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In Harm's Way by dawnofme
8. Thay Had Guns!
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A/N: A little more twisting of canon and then I go off on my own direction. Betas: Mabel_Marsters, Tanit, Slaymesoftly.

In Harm’s Way

Chapter Eight: They Had Guns!

The chair was too stiff, the writing space too small , and the music Buffy had put on was too loud. She threw her pencil down and stood up. Stretching, she bemoaned the fact that she had homework at all.

As Buffy turned off the radio, she asked herself, again, why she was trying to do the whole college thing. Oh, right. Normal girl stuff. Buffy sat down and , picking up her pencil, she attempted to concentrate on her math. The numbers blurred and swam before her.

Who was she kidding?

Normal girls didn’t kill vampires. They didn’t have love spells put on them. Twice! Buffy set the pencil down again before resting her head in her palm. This last spell was worst than the first. This time, she’d been messed with by a friend. Willow didn’t mean to do it, but it still irked her. And this time, Spike was under the spell, too. They had been planning a wedding.

Her fingers found their way to her lips as she thought back to those kisses. If they’d found a way to be alone, she just knew that they’d have been at it like bunnies again. She had to admit, he was a great kisser. Oh, and the way he looked at her. She swallowed and closed her eyes. Spike’s face was before her, his blue eyes wide and shining bright with adoration.

The sigh she let out filled the room , as she wondered why a man couldn’t look at her like that without being under a spell.

Sitting up and grabbing her pencil again, she frowned. There was Riley. The supposed ly normal guy who turned out to be a commando. Her life couldn’t get weirder. She was angry that he hadn’t told her right away, but she knew that was hypocritical of her. After the whole thing with the gentlemen, they’d talked. Somehow, she’d found the strength to tell him that it wouldn’t work between them. It had been easier to do than she had thought would be possible.

She’d told Riley she’d keep his secret, but she didn’t know how long she could actually do it. What they’d done to Spike was just wrong. It was good that he couldn’t kill anymore, but he couldn’t even defend himself now.

Every thought she’d had lately kept bringing her back to Spike. It was pathetic. She needed to get a life. She stood up suddenly and glanced around the room, looking for something to do that would take her mind off the vampire. The one who now occupied her dreams as well as her nightmares.

Willow walked in just as Buffy was starting to put away the clean clothes piled neatly on her bed. After talking about the earthquake from earlier, Willow invited her to go a party. Buffy could do that. Loud music, people she didn’t know, free flowing alcohol. All things that could get her mind off Spike.

“I’ll try to make it, but first I have to go see Giles.”

“Hey, maybe you could invite Riley,” Willow said with a raised eyebrow and big eyes.

“Um, well, we’ve decided to back off from each other for a while.”

“Buffy! What happened?”

Buffy grabbed a sweater and opened the door. She was so glad she had an appointment with Giles right now.

“Nothing, really. There just wasn’t enough sparkage.” She shrugged. “No big deal. I’ve gotta go. See you later.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Later that night, Buffy tried to ignore him, she really did. There were more important things to deal with than her growing fixation with the walking dead blond, who was now sitting in the chair behind the couch, looking almost…depressed.

Giles. Giles needed her right now. Whoever those demons were that beat him up, she was just grateful that he was still alive. He looked awful. She glanced at Spike again, but quickly focused on Giles as he started speaking. The fact that Giles thought it was the end of the world, again, should have been enough to make her forget Spike.

The instant Spike finally looked at her, she knew it, felt the hairs on her arms and neck stand up. There was electricity in the air. Even the God-awful Hawaiian shirt couldn’t detract from his charms.

“Hellmouth,” Giles said cryptically. “They’re going to try to open the hellmouth.”

Buffy was jarred into awareness, now. She shared a look of dread with Willow and then Xander. “It looks like we’re going back to high school.”

