Sequel to Easier Said
Author's Notes: This is a sequel to my fic "Easier Said."
Betas: The Wonderful Colleen and the Amazing Mezzibelle (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 Five
"Guy looked high or something," he added. "Heard him talking to himself."
"Thanks," Buffy said, quickly leaving. Now she had a direction. Now she knew he was still alive yesterday. That thought made her laugh. No, still dead. Just walking dead instead of dead dead. It suddenly occurred to her that she hadn't had a lot of sleep. Virtually none since Spike left, and really none since they found out...
Buffy yawned. She had to keep going, she told herself. But sleep threatened to take her as she drove down the road. The small hope that she was on the right track suddenly unwound her tense nerves. She felt like she had been clenching every muscle for days, forcing movement, forcing herself beyond even her Slayer stamina. And the emotional tidal wave of having good news--it was too much.
Buffy pulled over to the side of the road as the tears blurred her vision. Her whole body shook with tired sobs. Finally, she laid down across the front seat and fell into a deep sleep.
"Look, I don't bloody work for Vick!" Spike yelled at his frightened passenger. For the past ten minutes she had accused him of being just another of Vick's henchmen.
"This is his car," she replied fearfully. "I've been in it before."
Suddenly, she opened her door and tried to jump out as they speeded down the road. Spike grabbed her by the wrist, yanking her back in.
"Bloody hell! Look, close the damn door! Do I look like one of those wankers?"
"Vick likes games," she hissed, trying to free her hand. Spike sighed and slowed the car to a stop, then released her.
"You want out? Fine. Go. But just so you know, I don't work for Vick. I just knicked his car. I ain't gonna hurt you. I saved you from those blighters, didn't I?"
She looked at him and slowly nodded, but she inched toward the door just the same.
"You're a vampire," she said, almost as an accusation. Spike laughed.
"Yeah, pet. I'm the Big Bad. But that Vick guy you're so afraid of? He's littering a hospital parking lot with his dust right now. So, no need to get excited about him anymore."
But Spike's words did nothing to calm her. If anything, she grew more agitated.
"Hospital? Which one? Oh God..."
"T'Keti Umauka! I beseech thee! Through the River of Tears I summon thee! Answer my plea!"
Willow sat back, her eyes wide with fright as Tara continued her incantation.
"Keeper of the Undead! Giver of Unlife! Come, T'Keti! Answer me!" Her voice grew insistent. Willow watched aghast as Tara's eyes filled with murky blackness.
"B'Gaero! M'Yiel! Wukutu! All bow before you! Rise in me, T'Keti! Answer my call!" Tara's body began to tremble, and her lips quivered. Suddenly she fell to her knees, gasping and clutching her sides.
"Tara!" Willow shouted, her desire to race to her nearly overcoming her fear of what interrupting the spell could do.
Abruptly, Tara stopped moving. She looked up and around the room, her eyes still black, but with a look of calm on her face that Willow found even more frightening.
"Why have you summoned me?" A low, guttural voice emerged from Tara's lips.
"T..T'Keti?" Willow addressed Tara. This is why she was here. Tara needed her to ask the questions. Willow forced the words out, even though her fear for Tara threatened to overwhelm her. "Where...where is Spike? The, uh, vampire Spike. The one called William the Bloody?"
"Mortals don't summon me and live," Tara responded angrily. She walked forward and met the invisible wall at the edge of the black sand, rebounding slightly.
"Pretty spell, witch," Tara said with a sneer. Willow felt panic well up in her chest.
"T'Keti, where is William the Bloody?"
"This vessel lives. It is unworthy of T'Keti." Suddenly Tara's hand shot around her own throat, constricting her. Tara whimpered.
"Willow!" she gasped, her voice normal again.
Willow lunged forward, stopping mere inches from the circle. She wanted desperately to wrench Tara's hand from her throat, but she knew T'Keti wanted the barrier broken. A single toe across the line would be enough to free the Keeper of the Undead. She could only watch in horror as Tara's grip tightened.
"What's your name?" Spike asked, trying to distract the young woman enough to keep the flood of tears in her eyes from bursting free. He hated seeing a woman cry. It reminded him too much of his mother crying over his pale sister. Consumption, death, tears. It had been a familiar story when he was human. Even after Drusilla turned him, the memory of his mother crying was enough to stop him in his tracks. Death shouldn't mean anything to the undead, he had told himself years later, after he had gotten word of his mother following his sister's fate. But then, neither should love.
"J..Julie," she managed to get out between sniffles.
"God no. I hate that. Just Julie. That bastard used to call me Jules," she said, her face going from distraught to anger in a flash.
"Spike," he said, almost offering his hand before catching himself.
They were on their way back to the hospital. He didn't know what else to do. The poor girl had been in a near panic, desperately pleading for him to take her there so she could see. Spike had been reluctant. He didn't expect her to find anything more than grief.
"We were trying to get away. We had to leave everything behind, Michelle and me. We knew he just wouldn't let one of 'his girls' go."
"His girls? You're a..." Spike paused, not wanting to insult the young woman. "Lady of the Evening?" Spike finished, suddenly glad for his Victorian upbringing. Julie looked at him sideways, then laughed slightly.
"I suppose you could call it that. But I only work a certain clientele," she said.
"Rich blokes, eh? Thought as much," he said, judging her attire to be one step up from street-walker. Still, it was sexy, short and revealing in just the right places.
She continued to give him a strange look, but a sharp pain had started behind Spike's eyes, distracting him as they approached the hospital. He pulled into the parking lot and found an empty space near the front doors. After he turned off the ignition, he pressed his hands to either side of his head. It helped, a little.
