Chapter Six--The Slayer's Code

Sunnydale Cemetery, 10:14 p.m.

"Why are you so quiet, Buffy?" Xander questioned softly.

"Hmm?" She looked over at him, and found her lips curving into a smile without thought and then the memory of Angel's words struck her anew and she found her smile fading. "Oh, I found out some pretty bad news," she paused and then was quiet. Xander held out his hands, "well?"

"I told Angel about," she paused, "us and he was upset, he knew about the Erosean thing and he told me something . . . something that I'm having a very difficult time dealing with."

"What?" He shook his head and moved closer to her.

"He killed a Slayer."

"What?!" He straightened up, his eyes wide. Running a hand over his face, he turned away from her and then looked back. "Angel did a Slayer in? And he never thought to mention this before?"

"Apparently not."

"Well, why now?"

"He killed a Slayer and her Erosean. That's how he knew about them."

"Us," he corrected softly. She looked up at him and, in what was becoming the norm lately, found herself lost in his gaze. "Us," she repeated softly. The air was still and quiet. Xander once again slowly moved towards her, his eyes never leaving hers.

"Buffy," he whispered and her lips parted softly. Standing above her, he reached out a gentle hand and smoothed her hair. "Xander," she cried softly and looked away. He stepped back and laughed lightly with little humor.

"Right. Yeah, so, uh, hey," he paused, desperately searching his mind for a topic. He looked at her with a smile, "you know what?"

"What?" she asked in a strained whisper.

"I've been having this wild dream. It's really weird, cuz it started a couple weeks ago," she looked back up at him, her eyes widening slightly. He nodded, "yeah, and it keeps happening, the dream. But the weird thing, it grows every time. It started out in this dark room and there was a girl there, but I couldn't see her. I just knew. So, then I sorta forgot it. Then I had it again and this time there were lights --"

"-- What kind of lights?" Buffy interrupted.

"Huh? Oh, uhm, you know like chandeliers. Yeah. There were two of them and music and people dancing. And I'm wearing a tux and there is this girl -- who I can't see. I keep getting closer and closer, but I still can't see her. Weird, huh?"

"Who do you think she is?" Buffy asked softly, her mind whirling.

He leered half-heartedly, "why, you jealous?"

She smiled, and it was a genuine smile. Some things never change, she thought. "Xander," she began and then hesitated, not sure if she was ready to tell him that she shared his dream. She decided against it, at least, until she knew for sure.

"I was just wondering, sounds interesting." He nodded, "so, who do you think she is?" she asked again.

"Aha, you *are* jealous," he teased. "Well, it could be Jenny McCarthy."

Buffy raised her eyebrows, "Jenny McCarthy?"

"Or Drew Barrymore. Yeah, I think it's Drew."

"Okay." She smiled again and then laughed, feeling an ease that she hadn't with him in a while. "I'm sorry, I've been avoidance-girl lately."

He shook his head, "don't be. I'm guilty too. This thing is just wiggy. But, we'll deal. I mean, I think it's mostly mumbo-jumbo and that Giles is making too big a deal about it," he paused and continued, his voice deliberately bland, "you love Angel."

She nodded slightly, "yeah."

"So, hey, I look at this way, if my presence gives you strength, then that's good, right?" "Right." She nodded, agreeing firmly.

"And if your presence keeps me from being a vampire or vampire food, that's good, too."


"You have Angel and I have, well, I have a girlfriend who's a vampire, a bad one, but, Willow's working on that. And, hey, maybe you and dead boy and me and," he paused, "uh, dead girl can double date sometime?"

Buffy was silent for a moment and then said, "nah."

He laughed, "yeah, too much?"

"A bit." She took a deep breath and smiled at him, "so we're cool."

"I'm chillin' here."



Sunnydale High School Library, 10:54 a.m.

"Giles, it was freaky, I mean, Xander has been having the same dream. But he doesn't see me and I don't see him."

"Buffy! Buffy, calm down. I don't know what you're talking about, you run in here going on about some, uh, dream and I haven't the foggiest notion as to what you are referring to." Giles pulled his glasses off and pinched the bridge of his nose wearily. "Start from the beginning. What dream?"

Buffy took a deep breath and sat down. "Okay, about a couple of weeks ago, I started having this dream. It was dark and I knew someone was in the room with me then I woke up. A couple of nights later I had it again. This time there were chandeliers and music. And I woke up. I had it again a few nights later and there were people and I was wearing long white gloves and a guy was there and he was in a tuxedo."

"Xander?" Giles asked.

"Well, I didn't know in the beginning. I thought it was Angel because I felt so safe and warm and tingly and wonderful, and the closest I've ever felt like that was when I'm with Angel. But then I realized I wasn't wearing the ring and --"

"-- the ring?" Giles interrupted, "the ring that Angel gave you?"

