2. Light of Day
In Harm’s Way
Chapter Two: Light of Day
The board he was lying on, coupled with the welders mask, was very uncomfortable. But, Spike had a goal and he was determined to find that crypt, with the Gem of Amara in it, at all costs. He could get any one of his minions to do this menial task, but being stuck underground was slowly driving him crazy. He had to do something.
Thinking about the last time he’d been topside, he slowed his drilling down. The image of large green eyes floated in front of him. He sighed. They were the eyes of a girl who’d gone through too much for her age, but they were beautiful. He paused altogether and let out a frustrated growl before pushing the drill harder. Spike berated himself. He shouldn’t be dreaming of her eyes! He should be fantasizing about her death at the hand of the Slayer of Slayers. It was going to happen.
The dull thudding sounds changed to metal clanging against metal. He paused for a moment and tried again. Metal! He was so close! Tossing the drill down, he threw off his mask and called out to the others. They came running with Harmony and Bryan in the lead.
“It's here! The crypt is here. I can't bloody believe it,” Spike shouted.
Letting out a relieved breath, Bryan closed his eyes for a second. “I knew it was here.”
“We’re close now,” Spike told the group. “No one leaves the lair ‘til we’re in. I don’t want the Slayer tracking anyone to the tunnel.” He glared at Harmony. “And that means you, Harm. You’re an indoor kitty now.”
“But, Spike, you said you’d take me places! You said we’d go to France and now I can’t even leave the lair?”
Low groans filled the cave as the other vamps cleared out. Getting in her face, Spike told Harmony in a soft and dangerous voice, “Listen to me, you stupid bint. This gem is everything. I came back to Sunnydale for it. A place which has witnessed some truly spectacular kickings of my arse.” He waved an arm at the cave. “The very sound of the name burns along my nerve endings. Do you get it?” he asked her but continued before she could speak, “I hate Sunnydale more than life itself. Now, when I have the Gem, the Slayer and her friends all die, but until then stay inside.
He leaned back and glared at her. “And by the way, I would be insanely happy if, from this point on, I heard bugger all about sodding France!”
To bring his point home, he shoved her against the wall. Spike knew he was being an utter jerk, but there was no other way to get through her thick skull.
She whimpered. “I don’t know why I let you be so mean to me.”
Thinking about all the mean things he’d endured at the hands of Drusilla in the past, he told her bitterly, “Love hurts, baby.”
Harmony ran away from him and down a narrow path where she bumped into Bryan. “Sorry.”
“Was he mean to you again?” Bryan asked sympathetically.
“Yes.” She paused before asking, “Have you got everything for the spell.”
“Not yet. Spike has kept me so busy with the drilling that I haven’t had a chance to get out.”
“Oh, no! Now he won’t let any of us out. How are we going to do the spell with out them?”
Bryan patted her on the back. “I’ll sneak out, first chance I get.”
~ * ~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~
Holding her yearbook open to Harmony’s senior picture, Buffy walked around campus asking if anyone had seen her. The answer was always the same. No one had. If Harmony were standing before her now, Buffy would twist her head off without a second thought.
Why did they have to come to town now? If it weren’t for Spike and Harmony, she could be up in her room waiting for Parker’s call. She quickened her pace so she could hurry up and check her messages.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
The next night, Buffy strolled along in the cemetery with a stake in her hand. The place was dead - well deader than usual. When she spied the phone booth across the street, she went over to it and dialed her dorm room. After a couple of rings, the machine picked up. She dialed in her password, then listened anxiously. After a minute, she hung the phone up, feeling glum.
There had been a message from Willow, letting her know that she was over at Giles, doing research about the Gem of Amara, but no message from Parker. Her heart sank at the thought. It had been two days since she last saw him as she left his dorm room. Had she done it again? Was there something wrong with her? Why didn’t guys want to stick around and be with her, after?
Buffy shook her head, thinking how truly pathetic she was. Even Harmony could keep a guy longer than she could. And, Spike was much better looking and sexier than Parker was. Freezing in place on the sidewalk, Buffy gripped her stake tighter before putting it in her pocket. Did she just think that Spike was hot? Putting a hand over her face and shaking her head, she groaned. You’re supposed to kill the vampires, not lust after them.
“Slayer,” she said firmly. “You are the slayer. Of vampires.”
Movement over by the tree across the path caught her eye. “Oh, please let that be a vampire. I so need to kill something right now.”
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Just as the sun was rising over the hills, Buffy unlocked the door and dragged herself inside her dorm room. Slowly, she made her way to the answering machine and sighed when she saw that there were no messages.
She was emotionally exhausted and physically drained. What a waste of a night. There was no sign of Spike or Harmony and what little hope she had of hearing from Parker was dead now, too. Fighting back tears, she undressed and slipped under her covers for some much needed sleep.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Bryan stood up and stretched his legs. “That’s it. It’s done.”
Harmony jumped up and clapped. “This is so great. Too bad we have to wait until tonight for her to go on patrol, but it won’t be long until Buffy Summers is out of my way!”
As soon as Spike had left to start up his drill again, Bryan had slipped into Harmony’s room and woke her up. The spell had only taken twenty minutes to set up and perform.
“Help me clean up this stuff,” she told him now. “I don’t want Spike to know what we’ve done until after he hears that Buffy’s dead. Then I’ll tell him and he’ll be so grateful for what we did.”
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Later in the day, Spike hesitantly walked out into the sun for the first time in over 120 years. He took in a deep breath through his nose and enjoyed the way the earth smelled different in the daylight. He looked up and shielded his eyes. The sun was high in the cloudless sky on a perfect Southern California day.
Since the moment he’d slipped the ring on his finger, he’d felt great. There had been a slight tingling sensation as a very comfortable warmth spread through his body. His skin was now warm to the touch ,and he just knew that if he were to take his temperature, he’d be just at 98.6 degrees.
