Sequel to Easier Said
Author's Notes: This is a sequel to my fic "Easier Said."
Betas: The Wonderful Colleen and the Amazing Mezz (Action figures sold separately. :-)
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 Four
"What's wrong with me," Spike muttered. Something's wrong. This...he never needed blood like this. He felt like he had just clawed up from the earth, his fangs and skin hot with bloodlust. He was over a century old. He shouldn't...
Suddenly, he felt a familiar presence. It was one of his own kind. Spike opened the door a crack and saw a tall black man in an expensive cream colored suit and gold-rimmed, dark sunglasses, striding cocksure down the hall.
"Well, well, well," Spike said to himself, a slow smile creeping over his face. He slipped out of the storage room and followed the vampire, keeping far enough back so that it wouldn't sense him.
Spike recognized a player when he saw one. This was a vampire of the world. One that enjoyed walking the fringes of society: feeding, dealing, having the things denied him when he was human. Spike found the vampire ridiculous. The state of his own bedraggled and torn clothes didn't help matters. The impeccable dress, the gold watch, and diamond pinky rings were enough to leave Spike seething with hatred.
Didn't this ponce know what a vampire was supposed to be? he thought angrily. Time for a lesson then.
Spike followed the vampire out the hospital's automatic doors and into the night. As the vampire crossed the parking lot, Spike stepped up his pace, trying to get closer. Luckily, the vampire took no notice as Spike quietly twisted a limb off of one of the small trees that peppered the parking lot's grass islands. He approached his vampire victim from behind, careful to stay in his blind spot. Spike knew the blighter deserved to die when he got within six feet without being noticed.
"Stupid bitch thought she could hide from me here?" Spike overheard the vampire mutter, oblivious to the leather clad blonde stalking him. Spike paused momentarily as the vampire dug keys out of his pocket. A sudden and very welcome thought abruptly presented itself. Keys?
Spike pounced, snatching the keys from the vampire's startled grasp. The vampire turned around with a snarl just in time to see a flash of yellow eyes, and a broken tree limb sticking sharply out of his chest.
"Tough break, mate," Spike smirked, as the vampire howled, collapsing into dust.
"What did you find out?" Willow asked, once Buffy had taken off her jacket and curled up on the couch next to her.
"Where's Dawn?" Buffy asked, unsure whether her sister should hear this.
"Don't worry. Tara's with her upstairs, trying to get her to sleep," Xander replied.
"It was him. He was the one," Buffy said soberly.
"What did you..." Willow started to ask.
"I...he won't anymore. With the poison," Buffy replied, avoiding their eyes.
"I'm sorry, Buffy," Willow said, her face full of concern.
"So, what now?" Anya asked, just as Tara came down the stairs.
"She's asleep?" Buffy asked Tara.
"Yes. But...it wasn't easy. She r..really wanted to wait up for you. But we d..didn't know how long it might take," she replied, nervously wringing her hands.
"I suppose I'll have to tell her tomorrow," Buffy said, her eyes bright. No, don't cry, not now. Plan now, Buffy thought.
"Anya and Xander, I need you to find out everything you can about this 'Blood Fever' poison. What it does, if there is an antidote--everything. Call Giles if you have to. Will, can you find Faith? I really don't want to talk to her right now, but we need to know if Spike said anything about where he was going. And Tara? Could you stay with Dawn for a few days? You and Willow? I know it might be asking a lot..."
"No..we...yes, Buffy, of course we will," Tara replied, glancing at Willow, who nodded in agreement.
"What are you going to do, Buff?" Xander asked.
Buffy sighed. "I'm going after Spike. I guess I'll start at every gas station off the interstate. Maybe someone will remember him, especially if he's acting all..." Buffy trailed off.
"Crazy?" Anya supplied helpfully.
Not bad, Spike thought, as he admired his new wheels. He was now the proud owner of a dark burgundy Cadillac convertible, complete with leather and CD player.
Spike drove through the city streets, idly wondering where the hell he was. It seemed familiar, but the blood had started pounding in his ears again, making it hard to concentrate, or even think. He vaguely had the feeling that something was missing--absent.
Oh yeah, Buffy, Spike thought groggily. He looked around as he drove, almost expecting her to pop out from behind the back seat. But she didn't. He sighed. He wanted her to be there. He was sure she'd like his new car.
"Ooh! There I am!"
What? Spike turned toward the voice, confused, seeing nothing. Just then, a scream split the air. His eyes immediately focused on a woman in an alley just as she was being slammed up against a brick wall by two brutish, fully fanged vampires. Her blonde hair was shorter now, but he recognized the choker she wore around her neck. Buffy's choker.
Rage. Spike liked the rage. It blasted like a furnace from his hot skin. It threatened to obliterate all thought except that of tearing and rending and destroying. He slammed the car into park, not even bothering to turn the ignition off. He leapt from the car and ran full steam into the nearest vampire. The large vamp shrugged off the attack, and tried to draw a long, nasty looking blade from a sheath strapped to his lower back. Spike put a quick end to that with a kidney punch, and then crushed the thug's knee with a brutal kick. The vampire collapsed, screaming in agony. But the other meaty vampire still had his fist clenched around her wrist, even as she fought desperately to free herself.
Why can't she break free? Spike wondered. These must be super vamps, he concluded. Strong, bad-ass fuckers looking for some Slayer payback.
Spike head-butted the thug still holding his girl, crunching the vampire's nose with his forhead. That did it--grip released. Spike had barely noticed the impact, nor did he feel the small trickle of blood that started to run down his brow. He was estatic--elated at finding his beautiful, choker-clad damsel.
