full 3/4 1/2   skin light dark       
Almost Home by slaymesoftly
Chapter Twenty-one
<<     >>
It only took Willow two days to find the listening devices and cameras she wanted, and another day to work out how to route what they recorded to her laptop. Assuring everyone that she could work on one of the school’s computers if she needed to do classwork, she suggested leaving the laptop in the Magic Box in Giles’s office where someone could check it frequently.
“What if it’s night time?” Anya complained. “We shouldn’t have to stay here all night!”
“That’s quite all right, Anya. You… and Xander if he’s here…  may go home whenever you like. By the time I close up for the night, Buffy and Spike will be out and about, and based on what we’ve seen from the cameras, they will have some idea where they need to be.” Giles spoke softly, but his expression served as a reminder that he was still her boss and she subsided quickly.
Willow set up the laptop on Giles’s desk and smiled at him. “I gave Buffy the cameras and stuff this morning, so as soon as she tells us they’ve got them in place and turned on, I’ll bring them on line.”
Buffy and Spike found the van on the way to set up Warren’s house. They noticed it parked near a small club that was popular with what passed for the socially active young adult crowd in Sunnydale.
“Well, that was easier than I thought it would be. Reckon we should try to do it now?”
“Might as well. If we can get away with it without being seen. The place doesn’t look busy yet, and it seems like the bouncer isn’t watching anything but the door.”
Spike nodded. “And the van isn’t parked where he can see it anyway.”
After carefully studying the parking area and building and finding no one watching and no windows on the parking lot side, Spike quickly got to work hiding one of the cameras inside the grillwork on the van. While he worked, Buffy loitered nearby as if waiting for someone, groaning when she recognized one of the girls approaching the door.
Since she hadn’t had to save Trina from April in this timeline, Buffy wasn’t surprised there was no recognition on her face as she passed Buffy without really seeing her. While she dithered about what to do, the girls flashed their IDs and entered the club.
“What’s the problem, love?” Spike asked as he joined her.
“Katrina just went in there, and we know Warren’s here too. It’s kind of early in the year, but what if tonight’s the night?”
“It’s alright. We’re here, and we know what to watch for. How do you want to play it? Do we go busting in like John Wayne, or wait here to see how or if they leave together?”
“What if we go in and I try to stay close enough to Katrina to watch her drink, and you try to get close enough to Warren to flash some fang?”
“Not bad. But if we don’t want him guessing how we know things, might be a bit better to just watch for them to come out.”
“That’s true, and we… heads up!”
They turned their backs and moved away as Warren emerged from the open door, letting out the sound of music and laughter. Without noticing them in the shadows where they leaned against a nearby car, kissing, he spoke with the bouncer for a few moments, then went to the van and took something from the back. He put it in his pocket and returned to the club, nodding to the bouncer as he went by, never seeing Spike and Buffy who were alternating genuine kisses with watching his actions.
“All right. Let’s get in there. I don’t think he ran out here because he forgot chewing gum or something.”
“Right behind you, love.”
Neither of them appeared young enough for the bouncer to worry about carding, so he waved them in after Spike paid the small cover charge. They entered the dark club, giving Buffy’s eyes time to adapt before moving toward the dance floor and searching for Warren or Katrina. Spike quickly spotted Warren at the bar and pointed silently.
“If we stop him from doing whatever he’s planning to do, he’ll know we know things we shouldn’t know.” Buffy almost growled at the dilemma they were in.
“And if we don’t, love, she’s going to swallow that drink I just saw him slip something in,” Spike growled.
“Okay, let me see what I can do without letting him figure out we know what he’s planning. You stay away so he doesn’t notice you’re here right away.”
Buffy walked over to the bar, giving Warren a frown, as would be appropriate, given their dislike for each other. She carefully didn’t look at Katrina as she pushed her way to the bar and smiled at the bartender.
“Hi,” she said cheerfully. “I’m looking for my… boyfriend. Blond hair, leather coat? Said he’d meet me here?”
“You mean that guy over there?” The bartender pointed across the room where Spike, rather than remaining hidden, was obviously flirting with a goth girl who was staring at him with undisguised lust.
Warren gave a sneering laugh. “Looks like he’s found somebody his type, Slayer. Serves you right for being such a bit—” He broke off at the look on Buffy’s face, obviously remembering who and what she was. “I mean, shouldn’t you go over there and remind him who he lives with?”
