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Forever and a Day by Lilachigh
Chp 10 Must be Tuesday
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Forever and a Day by Lilachigh

Chp 10 It must be Tuesday

Buffy groaned at the sight of the sea flooding into the cave. She remembered that this tunnel was probably the way the smugglers had brought their contraband French brandy and tobacco up from their boats to the various inns around this part of the Hampshire coast. At low tide the cave entrance was probably easy to see, but at high tide –

“We’ll have to swim for it,” she said quietly.

Spike frowned and glanced around, desperate for another way out. He knew he couldn’t drown and the icy water wouldn’t bother him, but for Buffy to try and swim in her weakened state when the temperature was only just on freezing! He knew she would never survive.

He stared out through the entrance but all he could see was a wide expanse of grey, sullen water. But from the maps they’d studied in London, he was pretty sure Emsworth was on a sort of estuary, where the English Channel cut into the land like great teeth, eating away to make inlets and streams.

“You’ll die in that water, Slayer. You stay here and I’ll go find a boat,” he said, kicking off his boots.

“Can you really swim?” Buffy stared at him, fascinated.

“Don’t mock the vampire,” he growled, pulling her close and giving her a bruising kiss. “I can swim. I can’t drown, so it’s always struck me as a bit bloody boring. I like a touch of danger in my hobbies – you know, coming to Sunnydale, falling in love with a Slayer, having sex with the Slayer, dying to save the soddin’ world! Swimming doesn’t have the same appeal.”

Buffy stared out of the cave entrance. The waves were running in faster now, driven by a chill wind. The sky was a dark grey, threatening more snow.
Spike clambered over the rocks, wincing as the sharp edges cut into his bare feet.

She started to tell him to take care, then stopped. They were past words like that. Green eyes met sapphire and all they thought was there for both of them to see.

“Don’t lose my boots, Slayer,” he grumbled. “See you soon!” And he leapt out of the cave, into the swirling waves – and landed on both feet with the water lapping at his knees!

Buffy couldn‘t help it. She knew they were in dire trouble, knew that once again the fate of the world seemed to be relying on her to sort it out, but the offended astonishment on her lover‘s face was so priceless. She fell on the cave floor and laughed until she was moaning with the pain in her rib cage.

Spike said nothing but his expression said everything. She knew she was in big trouble but was still giggling when he held out his hand and she took it, holding his boots in the other and paddled out towards him.

The laughter soon vanished as the icy water bit into her feet and legs. “Where are we?” she shivered as Spike’s arm wrapped round her shoulders and helped her wade through the shallow water. “Why is it so shallow?”

“I think it’s a sort of marshy bit of land that only gets covered at high tide, pet. Probably years ago, when the tunnel was made through the cliffs, the sea came in far more. But the estuary has silted up a lot since then. We need to get past this soddin’ rock wall and then we should be able to walk inland again.”

Buffy gritted her teeth and matched him stride for stride, trying to forget that she could no longer feel her feet under her. Dark green weeds clung foully around their legs and they had to stop every few yards and scrape it off.

But eventually they found themselves splashing through stony, shallow water that led right up to where a thick thorny hedge reared up from a muddy bank.

“I don’t believe it!” Buffy muttered, staring over the top of the hedge. On the other side was a graveyard! They pushed their way through the hedge and collapsed on a wooden bench on the other side, groaning with relief to at least be out of the wind. “Another graveyard – it must be Tuesday,” she said. “We come all this way across the world end up together in another cemetery!” she said, her teeth chattering.

“We need to get you dry, pet,” Spike said wearily. “Your lips have gone blue.” He pulled on his boots and gazed around. “Church over there. Never my favourite places and probably be as cold as charity inside, but at least it’ll be out of the wind. And I think it’s going to snow again.”

“Spike, we can’t waste time resting. We’ve got to find Willow and Giles. They must know what we’ve discovered about the plague. They might have some idea how to fight it. And I have to know that they’re OK. ”

In reply, Spike picked her up and carried her protesting past the neat little graves, out of the kissing gate and down to the church itself. “We rest for half an hour, Slayer,” he said firmly, pushing the nail studded oak door open with his foot.

He carried her inside and put her down on a long wooden pew. It was dark inside and compared to outside, it felt almost warm. For a long second, Buffy let herself sit with her eyes shut. She knew she would never admit to Spike how scared she’d been when the plague hit her. She still shuddered to think what she would be like now if Spike hadn’t forced his blood into her mouth. An adult trapped inside a child’s body. Going slowly mad, hoping Spike would kill her and put her out of her misery.

She opened her eyes as she heard the scrape of a match. Spike had found candles and was lighting as many as he could.

Buffy stared up at the ancient rafters, stones that had been laid together while her country lay undiscovered by the western world. You would have thought somewhere as old as this would give some protection against a plague sent by some evil entity no one could see, but she could tell from the scattered hymn books and graffiti drawn on the walls that even a church hadn’t escaped the growing madness.