"Yeah, anyway, so I thought it couldn't be Angel and then you told us about this whole Erosean thing and I had the dream again the night before last and I was dancing with him and he had dark hair and I knew, I just knew it was . . ." she was silent.

"Xander," Giles finished for her. She nodded. "And then last night, Xander said he was having this recurring dream and it's just like mine, but from his point of view, but he doesn't realize it's me and --"

" -- well, I do now."

Buffy swung around, "Xander!"

"Were you gonna tell me? Or did you like watching me babble like an idiot?"

"Xander --"

"-- Why didn't you tell me last night, Buffy?" he demanded.

"I don't know," she stammered, her face flushed.

Giles spoke, rushing to head off an argument, "well, that doesn't really matter now, does it? You know, she knows, you both know and, uh, I know that this is one of the signs."

"Signs?" Buffy and Xander asked in tandem.

"Yes, uh, one of the signs that the connection is growing stronger. The reason you didn't feel any of this earlier, Buffy, is because, as I told you, there has to be a correct alignment. I've been researching and you two are not supposed to have met yet. The date you are supposed to encounter seems very specific."

"So when is it?" Buffy questioned.

"I don't know exactly, but it's coming soon. The correct place is the Hellmouth, I don't have the exact location, but it's somewhere here in Sunnydale. However, I do know that the time is coming because of your awareness of each other, the dreams, the lacings, your interaction, your intuitive knowledge of each other."

Buffy and Xander exchanged wary glances, their discomfort back after its brief vacation. "I just need to find out the exact date," Giles mumbled to himself, but Buffy heard him. "And then you can reverse this?" she asked.

Giles looked at her askance and then to Xander, who was staring at Buffy, a deep hurt on his face. She turned and looked at him, "Xander," she began and then stopped, returning her attention to Giles. "And then it can be stopped?" she asked again.

"No, Buffy, it can't be stopped. It can't be reversed."

"But --"

"-- No," he interrupted, "Buffy, it is ordained. Just as your role as the Slayer was ordained. Just as being the Slayer is your destiny, so is Xander's destiny to be your Erosean. I just thought that perhaps you might like to know the exact date. That's all."

He paused and sat down, "although, have some hope," he said disapprovingly, "it may not happen yet."

"What do you mean?" Xander asked.

"Well," he looked up at Xander, "I have no way of knowing where the exact correct location or date is, I'm looking, but I don't think I'll be able to find it. The thing is, is that the two of you have to be at that exact spot on the exact date at the exact time for connection to be made. It's all very precise, which is why so few Slayers and Eroseans connect. So many things have to happen at a particular time for the complete connection to be made."

"So what happens if we're not at the right place at the right time?" Xander questioned warily.

"I don't know," Giles offered weakly.

"Do we go back to before? I mean, could Xander be killed by the vampires then, could he be turned?" Buffy asked worriedly.

"I don't know," Giles said more strongly. "This hasn't happened often so there aren't many records of it.

"Maybe we should talk to Angel," suggested Xander.

"What? Why?" Giles looked at Buffy, who was shooting an accusing look at Xander. "Buffy?"

"I told Angel about," she paused.

"Us," Xander said firmly. She looked at him and a surge of heat passed between them.

"Us," she repeated harshly, and then looked back at Giles, "I told Angel about us and he knew about the Erosean because about one hundred and seventy years ago he killed a Slayer and her Erosean."

Giles stood up, "My God!" he exclaimed. "Angel killed a Slayer?"

Buffy bowed her head and nodded swiftly.

"Well, that settles that then."

"What?" again, Buffy and Xander spoke in tandem.

"You are not meant to be with him. And I think that since so much of the connection has come to pass that fate will see the two of you together where you are supposed to be."

"What do you mean she's not meant to be with him?" Xander asked in confusion.

"He killed a Slayer. A Slayer's code would never allow such a relationship to flourish. Angel being a vampire is one thing, because of his soul it made the situation feasible, but a Slayer-Killer. Never." He turned to Buffy, "You just found out about this, didn't you?"

She nodded, her eyes wide, unable to speak.

"And tell me, do you not feel disgust and a hatred you can not contain for Angel now. Does not the very thought of him hurt you?" He demanded.

She nodded, tears beginning to slip from her eyes. Xander moved over to Buffy and took her into his arms, she fell into them, her body molding perfectly against his. Burying her face in his chest, she let out the tears that had been waiting to engulf her since Angel had told her.

"Yes," Giles remarked softly to himself. "The Slayer's code. I see why Angel did not tell you before. " He paused, looking at the Slayer in Xander's arms, "and I see why he told you now."

He looked away and for the first time in a long time, felt genuine remorse for the vampire. He knew now that Angel was aware that Buffy would eventually have to choose between Angel and Xander and the choice would be difficult, but inevitable. The fact that she now knew that he had killed a Slayer would only save her less anguish when the time came to make her choice.