“What are you doing here, Warren?” Buffy ignored his insinuation to get right to the point.
“I’m having a drink with an old friend.” He gestured toward Katrina who was sipping from the drink he’d handed her and frowning at the confusing exchange of words. “Not that it’s any of your business.”
“Oh. I’m sorry. Did I interrupt something?” Buffy turned her smile on a bewildered Katrina. “Hi, I’m Buffy. It’s nice to meet you. What a pretty drink, may I taste it?” Buffy reached for the drink Katrina had just placed on the bar, knocking it away and spilling most of it.
“Oh no! I spilled your drink! How careless of me! Let me buy you a new one. One that Warren hasn’t had his hands near.”
While the bartender wiped up the spill, Buffy instructed him to replace the drink and tell her what she owed.
“What the hell are you doing, Summers?” Warren snarled. “Go find your undead boyfriend and get the hell away from us.”
“I’m just replacing the drink I spilled. Sheesh! You’d think I’d ruined another one of your evil plans or something.”
Buffy kept her expression completely innocent as she paid for the new drink and handed it to Katrina.
“Here you go. Better hang on to it, you know how dangerous it is to leave drinks unattended in bars. You two have fun now. Bye!”
Leaving Warren to come up with an explanation of who she was and why she was so weird, Buffy walked over to Spike and waited for him to notice her.
“Ah, an’ here she is now,” he said smoothly, turning from the goth girl to Buffy. “Looks like she didn’t stand me up,” he said. “Some other time, luv.” With a wink at the disappointed girl, he put his arm around Buffy and walked her toward the door.
“So, mission accomplished?”
“I’m not sure. She’d already drunk some of it before I could knock it over. I think we still need to watch them.”
After watching for a short while, they saw Katrina frown and shake her head as she put down her drink and walked away from Warren. She paused as she passed them, giving Spike a look that clearly said he didn’t belong there, then saying to Buffy, “I don’t know what that was all about, but that first drink made me loopy so I’m heading home. I wouldn’t have come if I’d known Warren was going to be here.”
She paused as if expecting Buffy to offer an explanation, but Buffy just nodded and smiled her best ditsy blonde smile.
“Yeah, if you don’t feel good, you should probably go home. It was nice to meet you. Warren’s a jerk. Bye now.”
Spike stood where he could watch out the door­—now open almost constantly as more customers arrived—nodding when he saw Katrina get into a cab that had just delivered two girls to the club.
“Looks like she’s safe for tonight, love. What do you want to do now?”
Buffy just shrugged. “I dunno. Finish what we set out to do?”
“How about we go to his house, get the cameras set up and call Willow to turn them on? That way, if she’s sees him come home with anyone while we’re working on the two losers’ house, we’ll know and can run back if we need to.”
“Okay. I guess it’s safe enough to leave Warren here. Maybe she picked up on my less-than-subtle hints to keep her drink away from him, and she won’t let him near her next time she runs into him.. She might just figure I was talking from experience and brush him off.”
An hour later, after a phone call from Willow when they’d just finished installing cameras at Andrew’s house, Buffy wasn’t so sure.
“Thanks, Will. We’ll go looking for them now.” She ended the call and began swearing.
“What’s going on?

“The camera in the van caught Warren half-carrying a drowsy girl toward it. She couldn’t see what happened after that, but the van left the parking lot and headed away from town on the old highway into the desert.”
Away from town? Not toward his house? Or even this one?”
“Nope. She said away from town. Winston and Giles have taken off to try to find and follow him. She’ll call me back if they find them.”
“Bugger! Let’s get in the car and head for the highway.”
Thirty minutes later, they came upon Giles and Winston who were trying to explain to a very confused girl who was not Katrina, that they had not just happened upon her, but had been, they thought, rushing to her rescue.
“What’s going on?” Buffy’s question confused the girl even more and she peered at the new arrivals, clearly visible in the cars’ headlights.
“Who are you people?” She looked hard at Buffy. “Don’t I know you from somewhere? And where’s the guy who brought me out here?”
“We’d like an answer to that too,” Buffy said. “Do you have any idea where he went? Or what happened?”
The girl shook her head. “I got all sick and dizzy in the club and he said he was helping me outside to get some fresh air. I think maybe I passed out….” She glared at them. “I know I haven’t had that much to drink! I’m not drunk!”
“We don’t think you are,” Buffy soothed. “So Warren took you outside for fresh air and then you passed out?”
