer, thinking of all the ways she would seek revenge on those who had apparently ‘bettered’ her, but was fixed in place with no voice, and realized that this was to be her fate for a rather significant time. She was chilled by the realization. It would be her fate, just as it was her intent for Drusilla, she would be trapped inanimate, until the Senior Partners saw fit for her essence to engage again with the real world. And she knew in that moment, they were timeless, so her own purgatory would not be relieved any time soon.

Hamilton must have known her distress, casually stroked the small statue and ushered in her replacement with a bright smile.

Evelyn was a brilliant barrister whose life, for the last five years, had deliberately been made a misery by a jealous Lilah. After several promotions she had suddenly been hit with a combination of difficult cases and unexplainable, magically induced and therefore untreatable, ailments - hair falling out until she was all but bald; teeth shattering for no known reason and needing serious work; and a tendency to burst into tears during court that eventually had her sidelined.

Hamilton gave a knowing grin in the direction of the statue. “It seems that the lovely Evelyn is just one in a long line of imminently capable, prospective high level employees that you have been denying the Senior Partners, interesting that you should feel so inclined to tamper with their wishes, indeed their interests. No matter now.”

A very healthy Evelyn smiled sweetly at the liaison, thanked him, then lifted the statuette and placed it on a shelf in the corner with quiet words, “There bitch. I’m now the one in the room, oh and by the way? Senior Partners want no more to do with the covens. Too high profile and, as you obviously did *not* have notice, balance, so it puts them in a difficult position with Gaia and the Powers That Be, funny how siblings can be so protective huh?”

She patted the structure on the head, turned it so all Lilah could see was the wall and sniggered, “I’m only the first in here. You’ll last for centuries now. Enjoy.”

……………………………………….

Giles flew down to Spike’s welcoming arm, concerned that the young man (as he now truly was) worried. There had been no word from Xander or Matti, yet the Mistress had indicated all went well.

The two made their way to the entrance of the coven’s property and waited… and waited. Giles bobbed his head and hoo-ed his concern, then for some unknown reason pushed away for a moment and bared his neck.

Spike was shocked. There was no way he would take from the bird. Apart from anything else their size difference would mean life threatening.

He stroked the feathers until the ex-Watcher returned to himself, “Not that I don’t appreciate the offer mate, desperate times an’ all, but it’ll be a dark day when I take family. Don’t get me wrong, sure you’re right tasty, but the size difference? And the reason? C’mon mate… Boys will be fine. Tell ya what, let’s us just up foot and go watch some tellie. Reckon that archeology show, Time Team or something or other, will be on and we can wait for the boys yeah?!”

Spike held out his arm, Giles alighted but then was rather touched by the next action. The owl was embraced by his friend, his feathers smoothed and feet hanging without purchase as he was lovingly carried against Spike’s chest toward then inside Xander and Spike’s home. Placed carefully on the settee, Spike then provided several handfuls of raw beef, turned on the television and settled himself to eat a sandwich followed by a beer.

The ex-Watcher had not missed the rather desperate loving kisses afforded *his* Sunnydale boy and the renewed ‘William’ exchanged as Xander arrived late afternoon with the hero of the day Matti, as their own luncheon was served, lovingly prepared.

Matti took to the workshop, there was still furniture to finish, but was thrilled as a smiling Mistress joined him. He nodded to her and continued to work as she smiled enigmatically.

It was fitting, they were all safe from any Wolfram and Hart influence, the balance was back.

The owl departed to his chosen daytime abode. There would no doubt be more challenges ahead for the side of good, but he satisfied himself that Xander and Spike would face them together with the full force of the coven behind them… and accepted for all time that his current form was appreciated, and loved. Who could ask for more?

FINI
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