full 3/4 1/2   skin light dark       
<<     >>

Chapter Five

The ride back to the crypt was fairly quick – too quick to suit Spike, who was enjoying Buffy’s warm body pressed against his; but they were soon climbing out of the car and stretching cramped muscles. Spike got back in and showed Giles where he could hide the car behind a brush-covered mausoleum nearby. While Spike pulled the bushes back over the car, Giles began to walk back to the crypt -- only to run into an angry Riley Finn.

“Giles! What are you doing out here? Where the hell is everyone? I’ve been trying to reach Buffy all day and night. Nobody answers at her house, I can’t find Xander or Willow and-“ He broke off as Spike emerged from the shrubbery to stand beside the watcher. “I was just about to go to Spike’s crypt to see if he knew where she was – but I guess not.”

Spike waited quietly, his desire to tell the ex-Initiative soldier to “sod off” tempered by his curiosity as to why Buffy hadn’t told her boyfriend where she was taking everyone. Giles sighed audibly, then said with resignation, “Without knowing why Buffy chose not to tell you what she was doing, Riley, I’m afraid I’m not free to tell you where she is.”

“You’re joking, right? Giles, I’m her boyfriend. She would want me to know!”

“Apparently, she didn’t,” Spike said, shouldering his way past the much larger man and ignoring the way the chip complained. He was grateful that it was dark, and that the soldier wouldn’t be able to see the blood staining his clothes and hands.

“Shut up, Spike,” Riley snapped, then blinked as it sank in that Spike had come from the same direction as had the watcher. And, that they appeared to be walking towards the vampire’s crypt together. As Spike’s comment sank in, he ran after the blond vampire, yanking him around by the arm and slamming him against a tree. “Do you know?” he growled menacingly.

“Wouldn’t tell you if I did,” Spike easily broke the man’s hold on him and walked away. He’d learned exactly what he could and couldn’t do to set off the chip, and pulling away from someone was apparently not considered an act of violence.

“Wait a minute.” Riley’s voice was suspicious. “Where have you two been?”

In his haughtiest, Oxford-educated voice, Giles responded, “I believe our activities do not fall under the purview of the United States Army, and as such, are none of your concern.”

The two Brits walked off, leaving Riley fuming as he watched them enter Spike’s crypt. Muttering to himself, he turned to leave the cemetery, finding his way blocked by a newly risen vampire.

“Now is really not a good time,” he snarled, pulling out his stake and plunging it into the vamp’s chest before the unfortunate demon was even aware that he had his first meal in front of him. Riley brushed off the dust and left the area, vowing to catch Spike sometime when there were no Scoobies around to protect him.


By the time Giles and Spike entered the crypt, Buffy was downstairs where her mother was fussing over her bruises and wounds and vowing to take an axe to “that skanky bitch that wants to hurt my daughters”.

Buffy laughed and smiled her appreciation, while Xander stage-whispered to Anya, “You see? It’s not a Slayer thing, all this violence, it’s a Summers thing.”

Dawn glared and threw a pillow at him, earning a grin and a “case in point” from the laughing man. As the events of the day and night began to catch with everyone, and yawns were smothered unsuccessfully, Buffy stood up, saying, “Let’s try to get some sleep. Tomorrow might be a long day.”

“Where are you going?” Dawn was barely awake enough to ask.

“Upstairs for a bit. Spike and I will sleep up there. Just in case...”

“Just in case what?” Dawn asked, smothering a grin and earning a pinch from her mother.

Buffy colored lightly but held her voice steady as she responded, “In case anyone comes looking for you, of course. What else?”

“What else, indeed,” Dawn mumbled, shutting her eyes and falling asleep almost before she was through speaking.

In no time, everyone’s eyes were shut and their breathing was leveling out as Buffy climbed back to the upper level. She found Giles and Spike sitting on the couch, glasses of amber liquid in their hands, and an argument about Premiership football teams getting decidedly heated.

“Man U,” Spike insisted. “No one can touch them this year.”

“Rubbish,” Giles argued back. “They are bloated and top heavy with overpaid has-beens. Ripe to be knocked off, I say.”

“Uh, guys? What are you talking about?”

“Football. The real football.”

“Oh, another soccer argument, huh?” Buffy lost interest and walked to the kitchen to root through the food that her mother had brought. She made herself a sandwich and carried it and a bottle of water back to the couch, saying to her watcher, “Why don’t you go get some sleep? Spike and I will keep watch.”

“Aren’t you tired? After all you’ve—“

Buffy shook her head. “I’ve had plenty of sleep – mostly of the unconscious variety – but, hey, shut eye is shut eye, right?”

He shook his head, muttering, “I don’t believe that being unconscious counts as having had a good nap,” but finishing his drink and walking towards the ladder. As he started down, he suddenly remembered the encounter with Riley and looked up at Buffy, asking, “Buffy? Did you have a reason for not telling Riley where you were taking everyone?”

“Who? Oh! Riley! Oh crap! I forgot all about him. No, I didn’t have a real reason – I mean other than he couldn’t have come here.”

