27 - Carnival in Town
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 27 – Carnival in Town
… London, England 1963 …
It was a pleasant July evening and the carnival was in town. It was something different to do and maybe would even help put a smile on my dear Elizabeth’s face. I remembered how her eyes lit up the first time we went to one of these. She was like a young child, bubbling with excitement as she giggled and twirled about wanting to try and taste everything. Of course back then, when she meant taste she was not just referring to all the sweet morsels that were being sold. She was mainly interested in the young teenagers milling around the place. Or she would delight in toying with some hapless fool that thought he was going to get lucky with some teenage beauty.
Things were different now and I doubted that she saw the carnival as a venue for a smorgasbord of food. I, on the other hand, was hoping to maybe get me a quick bite of some bully, swindler or thief. Humans of that kind always seemed to lurk about in carnivals. I had to admit that I was looking forward to the taste of human since all we’ve had the past week was whatever the butcher had in his shop.
She must have sensed what I was thinking or maybe I involuntarily licked my lips because she turned her head and reached out to caress one cheek. Her hair swayed when she turned her heard and I smiled at seeing how long it was now. Her hair was finally back to a length I loved. She had started growing it out again a few years ago but she still kept it too short for my tastes. Now it spilled past her shoulders and framed her face like a golden halo. She looked like an angel and in many respects she was still my angel but I nowadays I used the nickname sparingly for obvious reasons. At least she no longer looked like a teenage boy and I could once again show my affections for her in public.
She squeezed my hand then kissed my cheek. “Please try not to get into too much trouble, Spike.”
“I can’t guarantee that luv. You know most of the time it’s not my fault.”
“Sure it’s not. You just goad them on.”
“It’s not my fault that they can’t control their temper.”
“This from the man that can control his?”
“Honestly though pet, would you have me any other way?”
She made a show of thinking about that question. “Hmmm….”
She started giggling then moved closer to brush her lips lightly against mine. “Don’t make me wait too long.”
I smiled and then stole a kiss before disappearing into the crowd to find my meal.
I felt a chilling breeze blow near me as I leaned my latest victim against a post. I tried to dismiss it as nothing but there was something oddly familiar about the breeze. As soon as I stood upright and turned around, heavy fog started to surround me and a lone figure cloaked in black emerged from the shadows. I knew I had met this figure before but it was taking me some time to remember when and where. I sifted through memories and years but it was when he stepped closer and my nose was assailed with his scent that I remembered him. I had met him almost three decades ago in Sunnydale.
“I cannot believe that you actually spared that one.”
“Wot the fuck do you want?”
“I came for a little chat. There is no need for you to be hostile.”
“Oh sorry, but I’m not in the habit of being nice to people that like holdin’ me against my will.”
He let out a chuckle. “You’re still bitter about that? I didn’t even touch you.”
I crossed my arms in front of my chest. “You want to talk? Then bloody talk.”
“Blunt.” He paused as if assessing how to phrase his next few words.
“Why did you spare that one?”
I answered with a shrug. “Is that really any of your business?”
“It is when I see someone such as yourself holding back. You are a killer. You must not deny who you are.”
I looked at him uninterested. “Is that all you have to say? I don’t need a soddin’ lecture from you. I do wot I want to do when I bloody feel like it. Now if you’d be nice enough to bugger off, “ I said turning my back to him.
“Will it be enough? Will she love you enough to make whatever it is you’re giving up worth it?”
“Again, it’s none of your bloody business!” I said aggravated by what it seemed like he was implying. I rushed him, grabbing the front of his cloak in one hand.
He let out a sigh. “Perhaps. It still seems like it’s still too early anyway.”
“Too early for wot?” By the time I spoke those words he had vanished and the fog started to clear.
“I can’t tell you because I am bound. To tell you would be to interfere.”
“Then stop fuckin’ talkin’ to me,” I said with a growl.
He replied with an eerie chuckle then stepped back into the shadows and disappeared. My senses no longer registered he was anywhere near.
I rushed through the carnival to look for Elizabeth. I could feel her through the claim. She seemed well and whatever it was she was doing she actually seemed like she was laughing. But I needed to see her physically. I needed that touch to tell me that she truly was fine.
I found her sitting on a bench near one of the cotton candy stalls. I could hear her soft laughter and it was followed by that of a young boy’s. I approached trying to hide the worry and tension in my body by acting casual.
The young boy was dressed properly. His hair was cut short and combed nicely but despite his proper clothing there was a twinkle of mischief in his eye. He had a slight air of cockiness that I never had when I was his age and part of me envied him for that. He seemed comfortable with strangers since when he saw me approach he just gave me a big smile before paying attention to the cotton candy he was holding up.
“So wot do we have here, pet?”
Elizabeth looked up at me and smiled. “Oh, well it seems Rupert here became a little adventurous and wandered too far away from his parents.”
“I know how to find my home!” he said with slight defiance.
“I’m sure you can, but a little boy like you can be quite the treat for some baddie out there.” I replied.
“I can take care of myself. “
Elizabeth took my hand and squeezed it gently. “I was thinking that maybe we could keep him company for a little bit.”
I gave her a puzzled look. “But pet, if he says he can take care of himself… why?”
“Call it intuition Spike,” she said shrugging her shoulders.
I looked at the young boy then back at my mate. I saw the determination in her eyes and I knew there was no arguing with her. I simply kissed her hand and took a seat beside her as we watched Rupert happily devour his cotton candy.
There was a smile on Elizabeth’s lips as she watched Rupert talk about some family vacation that he had gone to a couple of months back. I was bored for lack of a better term but sat quietly, letting the child excitedly tell each and every mischievous detail of what he and his cousins did. She must have sensed my unrest through the claim because on more than one occasion, she gently placed her hand on mine or leaned her head against my shoulder. Both of those actions were a sure fire way to calm down my anxiety.
“Rupert?” a woman’s voice called from somewhere behind me.
The boy looked up and his face was a mixture of relief and disappointment.
“Where have you been? We have been worried sick about you.”
“Awww, Mum! You know I am old enough to take care of myself.”
“I hardly call nine years old enough young man.”
Rupert pouted and crossed his arms in obvious defiance. But the pout quickly melted when an older man who I can only assume was his Da’ stepped forward.
“Rupert Anthony Giles! That is no way to act to your Mother, much less in public.”
“But I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I was just here talking with Elizabeth and Spike.”
Elizabeth stood and smiled but I didn’t feel like giving them that much. I just raised an eyebrow and gave them a grin but kept my butt glued to the bench.
“Well thank you then for looking after Rupert. I hope he wasn’t that much trouble.” The woman said.
“Oh not at all. It was quiet nice talking to him.”
“Well we best be going. Rupert…”
The boy let out another frown in dismay before standing to take his mother’s hand. “Will I see you again Elizabeth?”
“You’ll never know,” she said with a smile.
We watched them walk away and I breathed out a sigh of relief. Well at least that ordeal was over.
“Now what is your problem Spike? You’ve been anxious ever since you came back from feeding. What happened?”
“I saw him again.”
“Him? Who’s him?”
“Back in Sunnydale… that man. I saw that hooded man again.”
“What did he want?”
“I’m not sure. He seemed to be talking riddles again and you came up. I don’t know what it is, but there’s just somethin’ about him that keeps on makin’ my senses go nuts.”
“Did he say anything else? Did he maybe talk about the markings on our body?”
“No. Like I said more riddles. Why can’t everybody just leave us alone?”
She leaned her head against my shoulder once more and let me wrap my arms around her.
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