Sequel to Easier Said
Author's Notes: This is a sequel to my fic "Easier Said."
Beta: The wonderful Colleen.
Disclaimer: Joss is God. The characters are his. I'm merely having fun with them.
Summary: Spike takes off for places unknown only to find an unwelcome passenger along for the ride.
Road Tripp'n Part Two
The crypt stood empty and dark before her. It frightened her like this. Before when she sought Spike out there would be a flicker of light or noise behind the cold door. A hint of laughter at some old movie, or the click of a microwave door being closed. Now nothing. Painfully nothing.
Then she heard a sound, the faintest scraping of stone on stone.
Buffy burst into the crypt and found two very surprised vampires up against a sarcophagus, half-undressed, teeth clamped on each others necks. Buffy stood there stunned. It was an affront, a mockery of her pain.
She jumped them fast, furiously punching, kicking and throwing.
It feels good to do this again, Buffy thought. In here.
She used to punch him in the face like THIS! And manhandle him like THAT! But the vampires didn't know the game. They didn't return her fury with clever barbs or laughing eyes. They pled for their lives, begging to leave town and never come back. Wrong answer. VERY! VERY! VERY! WRONG!
Speed. Distance. Speed. It was a mantra to Spike, something he played in his head, trying to ignore the not-so-Buffy sitting next to him, humming the same tune over and over again.
I know this isn't real,
but I just want to feel.
Feel what, pet? Spike thought. Feel like chili peppers are being grilled under your skin? Feel like you can't breathe even when you don't need to? Like a weight is crushing you down, keeping you small and insignificant? Is that what you want to feel?
Speed. Distance. Speed.
The next night on patrol, Buffy purposely avoided Spike's crypt. The memory of her vicious vamp beat down from the night before was still raw. It had been the begging that got to her. They had actually begged for their undead lives.
It didn't help things that Dawn continued her silent treatment at home. Every once in awhile, Buffy would catch her crying in the bathroom, in which case Dawn would storm past her and slam the door to her room.
"All this over a stupid vampire?" Buffy said aloud, getting no response from the gravestones. She truly felt puzzled. She missed Spike sure, but he wasn't Angel. Or heck, even Riley. It was just Spike. Smooth lips, demanding tongue, Spike.
Sexual frustration. That's all it is, she thought. I'm a grown woman...and I have needs! And Spike was good at the...needing. Or was it kneading? God...stop that. Focus. Vampires-stake-poof-gone.
Gone. Spike's gone.
That last thought hit her in the gut, taking her breath away.
Spike's gone. Spike *is* gone. He's not coming back to me.
Hot tears began to fall from Buffy's eyes. She thought she had been doing so well, that she could finally get on with her life without a certain blonde vampire always saying the wrong thing, complicating matters. But with Spike not around, she found her thoughts more and more on him. Where was he? Was he okay? Did he miss her? Would he come back if she asked? If she found him? Would he want to?
A scrawny looking vampire came into Buffy's view, startling her out of her reverie. It took one look at her and charged.
Must be a new one, Buffy thought, wiping her eyes and whipping out a stake. Never heard of the dusty death that is me.
Abruptly it stopped, standing several feet from her, looking past her. Then it screamed. Loud. Hands over ears loud. Buffy glanced behind herself, feeling foolish as she did.
If this is one of those--Ooh, look at the big scary thing behind you- routines...
Buffy saw nothing. But the vampire continued to scream and then started off running in large circles. She chased after it, but it ran as if possessed, staying just beyond her reach.
"Oh, for crying out loud," Buffy said, finally stopping. The vampire continued on its circular path right back to her. She plunged her stake into its chest as it passed by. It continued running, collapsing into dust as it went.
Weird, she thought. She decided to do one more quick sweep before heading home.
"That's like the fourth crazy vamp this week!" Buffy protested to the Scooby gang gathered in her living room. She had just come back from patrol, recounting her last kill of the night, which involved a naked vampire that had climbed on top of a telephone pole. Apparently, he had been trying to make a collect call by chewing on the wires. Buffy had to use her crossbow, which she had lugged with her, fearing another "chase the vamp" episode, only with one that liked straight lines instead of circles.
"That's just...weird," Willow said. Tara nodded in agreement.
"I know! What is it, a full moon week for vampires?" Buffy said, annoyed.
"Well, something's definitely up," Xander said. "I mean, the collect call thing is semi-evil, but climbing a giant stake? Naked? Can you say splinters in bad places?" They all smiled briefly at that.
Buffy sighed. "I just don't get it," she said, collapsing on the couch and folding her arms like an angry child. "Why can't vampires act like vampires? You know, with the fangs and the blood and the death. Well, maybe not the death, but the fangs and the blood. Is that so much to ask?"
"Blood..." Anya mused.
"What?" Buffy asked.
"Well, there is a poison that works on vampires. I think it's called Blood Fever. It's rare and hard to come by. Some of the Magic Box suppliers have it listed, but since you like your vampires dusty not crazy, I never got any. But it could be causing the weirdness. A vampire poisoned with the stuff would start to see and hear things." Anya paused, a look of horror on her face.