"Are you okay?" Julie asked, concerned. Spike noticed that she didn't move any closer to him, or reach out to touch him. He was a vampire, afterall.
"Yeah, pet. I'm fine. Just go find your friend, okay? I'll wait here for you," Spike gasped out. His head felt like it was splitting in two, with only the pressure of his hot palms keeping his skull from flying apart.
"You've done enough. I...I'll just get a taxi or something..." she started to say.
"No, pet, com'on now," Spike said, forcing himself to drop his hands and look at her. "Those meaty blokes are after you. I just killed your...uh, boss. If I left you here, I wouldn't be much of a..." he trailed off. Much of a what? Spike thought. A bloody hero? A goddamn wannabe Great Poof like Angel?
"Alright. I'll be back," Julie said, suddenly aware that her missing purse, and all her potential taxi money, was probably being exchanged for vodka and beer by Vick's thugs right about now.
It's not the first time I've dealt with a vampire, Julie thought. But then, this vampire had saved her life. And killed Vick, which had been her most recent, number one fantasy of all time just handed to her on a silver platter. Right when Michelle and her needed it most. And he had brought her to the hospital. No, he definitely wasn't like her usual clients. Far from it.
Spike watched as she entered the hospital, the pain beginning to lift. It felt like a heavy anvil was being slowly removed from his skull.
"Bugger, that's better," Spike muttered, massaging his temples.
"Sooo...who's the tramp?"
Spike groaned. Fuck.
"Her ass is huge. Don't you think her ass is huge?"
Spike turned around to encounter the wide, Cheshire grin of his phantom lover reclining in the back seat, her hands sliding merrily along her bare, golden legs.
"Hi, Buffy. How's my little girl?" Buffy stared at her father, Hank Summers, incredulous. He shouldn't be here. I don't have time. I have to find Spike.
"Dad, what are you doing here?"
"Just checking up on my girl. So, have you killed him yet?"
"Spike, of course. It's what I'm paying you for," he said, holding out an envelope. Buffy took it. The envelope felt moist in her hand, and she noticed blood leaking from the corners.
"Don't let him eat that all at once. Don't want it to be too quick," he cautioned.
"I can't kill him," Buffy whispered.
"He's a demon, Buffy. You're a Slayer. What else are you going to do?"
"He's not like other demons. He...he has a chip," Buffy protested.
Hank smiled. "Yes, I know. Drusilla told me."
"Drusilla? Dad, no! You have to stay away from her. She's dangerous."
"Like Spike, yes I know. Oh, here's a picture of him," Hank said, unrolling a long piece of paper. Spike was depicted in pencil, reclining on a couch like a Roman god, smiling lewdly.
"It's Dru's," Hank said. "She's very talented." Buffy took the picture in her hands, leaving bloody fingerprints on the clean white paper. Buffy's eyes were drawn to the lewd grin, the one she had seen flicker across Spike's face so many times.
"You'll do fine, sweetie," Hank said, patting her shoulder. Abruptly, he turned to go.
"Where..." she asked, puzzled.
"I'm leaving, Buffy. I can't stick around, I'm sorry."
"Why?" Buffy asked, tears pooling in her eyes.
"So you can do your job, pumpkin," he said, as if the answer were obvious.
"I won't kill him!" Buffy said angrily.
"Like you wouldn't kill Angel?" She looked at him speechless.
"Look, I know you. You're my little girl. I know I haven't been around much, but you could never kill them otherwise."
"That's not...that's not true," Buffy said, tears sliding down her face.
"Just do what comes natural, okay? Just be you."
"I love him," Buffy said in a small voice.
"Well, that certainly wouldn't be my method, but it'll do."
Buffy watched as her father walked away, fading into the hot desert sun. She felt the air around her thicken. The heat was smothering. She looked at the portrait of Spike and was sure she saw him wink at her.
Buffy woke with a start, her clothes hot and sticky against her skin. The sun was up and her car was being baked under the bright rays. She opened the driver's door and let the worst of the hot air out. She shuddered once, the dream still vivid in her mind, then started the engine and headed down the road again.
"Buffy...Buffy, love, I can't do this now!" Spike protested, as his agile lover climbed on top of him, her lips firmly locked on his neck.
"Because of her? Your little tramp wouldn't like it?" She kissed his jaw, his chin, his lips.
"She's in a tight spot. Some blokes..."
"I have a tight spot for you," Buffy whispered, nibbling his ear. Spike pushed her away and got out of the car, fighting off a wave of dizziness from the sudden movement.
"I can't, love," Spike said, pained.
"Why not?" Buffy pouted, her hands slipping lower as her dress rode higher.
"No!" Spike spun around so he couldn't see what she was doing with her nimble fingers. He heard her moan behind him, and he took off at a run.
She's not real, he thought, pounding his fists hard against his head, trying to drive the image out.
Pull yourself together. What's-her-name needs you. Julie. Yeah, Julie. Big Bad to the rescue and all that...
Spike stopped abruptly. He was in an alley next to the hospital, no Buffy in sight. A heavy pit in his stomach told him to keep running, but he deliberately ignored it and took stock of his surroundings.
Thick shadows filled the alley at sharp angles, cut from the pale light of the half-full moon above.
Too many places to hide, he thought, feeling his skin begin to crawl. Shit... Someone was here, watching him. He could feel it.
Then Spike caught a whiff of something wafting through the alley; a whispering hint of blood, cream and...shoe polish?
He was more than ready to run now, to bolt like a champion thoroughbred. But when Spike heard the soft, rhapsodic purr of his name, inches from his ear, he found himself rooted to the spot, his limbs bled of all volition.
"William. My sweet, sweet William."
Continued in Road Tripp'n Part Six