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Forever and a Day by Lilachigh
Chp 11 Deadly and Dangerous
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Forever and a Day by Lilachigh

Chp 11 Deadly and Dangerous

Buffy and Spike were silent as they fought their way through the snowy graveyard to reach the path that led to the old vicarage. The two little boys who had once been the vicar and his chief chorister padded nervously behind them, staying as far away from Spike as they could.

Buffy didn’t need to speak to the vampire to know he was angry and hurt. Why on earth had Giles sent a message saying Spike mustn’t come with her? He knew they were together now – okay, maybe he hadn’t been jumping with joy at the idea, but in London he’d seemed to accept having Spike on their side even if he wasn’t happy about the whole deal.

“Perhaps I’d better stay out here, pet,” Spike said as they crunched their way through the snow. “If Giles is throwing a fit – ”

“Don’t be stupid,” Buffy snapped. “The boys, men, boymen, whatever you call them, must have got the message wrong. Why should Giles suddenly exclude you? It doesn’t make sense. You’ll see, it’ll all be some big mistake. I’m only glad he and Willow seem to be OK. Giles turning into an eight year old – that I couldn’t cope with.”

She stopped as she reached the front door of the vicarage. The shimmering magical exclusion barrier that rose and fell around the house was obviously Willow’s work. Even as Buffy thought that, the door opened and Giles and the witch stood there.

“Thank God you’re all right, Buffy!” Giles looked pale and strained and Willow didn’t look much better. Her eyes seemed far too big for her face and Buffy could sense that she’d been using a lot of magic; her skin had that odd, grey look that came with fighting to control her powers and a spot of blood under her nose told its own story.

“Buffy! You’re okay! You’re you – I mean you’re not a little girl! Oh, I’m so pleased to see you.”

“Giles! Will! Look, can we come in. It’s freezing out here and I need to get out of these wet clothes before I become one big walking Buffy shaped iceberg.”

There was a pause, then Giles said, his voice very clipped and British, “You can come in, of course, Buffy. But not Spike. I’m sorry, but we’ll only lower the barricade if Spike moves back, away from the house.”

“Giles, what the hell are you talking about?”

“I’m sorry, Buffy. But you must tell Spike to go away. He isn’t coming in here.”

“Willow? This is stupid. Drop the barrier and let us in. We’re freezing.”

The witch bit her lip and wiped at the blood seeping from her nose. “I’m sorry, Buffy. Spike has to stay outside.”

Buffy turned to Spike, to find he was backing away down the path, his face blank and expressionless. “Don’t worry, Slayer. I’ll be around. Get dry and warm. Take care of yourself.”

“Spike! Don’t – “ but he’d gone, swallowed up in the mist.

She spun back to shout at Willow just as the barrier gave a silver shimmer and disappeared. She walked into the house, the two little boys almost stepping on her heels in their eagerness to be indoors, and heard the whoosh as the magic was put into motion once again.

Willow and Giles had retreated across the hallway into a large room where a miserable fire smouldered in the open grate. Buffy marched in and stood, hands on hips, facing them.

“What the hell is going on, Giles? What’s with all the ‘send Spike away’ crap? God, haven’t we got enough to deal with without you getting on your high horse about me and Spike being together? Do have any idea what’s going on out there?”

Rupert Giles looked over the top of his glasses at the girl who had once meant so much to him. He wondered if they’d ever truly recovered from that time in Sunnydale when he‘d tried to engineer Robin killing Spike? Oh, they paid lip service to being friends. They’d fought the First together, watched their friends die together. But were they friends now? No, he’d cut that precious link and to this day he still wasn’t sure if he’d done it out of a desire to save the world, or a desire to restore the Watcher/Slayer relationship that had been his only reason for living for so long.

‘Buffy – Willow and I know quite well that you and Spike are together now. But – “ He took off his glasses and polished them on the end of his tie. He glanced across at Willow, as if appealing for her help.

“Buffy – that isn’t Spike!” the witch blurted out.

Buffy stared at her, wondering for an instant if they’d both been drinking! Or if the Plague was infecting their brains.

“Well he certainly isn’t the Easter Bunny or Brad Pitt,” she said. “Looks like Spike, smells like Spike, and believe me when we – ” She stopped at the appalled look on Giles’ face. “Well, just believe me, Giles, it’s Spike!”

“No, it isn’t. That’s why we couldn’t let him in here. And why you mustn’t go near him again.”

Buffy felt all the hot words she longed to say boil up inside her. But she thrust them back and forced herself to sit down. “Giles, just tell me in words of one syllable, what the hell you’re both talking about!”

“Don’t you want to get out of those wet clothes first?” Willow broke in.

Buffy stared up at her. “No, Will. I don’t. All I want is an explanation as to why the man I love is walking around out in the snow and mist and not in here with us!”

Giles took a deep breath. “Wesley sent a second message. Just a torn scrap of paper with a few words. He said that we had to be on our guard at all times because vampires were immune to the Plague.“

Buffy frowned. “Okay, vamps are immune. No biggie. They can’t drown or catch measles either! They’re still vulnerable to the usual ways of dying.”

Willow shook her head. “That’s just the problem, Buffy. When Giles showed me Wesley’s message, I decided to do some more research. I found the section in Wesley’s books about the vampires being immune, but it was written in a very obscure Italian dialect.”

Buffy was getting impatient. “So difficult words…lots of problems…ancient text…god, Will, deja-vu much? ”

The witch turned to Giles. “Willow decided to translate the whole chapter again. We think it must have been one of the very last things Wesley did before he died. He was obviously under intense pressure, both physically and emotionally. His translation isn’t entirely correct.”

“Vampires aren’t immune to the plague, Buffy. Well, they are, but not as in ‘can’t catch it’. They don’t catch it because they carry it! And when they have it, they change.”

Buffy stared at them in disbelief. “Change into what? Fluffy bunnies, their Sunday best, vegetarians?”

“We don’t know. But all we have gathered is that it’s something incredibly dangerous and so you mustn’t have anything else to do with Spike. I know it’s hard, Buffy, but you have to break your connection with him at once. Not just for your sake, but for the whole world.”

There was a long silence after Giles finished speaking. A log fell in the grate and the wind whistled through a badly fitting window frame. From somewhere deep inside the vicarage came the high-pitched giggling of the vicar and his friend.

Then Buffy laughed. She stood up, gazing down at their startled faces. “I don’t know what this Plague is, or what it does to vampires. But I can tell you both this, I love Spike. Spike loves me. Nothing – repeat, nothing – is going to come between us again. So the whole world will just have to deal with it!”

“Buffy!” Willow flung out an imploring hand.

“No, Will. Don’t say any more. I’m going to find him.”

“You’ll die!” Giles snapped. “He’s dangerous. Deadly and dangerous.”

Buffy‘s eyes sparkled as little flames licked round the broken log. She walked to the door, then turned back. “He always has been!”

To be continued

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