"Yes, I’ve got them."
"Where exactly is it?"
"I don't know, exactly. Uh, catty-cornered from a demon bar, not the closest one…maybe second closest?"
"Flashy techno-type or more like Willy's?”
"More like Willy's."
"I know it; ‘bout a forty minute drive." Spike looked at her for a moment then
reached out a hand to smooth Buffy's hair. His hand brushed her cheek and she instinctively leaned toward his touch. His fingers lingered intertwining with
the loose tendrils behind her earlobe.
He slowly pulled his hand back revealing a tiny errant orange cube. "Carrot," he said.
"Argh," she sighed.
"Not as bad as broccoli," Spike said with a chuckle as he deposited the
offending vegetable in the trash. "Come on." They headed for the garage.
It was the Saab that chirped and flashed when he clicked the key.
"Saab? Not what you usually drive." Buffy commented.
"First one I ever had to pay for, Love, usually just nicked 'em." He started the
"Spike, how did you ever end up here," she asked as soon as they pulled out of the garage.
"Long story, Pet. How much of it do you already know?"
"Just what they told me, the official report…I guess."
"Yeah, ha, right," he scoffed.
"They said…Andrew said, you were working with Angel at Wolfram and Hart. He told me what went down when he came to get Dana…" Buffy looked at Spike to make sure he knew who she was talking about. It was obvious he did.
"Ah, yeah, Miss Psycho Slayerette with the hacksaw, like to forget that one, Love, but the arms still twinge now and again."
"Not as bad as burning up or…other things."
"Andrew should have told me then, he shouldn't have waited two years."
"I asked him not to."
"Why," Buffy asked.
"I dunno… champion…sacrificed to save the world, blah, blah… it meant
something, but not…"
"Spike, it means something, it means a lot…and you should have told me."
"I know," he said quietly.
Buffy realized she wasn't going to get any more explanation so she changed the subject.
"You worked with Angel, that's hard to believe, I mean you don't like each other. The only times I've ever really seen the two of you together you were pretty much trying to kill each other."
"Great, you taking his side now," Spike commented.
"No, no…just trying to understand how you got tangled up with Wolfram and
Hart. They told me about the amulet and about the ghost thing, I just didn't expect that you would..."
"I didn't, not right away, got played by this ex-Wolfram and Hart cowboy
lawyer for a few months first. Never really fell in with that fighting evil from the belly of the beast crap. I didn't…join up until Illyria, ‘til Fred."
"Illyria? That's some demon god, one of the 'Old Ones'. It killed Fred," Buffy continued hesitantly, not entirely sure of the facts in that matter.
Spike nodded. "Killed her, hollowed her out. Destroyed her soul and used her body to walk the earth again."
"You killed it, you and Angel," she asked.
"No…" He laughed. "She joined the team."
"Wow, no wonder nobody trusted you guys back then."
"Nobody trusted Angel," he corrected her, "…we didn't either, so smart
move, Love. Cordelia,” he began before she interrupted.
"Cordy was there, I thought she was in a coma or something?"
"Cheerleader’s all dead now." Spike paused, he didn't know if Buffy knew that, and by her face, she did not. "Sorry," he added quietly then went on. "Cordelia came out of it long enough to help us call out cowboy lawyer Doyl…Lindsey, and gave Angel some vision or whatever about taking down the Circle of the Black Thorn, the senior partners' lackeys on this plane."
"And you guys did it, took them all out,"
Spike felt the need to correct her again. "Well, except for one," he said.
"There's one left," she inquired.
"Angel was a member of the Circle?" She was stunned by that revelation. They had left that part out when they recounted the story to her.
"Got himself inducted, all part of the plan, of course," he added more or less sarcastically.
"You gotta be major league bad for the Black Thorn to…" she started to say. Spike just looked at her with his 'I told you so' look.
"Anyway," Buffy said trying to route the conversation away from a place she did not want to go to right now, "…the Senior Partners retaliated."
"Yeah, don't remember much after the battle, falling down and passing out
mostly. I think it was Illyria who brought us to the Mission. They found Gunn…" He noticed from her puzzled look that she did not know who he was talking about and added, "Charles Gunn, a mortal...one of Angel's Avengers. They found him, uh, what was left of him anyway, on the street in front of the Mission; at least they got him to a hospital. He's still alive, sort of. Last I heard he was learning to talk again, but he'll never… They found Angel and me smoldering in the sun by the back retaining wall, where the courtyard is now, three or four days later, it was an empty lot then. There's a month, month and
a half, that I don't remember much of anything, pain…chained down in the
basement of the rectory, brown and black robe-types tendin' us…"
"Obviously, they got you back to health," she said.
"Obviously. Five or six months later Angel left, went after…you know about his mongrel, right," Spike was hoping that she did.
Buffy nodded, "Nina? Yeah."
He went on, "Angel went after his mongrel. I left about a month later."
"And…" she probed.
He sighed. "Bad move…no place to go, no money to get there, and having a soul severely cramps the typical vamp lifeslyle, about six weeks later…you get tired sleepin' in alleys and eating rats. Ended up in all the wrong places at all the wrong times."
