Spike relieved Brother Duncan at the desk and after many questions and much profuse thanking, he was ready to start.
He checked the status boards, both the Mission’s staff and the residents, it was a full plus house tonight. He checked the log on the desk computer and the phone for messages. All was well; all he had to do was man the phones and attend to any emergencies that might occur.
He opened the netbook and started to type but could not keep his mind on the text. He could not stop thinking of her. He was still drowning in her. Yeah, he was going under and he was fairly sure it was for the full count this time.
He'd felt her probably even before the plane had landed over a month ago and now she was here, in his room, in his bed.
He took a long, deep breath, though, for a vampire, that was hard to do. He looked up at the ceiling of the Mission's lobby as he slowly exhaled it. It was something that he often did, at least briefly, almost every night that he sat alone at the desk.
It was high, arched, and painted by some unknown, but not completely untalented artist. It hadn't been cleaned in over a hundred years. Cracked and chunked from earthquakes and with paint peeling and flaking, here and there, the center of it always struck him as a bad copy of a Michelangelo masterpiece. Saints and stags, demons and dragons surrounded it, and warriors and fiery things crept out from its edges. In the clouds, he could see vestiges of Drusilla's burning cherubim and naughty precocious seraphim, looking hard and jaded, sensuous and seductive, peeking out from layers of grease from the kitchens and dust from a century of feet beneath; but he still liked it. The sky was just that particular shade of smoky teal, the exact color of Buffy's eyes.
The last of the residents had turned off the TV in the lounge and were heading up the stairs. It was time to make a round.
The ground floor was quiet, Spike turned out most of the lights as he checked the doors.
The basement was quiet as well, kitchen and dining areas in order, the small dormitory marked 'keep out' was quiet also, all of its residents out for the night except for the Navoxnova who was pupating in the corner. The room's outside door was ajar, propped open with a brick, as usual. He locked the inside door
and slid the steel bar in to place on his way back up to the main floor.
Two and a half stories of rooms and dormitories and two minor incidents among the residents later, he was back in the lobby. He was not ready to work on the dissertation.
Normally, he did not check the staff quarters at all, but tonight he would . Stopping in front of his door, he closed his eyes for a moment. He did not open the door; just put his hands on it to feel her sleep. After a few minutes, he went back out to the main desk.