A college co-ed walked past him and smiled. He grinned at her and watched her walk away. He hadn’t eaten much since his self-imposed confinement in the lair, but he felt no need to feed. In fact, he felt fuller than he had in years.
He took his lighter out and lit a cigarette. Before he put the Zippo away, he flicked it on again, moving the flame under his fingers. Nothing. He chuckled. There was no pain and his flesh did not burn. The only thing that would have made this day perfect is if that stake that he’d thrust through Harmony’s heart would have dusted her.
Spike shrugged. He could kill her another time. Right now, he had a slayer to find and kill. He walked off in the direction of the dorms. Hopefully, they would have some kind of directory, so he could figure out which room she would be in.
He was thinking about what excuses he could use to ask where Buffy Summer’s room was when he saw her in the courtyard that he was crossing, talking with that wanker she’d been with at that party.
He casually leaned against a tree, just out of sight, but was close enough to hear the conversation. Spike frowned and clenched his fists. From the sounds of it, she’d let the idiot take a poke at her and now he was brushing her off.
“I’m sorry if you misunderstood something. I thought things were pretty clear,” Parker was telling her.
“I--I didn’t mean--I’m sorry,” Buffy said.
Spike was ready to jump out and yell at Buffy. What did she have to be sorry for? Then he came to his senses. He shouldn’t care what happened to her. He was going to put her out of her misery in a few minutes anyway.
“Look, I really have to go now,” Parker said, sounding put off.
“Parker, wait,” Buffy said. “I did this all wrong.”
Now, Spike was spitting mad. Buffy was strong, beautiful and confident. Why the hell was she groveling at the feet of some self-absorbed ponce?
Parker yelled over his shoulder, “I’ll give you a call sometime.”
Spike could stand it no more. He moved away from the tree and into her line of sight. “Well, thatwas pathetic,” he told her with an evil grin, and the thought crossed his mind that she needed some sense knocked into her. As she stared at him in surprise, he punched her.
Buffy went flying into the grass where she sat dazed, with blood at the corner of her mouth. He stood over her as what felt like a drug-induced euphoria spread throughout his body.
This was it. The moment he’d spent months waiting for. Finally, he’d have the chance to dance with Buffy again. He wanted to hold on to that feeling of anticipation for a moment longer, so as she grabbed a stick, he said, “Innit a fantastic day? Birds singing, squirrels making lots of rotten little squirrels, sun beaming down in a nice, non-fatal way.” He sniffed. “It’s very exciting. I can’t wait to find out if I freckle.”
Then she was up and punching him, and it was his turn to go down. He was able to pop up as if he’d only been hit by a pillow. It was absolutely incredible how good he felt. They were punching, kicking, and going at it. Dancing. He couldn’t help but admire her fighting skills. She was awesome when she got going, like she was now. She raised the branch and he stood still to let her drive it home.
Was that a look of regret on her face?
He shrugged the thought away and grinned at her. “Ooh. Do it again. It tickles. You know, in a good way.”
The wound closed up nice and neat with not so much as a twinge of pain for her trouble. Her eyes went wide and surprisingly, a look of joy came over her. With giddy jubilance, she said, “The gem!”
He frowned at her, not sure what she was trying to pull with the happy act. “Oh yeah. The Gem of Amara.” He held up his ring hand and punched her with it, hoping to knock the smile off her face. “Official sponsor of my killing you.”
Morphing into his demon, he lunged for her and with an ease that confused him, he was able to get his fangs into her neck. She wrapped her arms around him in a tight grip.
“Yes,” she whispered as she pressed her body even closer to his.
When Buffy left out a moan of pleasure, he slowed his efforts to drain her. What the hell was going on? Was she getting off on this? Something was not right in the universe. Feeling her heartbeat slow down, he pulled out from her neck and stared at her. No longer able to hold herself up, she clung to his coat and gazed into his eyes while fighting to stay awake.
“I love you, Spike,” she said before her eyes closed as she went completely limp in his arms.
“What the-bleeding, buggering hell!” he yelled out.
With a growl of frustration, he swept her up in his arms and began the long walk to his destination. Her heartbeat was slow but steady and he cursed the air. Once, he stopped and tried to talk himself into finishing the job. It would be so easy to drain her and dump her body.
Then, it would be all over. The years of all his plans being foiled, Angelus coming back to stomp on his life and take over everything he cared about, the problems with Dru and her ultimate betrayal, all of it, would be avenged and he could strut out of this two-bit town with his pride intact and another notch on his slayer kill belt.
But the inner him; the whatever that made him who he was, just couldn’t do it. It wasn’t right. It had to be a fair fight. She couldn’t just give her life over to him like that. Where was the satisfaction in that?
When he reached Rupert’s door, he kicked at it with his boot. Buffy stirred and opened her eyes to smile at him, which caused an unwanted shiver of pleasure to crawl up his spine.
In a slur of words, she told him, “I knew you couldn’t do it.” She was fading out again, but before she went under, she said it again, “I love you.”
Panic from the unknown began to set it. Spike kicked at the door again. “Rupert! Open this door. Now!”
“Dear, Lord!” Giles said from behind Spike.
He whirled around and practically threw Buffy into his arms. “There’s something wrong with your slayer,” Spike growled. “Fix her!”
Giles backed up, struggling to keep a good hold on his charge. “You bit her.”
Spike let out a snort. “Yeah, that’s what vampires do.” He glared at the man, glad to see the fear in his eyes. “You’ve got twenty-four hours to fix her, so we can have a fair fight. I’ll be back then.”
He needed to get away from Buffy and her watcher. It was all too strange and confusing. Spike took off at a good run, leaving the weirdness behind him.
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