She just looked the 'and' at him this time.
"…like in hand cuffs at the county jail and not willingly."
"You coulda got out easily enough."
"Pet, a hundred and thirty plus years of running, angry mobs, slayers, demon hunters, other demons...gets old. It was time to stop running. I had one phone call, I used it, and the Mission was the only number I knew. The rest…well…" he left it at that, "...and you," he began again before she could ask him to go into detail. "The little boy said you went to Europe, rounding up stray Slayerettes, never figured you for the ex-patriot type, Love. Why'd you stay?"
"Ran into Dad in Rome," she said, not elaborating further.
"Big family reunion, yeah," Spike probed.
"Huh, yeah." She answered unconvincingly.
Spike gave her the 'and' look again. She tisked then sighed.
"Mom never told us, when Dad went…incognito, he remarried."
He still had the 'and' look on his face when she looked over.
"Hate her. Dawn hates her, too. At least Dad put a better roof over our heads than I could and he got Dawn back to school. She hated that too, at first, had to repeat tenth grade after she failed the placement test, but she got through it okay, college too," she added.
"What about you?"
"What, school? I tried for a couple semesters, too distracted, so, yeah, still 'too dumb for college' Buffy.''
He laughed a little at the comment. "Too distracted," he asked.
"…with the slaying, and the rounding up, and the long-distance conferencing," she explained.“Jet-setting, er, Metro-ing’s more like it, across Europe after stray wanna-be’s, extremely tiring.
"Ah-huh, Dad doesn't know, does he? Thought you learned that lesson with your Mum."
"Mom at least understood the Slayer thing…well, eventually, sorta…Dad
would never…and Step-Bitch, that's what Dawn and I call her behind her back,
ha…she was constantly getting on our case, especially Dawn's, and not just at
first, she kept at it. They were always fighting." Buffy scoffed then went on, "I really wanted to bring Dawn back here, but…he's our dad." She was starting to get misty-eyed.
Spike decided it was time to change the subject before the water works started. "You said something about issues, Slayer-type issues…pending apocalypse, yeah," he asked hopefully.
"No. I wish."
"Yeah, so what then?"
"It's not that simple."
"So explain it to me, Love."
"Guess we've got the time," she conceded, taking a moment to organize her
thoughts before continuing.
"It’s just, it’s too much, we don't have the resources, we don't have the Watchers, we don't have…okay, it’s like there are too many girls, too many
Slayers to…manage…control…guide, keep track of, train…not just physically… the power is too…" Buffy sighed.
"Oh, I get it, Pet," he said, glancing her way while negotiating the turn on to the freeway.
Buffy wondered if he really did or if he was just humoring her.
"Giles can't do it all, I mean, he tries…but even what he's teaching them, the Slayer doctrine, whatever…it was never…entirely right. He's not using the old Watchers Council guidelines, thank God, but…" She glanced at him checking if he was getting it.
"Still right there with you, Love," he nodded.
"Unless we're monitoring their every move, they're going off in their own
directions, following their own rules. It’s like they don't have the judgment to be a Slayer…not without, making it worse, or hurting themselves or the people around them, or getting themselves killed, for the stupidest reasons…and what's left of the Watchers Council, the few that survived and the former Watchers, they…" she trailed off with a scoff.
Spike finished for her, "…they can't really help you, Love, cause they're not onboard either, and some of them are against you."
"Right. I shoulda just asked you," she said.
"Wouldn't hurt once in a while," he added.
"Yeah, I know," she said quietly, then continued, "…and the Power, the
Slayer power… it’s not consistent, it’s fading in some and…"
"Like ebbs and tides," he commented.
She nodded, "and organized evil, here at least, after Wolfram and Hart
pulled out of L.A. …"
"…too busy scrambling for the crumbs, but… crumbs are almost all swept up
"Yeah…and the First: scrunched, but not gone and definitely not the only
source of evil in the world." She let out a long sigh.
"That's the nature of evil…"
"…and the Hellmouth…"
"…put a stopper in it, just blows out somewhere else…"
"That about covers it, and I miss Willow and Xander…and Giles," she
scoffed, "…even though we haven't been…close, in a while…and I missed
"Yeah, right. Is this the place," he asked.
"I think so, uh, looks like it."
"…and I'll wager it's the one with the big orange boot on it," Spike said
nodding at the sedan parked across the street from the space he pulled into.
I said I didn't hold the comics cannon (never read them,) and I guess this section proves it. It is generally recognized that if there were any survivors after ATS:NFA they would have been Angel and Spike (and IIlyria, and Lorne too, if you think about it, I mean he left town before the final battle,) I am keeping Gunn in this world as well, (no good deed should go un-punished,) don't expect him to just pop up and be normal again, in fact, don't expect to see or hear of him for quite a while, but I do have some plans for him in a future story.
Also, I thought I'd add my word count to theses blogs - for some reason the word count is different in Microsoft WPS and Word than when the section is uploaded to either site I post on.