23 - On the Move
Disclaimer: The characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are owned by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and Fox studios. This story is not meant to infringe upon anyone's rights, only to entertain.
A/N: Thanks to my wonderful betas 2zen2 and McChick
CHAPTER 23 – On the Move
… 1937, Somewhere in the United States …
We were constantly on the move, never staying in one place for more than two or three nights. We were careful and covered our tracks as best we could. We even decided to dye Elizabeth’s hair a much darker color.
We moved from place to place, traveling through different cities and states. It was not easy to survive when you were on the run and on more than one occasion, we ended up stowing away in a train car. It was the easiest mode of transportation available and kept us protected from the sun during the day. If we were lucky, there would be livestock on board that we could feast on for a bit, but even then we had to practice restraint so as not to arouse the suspicion of any of the train employees.
We soon found ourselves in Cleveland. We knew of the existence of another Hellmouth in this state and were cautious enough to avoid going anywhere near it. Just because the Hellmouth wasn’t active, didn’t preclude it from attracting us demons. Sleeping or no, its mystical energy called out to all creatures of the night. Things that are asleep do have a tendency of waking up and though we didn’t hear anything about the Order being in the vicinity, we didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks.
We kept to the places we knew housed only a few demons just like before. It was safer that way since there would be a smaller chance of someone spotting us. Demons have various means of extracting information from others, whether it painful or profitable. The clan, and most definitely the bloody Order, was no exception. The Master was powerful and rich – a very deadly combination for the likes of us that wanted to remain hidden.
We were in the rural areas, living off the land and its farmers when we heard the news of the earthquake that beset California. Certain areas of Sunnydale were devastated but it wasn’t until a month or so later when we crossed the state line into Oklahoma that we heard what had happened to the Master. Mother Nature had stepped in and apparently favored her human children since now the Master was trapped and the Harvest halted. The Order would be in shambles now and I dared to feel some semblance of hope that maybe our months of running would finally end. The constant moving from place to place had taken its toll on both of us and it would be nice for once to just sleep without worrying if today would be the day the Order would catch up to us.
It had been over a month since we heard of the Master’s fate. We just arrived in Kansas City for a change of scenery and hopefully a place to settle down for a while. It would be nice to stay in one place, even for just a tiny bit.
The train station was fairly busy since it was still late afternoon. That meant we had to wait here until sunset. That idea didn’t set too well with me and I was fidgeting restlessly from one foot to another.
“What’s wrong Spike?” Elizabeth said with some concern.
“I need somethin’ to do.”
She shook her head. “It’s just for a couple of hours. It should be dark soon.”
“Yeah, but … I need somethin’ to do.”
“Oh, go on,” she said with a small sigh. “The only thing that will calm you down is a bite to eat so go before you annoy me.”
Her tone was not harsh and I knew she understood that I needed to feed. I gave her a smile since it was all I could give her at the moment. I wanted to pull her into my arms and kiss her soundly, but that was out of the question at the moment since she was in disguise. She had taken to dressing like a boy lately, saying that it was more comfortable and less constrictive. It was a good enough disguise and every so often provided some form of entertainment. She made a pretty handsome lad, though I still missed her long locks and voiced my displeasure when she decided to cut her hair short. She said that she wasn’t going to waste her time hiding her hair in a cap and that it was much easier to just crop it short like mine. Of course, I was the lucky bloke that had to cut her lovely locks.
… flashback …
“You want to wot?!”
“I didn’t stutter. I said I was thinking of cutting my hair.”
“But why? I like your hair long and we already dyed it. No one’s going to recognize you at first glance now.”
“Well unlike before, we now have the Order after us. Cutting my hair short is practical and will be much easier to handle.”
I let out a slight snort. “Next thing you’ll tell me, you’re goin’ to start dressin’ like a man.” I heard an affirmative to my suggestion somewhere in my head. “You can’t be serious?” But the look on her face showed that she was.
I let out a sigh, knowing that there was no way I would be able to convince her otherwise since she looked so determined. Unfortunately, there was some merit to her idea.
She walked towards me with a dagger.
“Elizabeth, you’re makin’ me cut it?”
“Well I can’t exactly do it myself now can I?”
I took the dagger from her hand and let out another sigh before I bade her to sit in front of me. I did my best but when I was done I knew we had to go to a barber just to even her hair out.
She stood and ran her fingers through her shorter hair and smiled. I let out another sigh at seeing her lovely locks on the floor.
“Oh stop that. You’re just whining because you’re afraid William the Bloody’s reputation might get tarnished because he’s traveling with a man.”
Since I couldn’t wrap my arms around her, I made do with a grin before I sent her a rather perverse thought through the claim.
She shook her head. “Now go, before you get hungry for something else.”
“I’m goin’. I’m goin’.”
I headed towards the back of the train station where most of the employees and mechanics would be working. This usually led to the alleyways and I was hoping to find some shifty character to sink my teeth in. If I couldn’t find one then I’d have to find around two or three victims – drinking a little from each one so that I didn’t have to take anyone’s life. Unfortunately, since it still wasn’t dark outside the only people hanging out in the alleyways were employees smoking cigarettes or on their breaks. I worked deftly, picking the ones that no one would notice if they went missing. I just sipped enough to cause them to pass out but not enough to fatally damage any of them. It took more work than I wanted but it was better this way than to worry Elizabeth further. Besides, she trusted me to do the right thing.
