Chapter 7 - Phone calls and house calls
Saturday, May 4th, 2002
A blast of rock music drowned out the first part of the reply before the guy on the other end of the phone moved to a slightly quieter spot and Dawn was still pondering who in that bar would play "Living on a Prayer" when she made out, ". Grill, Dave Sspeaking."
"Hi, Dave, I-I was wondering if maybe Spike was there tonight. or Clem even?"
"Haven't sseen Sspike ssince lasst week, but Clem'ss in back. Don't know if he'll be able to get to the phone though, leasst not sstraight away."
"Can you give him a message please? Ask him to ring Dawn and if Spike does show up can you tell him the same. The number's 555 3479. Yeah? .and the name's Dawn. Thanks."
"555 3479. Dawn. I'll tell him."
Dave stuck the post-it note next to the phone and moved to serve the group who had come in whilst he was talking to the slayer's little sister.
"There's still no answer at Xander's place, but I had a thought and rang the bar where Spike plays poker. Spike wasn't there but Clem is, so I left a message for him to ring here. He might know where Anya's staying or a phone number or something. He must know Anya somehow 'cos she asked him to the wedding and even if he doesn't know how to contact her he might go check up on Spike for us. Make sure he's okay."
"Good thinking." Willow put down a pile of sheets and blankets on the coffee table; ready to make up the sofa as a bed when she and Dawn went upstairs.
Dawn fidgeted around holding the cordless phone in her hand waiting for Clem's call and watching for Tara returning downstairs. As it turned out Tara's return came first.
"What's the verdict?" Dawn deliberately kept her tone bright and cheerful, trying not to let the Wiccans know how concerned she was about her sister's condition.
"I don't know what the problem is, Dawnie. Somehow, whatever makes Buffy Buffy isn't there any more, but I don't know how."
"So you're saying Buffy's soul is gone."
"Well, it's not really just her soul. I mean, take Spike. No soul, but very definitely his own unique personality. It's like everything except that part of her brain that makes her breathe, blink, that sort of thing is missing."
"Not wanting to sound all eughy here, but when I pulled her she would walk. If we take her to the toilet, do you think.? 'Cos it's a long long time since we kept any rubber sheets in the house and Buffy would not be happy if she came to in depends underwear, and can we get her to eat and drink 'cos dehydration."
"Daw-wwn" Both the witches sounded grossed out by the question, but the longer the slayers "blank" state went on the more pressing these practical matters were going to become.
"I'm serious, and even if it is something mystical that's causing this if we can't get her to eat and drink, she's going to have to be hospitalised and if they put her back on the psych ward we could really lose her even if we get the missing bits back." Dawn launched her way through the sentence at breakneck speed, her fears starting to show.
"We have to find her, soon." Willow looked at the other women in the room. "Tara, could you do the locator spell we did when Faith and Buffy switched on your own?"
"No, you need someone to act as an anchor, and Dawn hasn't got the experience to do it. I can do the normal, use a map sort of location spell though, but I don't have all the ingredients, well I don't have anything here, but there's stuff I'd need from the Magic Box."
"If we get Spike he can pick the lock, or he knows a way into the basement through the sewer tunnels. He could pick things up if we gave him a list. Could we check on Anya using the same spell?" Dawn demonstrated part of the reason Buffy didn't like the combination of Spike and her sister.
"As long as she's in this plane, sweetie, but it's a lot easier if anyone has something of hers."
"Not any more," muttered Dawn under her breath, as she looked at her feet.
"I managed to get a fix on where the camera signals were going last night. We'll know if the signals are going to the same place as anyone who's missing."
Tara looked over at Willow not wanting to ask her next question out loud. If they were being held by "The Trio" then who was left to send?
Spike wandered back homewards. Patrol had been moderately successful and he'd let off a bit of steam, but he knew he wouldn't be able to sleep yet, not without the dreams. It looked like tonight was not a night for staying close to home. He strode across the grass to his door, the beginning of a smile on his face. He had plans for the night; nothing that couldn't be changed if it turned out the slayer was waiting for him ready to declare her undying love, but failing that.
'Bint's more likely to come tell you 'bout her undying love for Peaches than come tell you she cares about you, anyway. Even if she was there, and I would know by now if she was, you're still probably better off getting out of there. I mean when was the last time she said anything you wanted to hear? "It hurts." .and even that did more to make you feel bad than it did to make you feel good. And before that? When did she ever actually say anything totally nice to you? Something not about sex, or in the middle of sex. "Sometimes." Yeah, that was nice! Honest though, pity it translates as not most of the time. There are moments when I can tolerate your presence but most of the time I don't like you."
He pushed open the door to the crypt and grabbed some bits and pieces, ticking them off on a mental list before heading back out again.
'"I can be alone with you here." What are you doing here? The last time you can remember her saying something nice to you was before you even kissed the bint. You tell yourself that she cares about you, that if she'd let herself it could be love. That if she'd let you treat her the way you want to."
Spike kick-started the motorbike and started navigating his way to the outskirts of town.
"Yeah, if you could turn up knock on the front door and just take off on the bike with her behind you, get her to let her hair down for an hour or two. Watch a video with her and Niblet. Have dinner waiting for her when she comes home late from that hell she calls a job. Be a family, you her and Dawn.
Get a grip, mate. She's told you she doesn't love you. Says you have to move on. Don't you remember? It made you mad enough before. Tore your fuckin' heart out at the same time, but it made you mad and if you don't stay mad you'll end up worse than Broody Boy in LA so just stay mad or better yet just forget about her till she comes to you. Let her get on with her life without you if that's what she really wants."
Spike pulled the bike over on Crawford Street about quarter of a mile before he would have reached the mansion he'd once shared with Angelus and Dru. He strode towards the front door of another large old house, his boots crunching on the moon-washed gravel. He scanned the list of names, before pushing the second of the six doorbells.
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