The walk over ended up being one of the longest in her life. Willow insisted on asking about Riley, and Spike dragged his feet behind them. He didn’t need to be a part of this. He couldn’t fight, and the thought of something happening to him didn’t sit well with her. She shouldn’t care, but when Willow mentioned how depressed he was and that they had him basically on suicide watch, she'd decided not to argue with them.

Buffy let Willow and Xander walk ahead, then grabbed Spike’s arm to stop him from walking. It alarmed her that he didn’t react at all to her touching him. A snarky, snide or grumpy remark would have been better than his silence.

“What’s going on with you?”

“Nothing. That’s what.” He yanked his arm away. “Can’t eat, can’t kill, can’t fight. I’m useless.”

She rolled her eyes at him. “You’ll have to forgive me if I’m not all with the sympathy over the fact that you can’t kill.”

“I didn’t ask you for it, so sod off.”

Standing where she was, she watched him walk off to catch up with the others. “Ugh! That’s what I get for trying to be nice.”

~ * ~ * ~ * * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

After they‘d saved the world from self sacrificing demons--a task made more difficult because of a misguided attempt by Spike to help out when he realized he could beat up demons-- the gang stood outside on the dead lawn of the high school and watched Riley run off in the opposite direction. Buffy had been grateful for his last minute help, but was glad to see him go. The tension had been palpable in the high school. Riley was going to be harder to shake than she’d first thought. The good thing was, she didn’t have to keep Riley’s identity a secret anymore. She was glad for that.

“So, your new boy is one of the commandos, eh?” Spike said with a frown.

“He’s not my 'new boy',” Buffy said shortly.

Spike shrugged indifferently and looked away from her. “Well, I’ll be off, then.”

Xander grabbed his arm. “Oh, no you don’t, pal. That’s my shirt you’re wearing and I want it back.”

Glaring at the boy, Spike said, “You’ll get your clothes back once I can change out of them.”

“I’m sorry, Spike, but you’re going to have to come back to Giles‘ with us,” Buffy told him.

With a scowl on his face, Spike said, “Now that I know I can fight demons, I can get by, on my own. I don’t need you.”

Anger rose up in Buffy as it often did when she argued with Spike. “Why do you have to be so difficult? Don’t answer that,” she said with a hand up. “Riley saw you. What if it clicks in his mind that you are their escapee? You can’t fight humans.” She folded her arms across her chest.

Spike got in her face and snarled. “You may have thought you were in love with me at one time, because of a spell, you may have been my fiancé at one time, but you don’t own me, and I don’t answer to you.”

Willow and Xander looked on in confusion as the two super beings fought with words.

“Why do you have to bring all that up? I’m just saying, if Riley figures out who you are, they ’re going to come after you.”

“I’ll take my chances.”

Buffy fought the urge to go after him as he raced off down the street. Instead, she led the way back to Giles’ condo. As they walked in silence, Buffy tried to ignore the little voice in her head that was asking her why she cared what happened to Spike. She didn’t want to know why. She just knew that she did.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Spike went directly to his car that was still covered with old tarps and behind an old abandoned house. Reaching under the front bumper, he pulled the spare key out of its hiding place. In record time, he had on a pair of jeans and a black t-shirt that he kept in the trunk for emergencies.

For a while, he sat in the backseat, nursing a bottle of Jim Beam and trying to decide what to do next. One thing he knew for sure, he had to get away from the Slayer. The things that he was feeling for her were unnatural, and Spike knew that if he could just get away from her, the residual feelings from spells and the memories of a morning of hot sex would fade away.

He reached back, gingerly touching the small incision at the back of his head. Spike knew that the first order of business was finding a way to get the chip out. He’d never seen one himself, but he knew that demon doctors existed. In any town, the place to go to find out anything about the demon world was the local demon bar.

He started up the Desoto and headed for Willy’s. Spike felt better, now that he had a plan. Find a doctor, get his coat back from Xander’s , and go have some surgery done. When all was right in the world, he’d come back to find the Gem.