About an hour later I made my way back into the train station to seek my dear mate out. When I did find her I wasn’t sure if I should be alarmed or find the scene amusing. Elizabeth was trying her best to act like a man, which meant she was trying to act like a subtle version of me. She had two young women, around the same age as her when she was turned, talking to her. Looking at the scene, it was fairly obvious that both of the women were flirting with what they believed was a young man. I stood a number of paces away, watching Elizabeth fidget slightly as one of the women stepped closer. Her eyes were searching for something, probably looking for some reason to excuse herself from the two women. She caught sight of me but I just gave her a smirk.
//Spike, get over here!//
//Why, luv? You should eat this up. Means your disguise is believable. You could pass for a man. You are passing!//
// I already know my disguise is believable. I don’t need this extra affirmation.//
//I don’t know. They look kind of pretty to me. We could share them.//
//You better be joking!//
I sent her a mental chuckle. //What do you think, pet?//
//And how would you like it if I took another man to bed with us? Now get over here and save me!//
I conceded and slowly made my way towards them. “Hey, what do we have here?” I said giving both women an obvious leer. They looked at me and though I could see a touch of annoyance in their eyes, their lips smiled sweetly. Then I moved my gaze towards Elizabeth. “I’ve been lookin’ for you and here you are with two pretty women. Let’s get out of here Prince Charmin’. We’ll be late.”
“Andy, who is he?”
“I’m his older brother, luv. As much as I’d love to stay here and chat with you pretty dolls, we have to go. “ I saw one of the girls pout and give Elizabeth a longing look. She must have caught the same look because she quickly moved to my side.
“Do you really have to go Andy?” the other girl asked sweetly.
“Yeah, we’ve got places to go.” Elizabeth said in a low voice and turned around quickly moving away from them.
I gave the girls a quick wink as I saw them sigh at seeing Elizabeth leave. I shook my head with amusement and followed her.
“Don’t say a word.”
“Why not? They seemed to really like you, pet.”
“Again, not the kind of attention I need,”she said letting out a sigh. “It took almost every inch of self-control on my part. They were too close. I could see the blood pumping through their veins.” She shuddered.
“I’m sorry luv.” I understood her plight. Having a soul meant she agonized about the death she brought, but she still enjoyed the taste of human blood. It had been weeks since her last human meal. Even though I begged her to hunt with me, she always tried to satisfy herself with animal blood. Unfortunately, when the meal itself is dangled in front of your eyes, it’s harder to resist.
“Let’s just find a place to stay Spike. I’m tired.”
… the next night …
“Come on you. I think someone needs to get some air.” Elizabeth said as she grabbed my hands and bade me to stand.
“But we just got back, luv.”
“I know. I also know how much you hate pig’s blood and since that’s all we have for dinner, I was thinking we could use some time outside. You haven’t really be able to vent lately.” She straightened her shirt and tucked it back into her pants. “Well, are you taking me up on my offer?”
“And what are we goin’ to do outside, pet?”
“Your muscles are tense and you’ve hardly said a word to me tonight. I think you could use something to help you relax.”
“I guess I could.”
“I know you can. Now get off your lazy ass.”
With a smirk I followed her outside. We ended up in the small park that we had passed earlier this evening. It was completely empty now and there were a few street lights that illuminated the place. She dropped her coat on a bench and rolled up her sleeves ready for a fight.
I followed suit and took my place a few feet away from her. I smiled at seeing the determination in her face. It had been a while since we’ve done this, being too busy with our own survival to enjoy the little things like a friendly sparring match. I had always enjoyed seeing her in action but since the onset of the soul, she would only fight when necessary.
“Stop looking at me like that, Spike.”
“Like you’re more likely to devour me than fight me.”
“Well you know I do love to do both pet. Though I do prefer one over the other any day.”
She rolled her eyes at the comment, then taking matters into her own hands she rushed me, aiming a punch to my face. I took a step back to avoid her blow and I countered with my own attack. Our movements were a little awkward at first, trying to become reacquainted with each other’s styles. It didn’t take long though to lose ourselves into the match, dancing with each other in a different way.
She was right as usual. I needed the sparring match. The past few months have loaded me with such worry and I had no outlet for the violence I craved. I needed something to calm myself. I could only hope that the Master would never rise or find a way out of his earthly prison.
While it was never far from our minds, we never did find out what Darla was alluding to when she caught up with us last year in the train station. The symbol that had mysteriously appeared on Elizabeth’s skin was still there as well as the scar on my forearm. For some unknown reason, Darla had referred to Elizabeth as the vessel. We didn’t dare ask around what that meant in fear that our curiosity would lead the Order straight to us. But now that the Order wasn’t as strong maybe we could finally get some information from the demon community and reveal the meaning of my grand-sire’s cryptic comment.
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