"Come on!" Spike yelled, running for the car. He didn't look back to see if she was following. He trusted her more than that. Spike dove for the driver's side of the Cadillac, grateful it was still running, and quickly putting it into gear. A moment later, when he felt her weight on the passenger's side, he gunned the accelerator hard, pealing away. He had a brief, intense feeling of deja vu, like he had already done this--only before he had been running from...from...
Spike pushed the thought out of his mind, grinning wildly from the narrow escape. He was happy. So happy. He had saved his girl, and now she was here, sitting beside him again.
Spike turned his grin on his lover, wanting to see the light of the moon glisten off her resplendent hair. Wanting to see the love flowing from her luminous...
Eyes. Those weren't her eyes. Nor was there anything resembling love in them--only fear.
"Where are you taking me?"
"Dawn, you have to eat something," Tara pleaded. Dawn lay curled up on her bed, not looking at her.
"Please, sweetie. I know you're worried about Spike..."
"It's happening again," Dawn whispered.
"What is, sweetie?" Tara said, running her fingers through Dawn's long hair.
"People are getting hurt because of me," Dawn said, her voice hollow and empty.
"No! No, Dawn. Y..You didn't... It's not your..."
"It is. I did it. I gave him the blood. Buffy even said so."
"You didn't know, Dawnie. Buffy was just upset. It's not your fault."
"It was my fault he left."
"She got angry at him because of me. I was smoking with him and she got angry."
"Dawn, that isn't...I think there's more to it than..."
"It's always me. Buffy had to die because of me. Glory hurt you because of me. And Spike..." Dawn's whole body convulsed in sobs while Tara rubbed her back, fighting back her own tears.
"Sshhhh, sweetie, it's okay. We'll find him, I promise, we'll find him."
"Anything yet?" Buffy spoke loudly into the pay phone, trying to hear over the sound of a semi-truck pulling into a nearby gas-pump.
"Yeah, Buffy," Xander yelled into the phone. Several of the Magic Box customers glanced at him annoyed, as did Anya. "The Blood Fever has an antidote!" Xander shouted into the phone. He thought he could almost hear a sigh of relief. "Anya has the ingredients already. You'll have to come by the Magic Box and pick them up. Any luck on your end?"
"NO!" Buffy shouted, then thankfully the semi-truck switched off its engine and she could talk normally again. "No, nothing so far. But there's still a couple more gas stations to check." Xander waited as Buffy paused.
"Are you sure it will work?" He heard her ask.
"Yeah. Anya's sure, at any rate. But Buffy, there's something else... I don't quite know how to say this..."
"Just say it, Xander," Buffy said impatiently.
"The poison works off of blood. The more blood the...victim drinks the worse it gets. After awhile it starts to--well, this part is kinda gross--slowly turns their bodies into dust from the inside out."
Buffy had to admit it wasn't the best news she'd heard that day. "How long?" she asked, fearing the answer.
"That's just it, Buffy. Anya...Anya thinks it's been too long already. Even if he didn't drink any more blood..."
Buffy began to tremble.
"Buffy? Buffy?" she heard Xander over the receiver.
"Yeah, I'm still here."
"Anya could be wrong, Buff. Don't give up. We'll find him. Tara is looking into maybe doing a location spell of some kind."
But the light, hopeful tone in Xander's voice was enough for Buffy to know that plan was a desperate long shot. Like carving the cancer from her mother's brain. Time had been a factor then too. And now Buffy felt time once again slipping from her grasp. She needed to move faster. She needed speed to find him. Speed to give him the cure in time.
Just in time, she thought. Like in the movies.
Thank God I found you, Spike! Hurry, drink this! You're cured! Now come back with me. I promise not to chase you away this time...
Buffy hung the phone up and headed to her car. Two more gas stations to go. Ask a few questions. Get the strange, baffled looks. Then head back to the Magic Box for the just-in-the-nick-of-time-come-back-to-me-Spike antidote.
"Tara, I don't think we should," Willow began, hesitantly. It was odd, Willow thought. She was never the one to shy away from powerful magics, and doing what she thought was necessary. Of course, the necessary went a little beyond necessity with her, causing the loss of the beautiful woman pouring black sand in a circle in her upstairs bedroom. And as much as she desired Tara, this spell...
"I know, Will. This...I don't want you a part of this, but there is no one else. You understand what will happen; probably better than I do," Tara said, lighting several small pungent candles around the room.
"That's not... Tara, this spell is dangerous. It's not just a simple locator spell. It's summoning." For the old, fully magicked Willow, the spell would have been child's play. Well, not child's play, but Willow was fairly certain that she could bring forth the patron saint of the dead without too much trouble. But Tara... She hadn't channeled anything this potent before. Or evil.
Tara put down a candle and turned toward her ex-lover. "A simple locator spell won't work on Spike. He's dead, without a soul. There's nothing for a locator spell to grab onto."
"And I don't know how much more Dawn can take." Tara continued. "She's lost so much. Now losing Spike, and being the cause of...of..." Willow could see the pain in Tara's face. She knew it well. She had been responsible for that look on many occasions.
"Okay," Willow said, wanting so badly for the sadness to leave Tara's eyes. Goddess, I would do anything for her, Willow thought. Even this.
"Thanks, Will," Tara said gratefully, her smile starting an avalanche of emotions in Willow.
"Just remember..." Willow started.
"I won't forget this," Tara interrupted, then her eyes widened slightly as Willow flinched. "I didn't mean..."
"Don't break the circle until the summoning is over," Willow finished, avoiding Tara's eyes.
Tara sighed, but said nothing. She continued in her spell preparations, trying to clear her mind. She needed to be focused. She needed to be amazing.
Continued in Road Tripp'n Part Five