“Why not?” Giles asked, ignoring the growls coming from the owner of the crypt.

“Well...he...Spike...I don’t think...It just didn’t seem like a good idea to include him,” she finished firmly. “But, I didn’t intentionally not tell him where we were going; I just kinda forgot about him for awhile.”

Nodding as though she had confirmed his own opinion, Giles offered a “good-night” and disappeared down the ladder. Very shortly, the last candle was put out and only silence and the occasional snore could be heard.

“You forgot about him, did you?” Spike’s tone was mild and gave no sign of the pleased laughter echoing in his head.

Buffy looked at him sheepishly. “Yeah, I guess I did. I mean what with running over here to warn you that I was moving my friends and family in on you, and then getting kidnapped...he just slipped my mind. That’s all.”

“An’ you didn’t consider him one of your friends and family?”

“Come on, Spike. You know he hates you. He would have refused anyway. And I would have had to listen to all kinds of crap about bringing my mom and Dawn here...”

“Don’t know why the big git hates me. It’s not like I stuck a chip into his head. If anybody has a right to do any hatin’, it’s me. I’m the injured party here.”

“Well, you did try to get the chip out – and almost killed Riley while you were at it. That doctor was here to work on him; not to let a vicious vampire out of his electronic cage so he could kill me.”

“Wasn’t going to kill you,” he grumbled.

“Funny, that’s sure what it looked like from down there on the floor with you on top of me.”

“I think bein’ on top of you kinda distracted me,” he said with a small grin. “I’m pretty sure I’d already lost my train of thought, even if the chip hadn’t kicked in.”

“Pig,” she said almost affectionately.

“Oink, oink, love.”

They sat in comfortable silence for a while, Buffy finishing her very late supper, and Spike nursing his drink. Once Buffy was finished, she put her bottle and plate on the table beside the couch and raised her arms to stretch; only to drop them with a muffled groan.

“What’s wrong?”

“My shoulders are tightening up. I’m going to be really sore tomorrow. I hope I don’t have to fight anything.”

“Come’ere,” he commanded, putting down his drink and turning to face her.

Buffy hesitated only a second, remembering how he’d rubbed out the numbness and pain so that she could wield a sword earlier that night. She scooted over so that she was facing him, and sat there expectantly, waiting for him to do something. She was still wearing his shirt, and he slid his hand along the sleeve until he reached her shoulder where the shirt had begun to slip off. He gently tugged the neckline back into place; then ran his other hand up her other arm until he was resting both palms on her shoulders.

“Looks good on you, pet,” he murmured, rubbing the fabric between his fingers. “Course, you looked pretty good without it, too,” he added, laughing when she tried to hit him and whimpered at the pain in her arm.

“Stop being an ass, and just fix me,” she said imperiously.

“Yes, sir, Slayer, sir,” he mock-saluted, then began to work her shoulders in earnest, murmuring the occasional “sorry” when he pulled a bit too hard on an already-stretched ligament. He primarily just stroked his hands over the whole shoulder joint, the friction between his palms and the shirt warming them up until there was no way to tell that the person providing relief was anything but human. Buffy’s eyes drifted shut as she relaxed into the rhythm of his kneading and stroking. When she began to sway sideways, he slid off the couch and carefully laid her down on her stomach, continuing his gentle massage until he could tell that she was fully asleep.

With an effort, he removed his hands and stood up, bringing his duster over from its place on the chair and draping it over her sleeping form. “Good night, Buffy,” he whispered, leaning down to brush his lips over her forehead.

He picked up his glass and drained it, then carried it and Buffy’s plate to the kitchen, dropping them in a pan to worry about later. He debated about getting out a bag of pigs blood, but remembering how he’d been allowed to lick Slayer blood earlier, he decided he’d rather keep that memory and taste in his mouth as long as possible. He pinched out the candles still burning around the room and then threw himself down upon the sarcophagus in almost the same position in which Buffy had found him less than twenty-four hours earlier.

He was almost asleep himself when Buffy’s voice drifted over to him.

“Spike? Why did you blow a kiss to that woman tonight?”

He raised his head and peered through the darkness. “Are you jealous, Slayer?”

“Don’t be stupid,” she mumbled. “I just want to know why you did it. Were you trying to make me jealous?”

“Actually, Slayer, I was thankin’ her for not setting up a big stink when she saw me on my way up. Would have played hell with my rescue if a screaming woman had tipped off the minions that something was going on, wouldn’t it?”

“Oh.” It was impossible to tell from her voice if that was what she’d wanted to hear or not.

“But,” he continued quietly, “If I thought there’d be a chance in hell that you cared enough to be jealous, I’d have jumped over that balcony and shagged her into the floor right in front of you.”

She snorted, then, “Ewwww, Spike!”

“Pig, love. Never forget it.”

“As if,” she muttered. She was quiet for another minute and he thought she’d gone back to sleep, when she said softly, “If you’d done that – I would have been jealous. Maybe. A little bit.”

“A little bit works for me,” he said with a smile in his voice.

“Good night, Spike.”

“Good night, Buffy.”

<<     >>