"Maybe they're seeing giant bunnies," she said, voice trembling. Buffy ignored that last part, absorbing the new information as Xander comforted his bride-to-be.
"But who would be poisoning vampires? I mean, what's the point?" Buffy asked. "Besides making my job that much more bizarre," she added.
"And the how," Willow said. "Vampires prefer fresh from the neck blood. Unless their victims poisoned themselves first? That doesn't make sense," she said, frowning.
"Humans can't ingest the poison either. It doesn't cause the hallucinations, just severe convulsions," Anya supplied.
"Yeah, but what about the vamps that don't eat off the vine?" Xander asked. "Steal blood from hospitals and blood banks?"
"I haven't heard anything in the n..news," Tara contributed. "They would report something like that, wouldn't they?"
"And how would someone know to poison what ahead of time?" Buffy asked. "No, this has to be someone giving the vamps their meal... Wait, no. Not giving--paying."
"How do you mean?" Xander asked.
"Butcher's blood," Buffy finished.
Spike found he had lost all sense of direction. His vision blurred the road signs into an incomprehensible mess. He fueled up at an all night gas'n'pump, trying desperately to read the counter map inside, but the roads snaked and throbbed before his eyes. The clerk had reluctantly given him directions, but to Spike the go-lefts and go-rights flip-flopped in his head and he soon forgot them altogether.
He found that the only thing clear to him was Buffy. Where the door shimmered like a reflection in a pool, it stopped at the edge of her. She was in focus. Everything else was dim, covered in a haze. Polluted.
Buffy was pure, clean, golden. And he found it extremely hard to take his eyes off of her.
"Where are we going," Buffy asked, snapping her bubble gum relentlessly. He caught himself before he asked where she got the gum.
"I don't know," Spike said honestly.
"Can we go to France?"
"No. And what's with France and you women? Harmony always wanted to go to France."
"I don't know. Just thought it would be fun. You know...France," Buffy said, as if it was the most obvious conclusion in the world.
"Don't think I have enough gas," Spike said dryly.
"You're making fun of me," she pouted.
"That's not nice, Spike."
"I'm not nice. You've said so yourself. More than once."
"Well...still. If I'm going to be your girl then you have to nice to me. It's like the law."
"Which law is that, pet?"
She smiled at him. "Buffy's law."
"Let me guess. Of which you are the sole maker of?"
"Exactly. Now you're gett'n it."
"No, if I were gett'n it, your head would be..."
He chuckled. To hell with sanity, he thought. She was here. She was his. Finally his.
"Any luck?" Buffy asked Xander as he entered the Magic Box.
"None. They ain't talk'n, Buff. I think most of the butchers here are afraid of word getting out that they sell blood to people, let alone vampires."
"I know!" Anya exclaimed. "We can stake them out at night, like in the movies, and follow the vampires they sell blood to and see if they go crazy!"
"Great, Ahn," Xander said. "Only there's at least 12 butchers in town. That could take awhile. Sunnydale: Home of the highest per capita of butchers and cemeteries. You...don't think there is a connection do you?" Xander said with a nervous laugh.
"Buffy!" Willow exclaimed. "I think I've found something." All the Scoobies gathered around Willow's laptop.
"Six weeks ago, a butcher by the name Merle Hansen lost one of his teenage daughters in a car accident."
"Car accident? Are you sure it wasn't a vampire?" Buffy asked.
"Article says car accident. And it was investigated by the police as part of a teen road safety program," Willow added.
"Coincidence maybe?" Xander asked.
"In Sunnydale?" Buffy replied. "No. This whole poison thing, it's personal. Someone isn't just killing vampires. It's more than that."
"Who's killing vampires? Besides you I mean," Dawn said, startling them from behind.
"Huh? Oh, nobody. Just...Scooby stuff," Buffy said, trying to ignore Dawn's icy stare. The presence of her implacable sister while they discussed vampires was definitely not something Buffy wanted.
She'll bring him up, Buffy thought worriedly. She was so not ready to deal with talk. Talk about him. About her and him.
"I'm not a kid. And I've helped with the monster mash before," Dawn said coldly.
"I know, Dawn. But..." Buffy tried to think of good reason, but reason was failing her. Thinking of Spike had shook her.
"Fine. Stay. Learn about serial killers. It's just what every young girl needs," Buffy muttered as Dawn smiled triumphantly.
"So, who else is making with the dusty?" Dawn asked.
"Well..." Willow began nervously, glancing at Buffy. "They're not actually dusting vampires, more like poisoning them."
"Poisoning them? Weird," Dawn said.
"So say us all," Xander agreed.
"We were checking out butchers and found this guy who lost a daughter recently..." Willow continued.
"Butchers?" Dawn interrupted, feeling something cold travel down her spine.
"Yeah. We think that maybe the poisoned blood is being sold by a butcher in Sunnydale," Willow replied. Dawn suddenly grabbed Willow's laptop and stared hard at the picture on it.
"That's him..." Dawn barely whispered, her eyes wide.
"That's who?" Buffy asked, concerned at her sister's reaction.
"The guy that sold me the blood. The blood I gave Spike."
Continued in Road Tripp'n Part Three