As she looked, she realised she could hear sounds coming from the vestry behind the altar. “Spike,” she muttered. “I don’t think we’re here on our own, do you?”

The vampire grunted. “Scented them when I came in, pet. As long as they stay back there and don’t bother us, that‘s fine by me.”

Buffy shuddered. She could hear a shrill giggling, a scrabbling as if lots of little feet were running across the stone floor. She knew, without seeing them, that it was more ‘children’.

She leant back against Spike and wondered if he remembered the last time they‘d been in a church together – him burning himself on a cross, trying to make things right with her.

“Do you think we’ll ever get the chance to spend a couple of days together with some apocalypse hanging over our heads?” she said softly at last.

She felt rather than heard the laughter rumble in his chest. “Doubt it, pet. I know you’ve got all the Slayerettes now, but wherever you go, trouble finds you.”

“I used to call Xander a demon magnet. D’you reckon I’m a sort of evil magnet?”

“Could be. What have you done with Long John Harris, anyway?”

“He’s in Cleveland with Faith and Robin.”

“Am I the only one to find that a deeply disturbing sentence, Slayer?”

Buffy punched his thigh hard. “Eeeuuuww. I do not want that picture in my mind, thank you. You know there’s another Hellmouth there. A very small one at the moment, but the three of them are keeping it in check. Xander has a very nice girl friend, anyway. ”

“Didn’t take long to get over Anya, then?”

Buffy sat up straight and retied her hair in a tighter ponytail. “We all have different ways of dealing with grief, Spike. Life goes on. As a matter of fact, he’s dating Reagan, Kennedy’s half sister, who is not a Slayer, likes boys - so of the good and is very sweet.”

“If you tell me she has a brother called Nixon, I will throw up,” Spike said, then leapt to his feet as a shrill scream rang out.

“What the hell was that?”

Buffy pulled a stake from her belt. “It sounded like a child.”

Spike picked up a candleholder and with the flames guttering in the cold air, they raced up the aisle, and behind the altar to where the small vestry lay. Buffy flung open the door and Spike thrust the candles inside the room. The shadows leapt and danced, black and smoky, but there was enough light to see two vamps holding two small boys by their shoulders, just about to feast off them.

“Right guys, why don’t you put those snacks down and vanish back into the sewers like good little vamps,” Buffy said.

“Who the hell are you?” The first vamp looked powerful, heavy-set. The hands holding the terrified child were brutal in their strength.

Spike flashed into game face. “Just do what the lady says, mate.”

“Fuck off! This is our evening meal. We’ve had a hard enough job finding something to eat today. Snow’s kept them all indoors. But we’re not mean. You pay us, you can share.”

“You can share this!” Spike snapped and suddenly a stake flew from his hand to plunge the vamp into dust. With a roar, the other one dropped his prisoner and flung himself at Buffy.

But it was a brief fight and ended in another cloud of dust floating in the air.

The two boys were cowering together at the far side of the room.

“We won’t hurt you,” Buffy said gently. “Are you…I mean have you…do you know how old you are?”

The biggest boy was thin and pale and wore little gold-rimmed spectacles. “I’m the Reverend Stephen Naylor,” he squeaked in a voice that sounded as if it hadn’t broken yet. “This is my chief chorister, Mr Darren Todd. I’m sure you won’t believe me, but – ”

“Oh, don’t worry, we believe you,” Buffy broke in hastily. This was so bad. She didn’t know what to say to them.

“Excuse me, but I can tell you’re an American. The accent, you know. Would you be a Miss Buffy Summers?” the vicar asked, nervously edging away from Spike.

Buffy gasped. “Yes, I am. Why?”

“We were sent to find you,” Darren said. “A Mr Giles and a Miss Rosenberg – ”


“I believe that is the lady’s first name. Anyway, they are both in the vicarage. They took shelter there during the storm,” the young vicar said pompously. “We’ve been looking for you for hours.”

Buffy felt a wave of relief wash over her. Giles and Willow. At last they could start to fight this Plague.

“And are they OK?” Spike asked suddenly nervous. “I mean, are they adults?”

“Oh, yes,” the reverend said. “They’re barricaded in my study and Miss Rosenberg has put some sort of shimmering shield all around the room. That’s why they couldn’t come to find you themselves. You have to come with us. Mr Giles told me to tell you, time’s running out. We have to act immediately.”

“Lead on,” Buffy said, thinking that the young vicar could save a lot of time by using fewer words. “We’re right behind you.”

The Reverend Naylor stopped and shook his smooth gilt head. “Oh no, Miss Summers. The vampire can’t come with us. Mr Giles made that quite clear to me. His explicit instructions were that you were to come on your own. He
Insisted that ‘Spike’, isn’t it, stay as far away as possible!’

To be continued

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