“I guess. When I woke up, I was in his van and we were way out here in the middle of nowhere. I got scared and started crying and yelling at him to let me go, and when he slowed down, I opened the door and jumped out.”
“And he let just you go?”
“Yeah. He yelled something like ‘Good luck making it back from here, and it was just a dry run anyway’—whatever the hell that means’ and drove off. I wasn’t sure which way was back to town, and it was pretty scary being out here in the dark all by myself, but then these wonderful guys came along and stopped for me.”
She gestured to Giles and Winston. Apparently, their refined British accents had convinced her that they were harmless, and Buffy hid a smile as the girl beamed at them.
Spike snorted and shook his head.  “It’s probably a good thing they did. Never a good idea to be out in the dark by yourself, even if you aren’t actually in Sunnydale. You never know what nasty things might be lurking in the shadows.” He wiggled his eyebrows at her suggestively.
“Oh, I know,” the girl said, nodding vigorously. “I was born in Sunnydale. Trust me, I know what to look out for.” She beamed at Spike, who snickered until Buffy smacked his arm.
“Okay… what’s your name?”
“Ellie, it’s Ellie Johnson.” She peered at Buffy again.  “Didn’t you go to Sunnydale High?”
Buffy nodded, but went back to her subject.  “Okay, Ellie, here’s what we’re going to do. Giles and Winston are going to take you back to town and you’re going to tell the police that Warren Meers drugged you and kidnapped you.”
Ellie frowned, but shrugged. “Okay. I can do that. But what if they don’t believe me?”
“They’ll believe you. Why wouldn’t they?”
“I don’t know… because I was drinking and because he didn’t try to stop me from running away?”
“P’bly figured you wouldn’t make it to the cops before something had you for supper,” Spike said. “You’d be gone and unable to identify him, and he’d be somewhere with a good alibi.”
Ellie turned her gaze on Giles and Winston again. “You guys really did save my life!”
“Ahem.” Giles cleared his throat while Winston smothered a smile. “Well, perhaps. Although Buffy and Spike were looking for you also….”
“But you found me. Not them.”
“Exactly. So they’re taking you back to report what happened, and we’re going to look for Warren.” Buffy was using her General Buffy voice and everyone nodded.
“But… how did you know…?”
“I’ll explain while we return to Sunnydale,” Winston said, holding open the passenger side door for her.
Buffy and Spike grinned at each other, knowing that by the time Winston was through explaining things, Elli would be perfectly comfortable knowing that complete strangers had been aware of her kidnapping and had run to her rescue.
“He can just tell her we were watching Warren for some reason, and just happened to see him take her away. Or something like that. Winston will think of something.”
“Don’t doubt it for a second,” Spike said.
He reached in and turned off the headlights of his car, leaving them under a star-filled sky.
“No sense runnin’ down the battery,” he explained, leaning against the fender and pulling her between his legs. She willingly molded her body to his and raised her face for his kiss.
“Mmmmm. As nice as this is… mmmm… it isn’t helping us find Warren….” As she felt him chuckle, she wriggled against him, causing him to growl and pull her in even tighter.
“Can’t see any reason to waste this beautiful night chasing that wanker,” he murmured into her ear. “I’m certain there’s an old blanket in the car, and we can find ourselves a nice patch of sand away from the road.”
He released her and opened the back door, reaching in and pulling out a blanket. “See? Warm night, starlight, and a blanket to keep the sand from getting into any uncomfortable places.”
“I can’t see anything,” she said, but walked hand in hand with him until he found what he was looking for, trusting his much better eyesight to keep them from stepping on anything she wouldn’t want to.
“You just happened to have a blanket in the car?”
“Keep one there in case I need to keep the sun off,” he responded. “But it has more than one use….”
He stopped and shook the blanket out, letting it settle onto the sand.
“What do you say, love? A quickie with our clothes on, or enjoy the night air by getting naked in it?” As he spoke, he was shedding his coat, spreading it on top of the blanket.
Without waiting for her answer, he skimmed off his tee shirt and unbuckled his belt.
“You’d get naked anywhere,” she said, laughing, but kicking off her shoes. “You have no shame.”
“Got nothin’ to be ashamed of,” he said, sitting down to untie his boots and toe them off. His pale skin and bright hair were easily visible in the starlight, even though their surroundings were too dark for Buffy to make out most objects, even the car.