An hour later, Spike entered Xander’s basement apartment. It was good that the place was empty. He tossed the dirty clothes into the hamper, grabbed his coat and was just on his way out, when Xander’s voice floated down from the level above as he opened the basement door.

“I don’t have time right now, mom. I’m in a hurry,” Xander said before shutting the door and running down the steps.

Spike leaned against the door that led to the outside and watched as Xander began frantically going through his stuff. He dumped out boxes, then started tossing clothes out of his dresser.

“I move out and you tear the place up?” Spike said.

Xander jumped up and grabbed his chest. Frowning, he said, “I don’t have time for you now. The Initiative took Buffy and Giles, and I have to get them out of there.” Xander found the fatigues he was looking for and began getting undressed.

Standing up straight, Spike stared at Xander with an open mouth. He envisioned Buffy being taking from one of those cold cells, being strapped to a gurney and then taken off to be experimented on.

“What the hell happened?” Spike asked him as he watched Xander struggle into his pants.

If looks could kill, Spike would be dust in the wind about now. “Buffy was right, like she usually is. Riley figured out who you were and went back to tell his soldier buddies. They stormed into Giles’ place and demanded to know where you were.” Xander pulled the shirt over his head. “Of course, we didn’t know where you were, but they wouldn’t believe us. When Giles asked them to leave, they grabbed Buffy.”

“Buffy wouldn’t let those wankers manhandle her.” Spike was certain of that.

“They had guns, Spike.”

“So what are you going to do?” Spike waved a hand at Xander. “Play soldier boy and try to single-handedly get her out? Cuz, I don’t think that’s going to work.”

“Willow is going to do a glamour spell, to make me look like one of the soldiers. I’m just wearing this so if the spell fades, I’ll still blend in a little.” Xander grabbed a bag and brushed past Spike. “I don’t have time to talk about it. Willow is waiting for me at Giles’, looking for the right spell to use.”

Spike followed him out. “It’s not going to work.”

“We have to try,” Xander told him and turned to look at him. “Look what they did to you. I’m not complaining, but they’re not exactly ethical people. They know she’s a slayer. What are they going to do to her?”

Dread settled in the pit of his stomach like bad blood. Xander was right, but those two bumbling kids were not going to be able to get Buffy out of there. With clenched fists, he watched Xander run off in the direction of Giles’ condo.

It shouldn’t matter what happened to her, but it did. Just thinking about how creepy the Initiative’s underground operations were had the hairs on the back of his neck standing up. He wouldn’t wish that place on his worst enemy. Or his best , for that matter. And Buffy was the best.

Would they operate on her? Cut her open and try to rewire her, too? Without thinking further, he ran after Xander, his boots slapping the pavement. He could see Xander up ahead, but Spike didn’t call out to him.

He wasn’t sure what he could do, but he was going to have to come up with something. He tried to tell himself that he was doing this because Buffy was the only one who knew where the Gem of Amara was, but it was getting harder and harder to fool himself.

Now was not the time to think about feelings, but actions. He caught up to Xander as he came to Giles’ door. “I’m going to help you get her out of there.”

“Go away, Spike. You can’t even fight them. They’re human,” Xander told him as he pushed the door open.

Following him in, he opened his mouth to argue, but stopped short when he noticed Riley standing by the couch, talking with Willow. A rush of fear flowed through him, but at the same time, his vision was clouded with red hot anger.

Riley drew his gun as Spike charged him. The gun went flying as Spike’s fist slammed into Riley’s jaw. Willow grabbed the gun and stood over the fallen soldier and the fallen vampire, taking turns pointing it at them as they both held their heads and writhed in pain.

“There will be no violence,” Willow said, her voice trembling almost as much as her hand. “Is that clear?”

Xander calmly walked up to Willow and gently pried the gun from her fingers, keeping it trained on the men still down on the floor. “Get up, but stay away from each other.”

They glared as they stood, pointing at one another. In unison, they asked, “What’s he doing here?”

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