“Come on, sweetheart. Live a little. Get naked for me.”
Buffy didn’t answer him, but began to unbutton her blouse, staying far enough away that he couldn’t reach her. Knowing he could see her perfectly well, she performed a slow strip tease that soon had him growling in impatience. With a last flourish, she shimmied out of her thong and tossed it at his face. He batted it away without ever taking his eyes off her.
“Get that gorgeous arse over her now or I’m not responsible for any misplaced sand,” he said, crouching as if to spring at her.
“You get sand in my places, and it’ll be the last time you see me naked,” she threatened, shaking sand off her feet before stepping onto the blanket and using one bare foot to push him off balance and onto his back.
He grabbed the foot and sat up, kissing her toes while she tried to maintain her balance on the uneven sand beneath the blanket. He kissed his way up her leg, and when he found what he was looking for, he fastened his mouth on it. She whimpered and lost her balance, falling forward onto to him as he collapsed onto his back, grabbing her hips as he did and bringing her down with him. His mouth and tongue were busy, eliciting whimpers and squeals from Buffy as he held her against his face, teasing her until her whimpers began to resemble sobs, then sucking on her clit until she spasmed with a small shriek and collapsed over him.
While Buffy was still trying to recover her equilibrium and breathe normally, he pushed her down his body, kissed her briefly, then rolled them over and slid into her moist warmth. She brought her legs up around his hips and began to move with him as he set up a steady rhythm while murmuring his appreciation of the way she felt to him, as well as the way she smelled and tasted.
Even if his changed breathing and shout hadn’t given it away, she would have felt him explode inside her as she clenched around him. But before she could relax and enjoy the afterglow, he was already hard again and now in game face, using his demon enhancements to touch what she mentally referred to as “that place”. Giving him as much verbal and non-verbal encouragement as she could, she tilted her head to give him access to her neck, hissing her “yesss” when he didn’t resist the invitation.
With his cock hitting the spot she wanted it to with every stroke, and his fangs in her throat, Buffy soon filled the empty desert air with her cries of fulfillment. She was joined by Spike’s satisfied roar as the infusion of Slayer blood ensured that he would need at least some recovery time from this orgasm.
They lay together, panting and murmuring endearments, oblivious to their nudity or the cold night air. Not until Buffy started to shiver, did they reluctantly untangle themselves to snuggle under Spike’s coat, both unwilling to separate any farther than that.
“The stars are beautiful out here,” Buffy sighed, turning her head to gaze into the sky above them.
“Don’t know about you, but I’m not sure the stars I’m still seeing are in the sky,” he said, giving her a squeeze. She could hear the smile in his voice.
Buffy giggled. “That was pretty spectacular, wasn’t it? And we didn’t even do the claimy part of it.”
He chuckled in agreement, but said, “I think all those sweet nothings probably count toward the claim, love. Close enough, anyway.”  He kissed her forehead and added, “But anytime you want to renew it officially, all you have to do is say so.”
She shivered again in spite of the coat covering her and Spike immediately sat up and wrapped it around her.
“You sit here while I get your things and warm up the car.”
He got to his feet and walked unerringly to where she’d dropped her clothes, picking them up and carrying them back to her. He paused to swear and hop on one foot when he stepped on an unseen sharp rock, throwing the clothes and her shoes at her when she laughed at him.
“That’s the thanks I get for being a gentleman,” he grumbled as he pulled on his jeans and boots. “Ungrateful bint, you are. Just for that, I won’t warm the car up before you get in.”
Buffy ignored his complaining in favor of pulling on her own clothes, pausing to shake the sand out of them first. When they were both dressed and safely shod, she held Spike’s coat while he shook out the blanket as best he could and wadded it back up. He held her hand as they walked back to the car, picking his way carefully over the more rock-covered ground near the road.
Once they were settled in the car and the heater was blowing warm air on Buffy, Spike asked, “Well, do we go looking for the wanker, or just let the gendarmes take care of him?”
“I guess we could swing by the Magic Box and check the cameras. We might be able to see where he went, or if he went home.” She bit her lip. “Do you really think he expected Ellie to run into a vamp or demon before she got back?”
“I’d guess he was sure enough of it not to worry about her going to the police. Stupid mistake on his part, if he did.”
“He was playing the odds. It actually does kinda sound like something he’d do.”
“Yeah, well, let’s just go check up on him and see if he’s somewhere easily found, or safely back home for a while.”
<<     >>