Sequel to Easier Said
Author's Notes: This is a sequel to my fic "Easier Said."
Betas: Colleen, Mezzibelle, Magpie and Perletwo
Special Thanks: To Kelly, Magpie, and Chris for help with the medical research. And to my fans that have sent me kind emails prompting the continuation of this story. Thank you. :-)
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 Nine
"You know what your problem is?" she asked, puckering her lips in a cute frown.
Spike sighed dramatically. "No, but I'm sure you'll tell me."
"You don't know how to have fun."
Barking laughter burst from him, and Buffy's smile filled his vision once more.
"Me? I'm the fun one in this mix, my sweet." Spike grinned, his hand creeping up her thigh.
"Are not!" Buffy said, indignant, slapping his hand away.
"Are too! Whose idea was it to do it on top of the water tower?"
"That railing was cold!"
"I gave you my coat."
"Still..." she said, waving it off with a flick of her wrist. "Who won all those kittens when we played kitten poker?"
"Oh yeah... I set them free though."
"That you did, love."
"So see? I'm more fun than you!"
"Why? Because you set a bunch of hairballs loose? That's the going rate for being crowned queen of the bloody fun?"
"Yes," she said, sticking her tongue out at him.
Spike chuckled. "Don't stick that out unless you're willing to use it, pet."
"Oh, I'm willing..." she purred, and Spike shivered slightly. Then he looked around, confused.
"Where are we again, love?"
"Okay, now where am I?" Buffy muttered to herself, peering at the road signs. Driving really wasn't her thing, she had decided. Of course, she had decided that long ago, but reaffirmation never hurt anyone. And now she could quite confidently say that the blue line on her map did not exist. It had to be one of those phantom roads that led down some endless journey of self-exploration, which she couldn't really afford to be on at the moment. She needed to find Spike!
Buffy felt the baggie full of smaller baggies inside her jacket pocket. The ingredients. Just the touch of them through the plastic comforted her. She'd reach him in time. She had toshe was the hero, right? The one that burst through the door at the last second, ready to save the day...
Wait! Was that the on-ramp? Yes! And that blue line-thingy must be that other road. Ha!
Now she was getting somewhere.
"Well?" Fred asked anxiously.
Angel smiled, which oddly enough, he thought, didn't make her relax. "Connor checked out fine. He's just running a bit of a temperature. Doctor gave me this... Two droppers full every six hours," Angel recited, showing her the bottle.
"Okay, what do you guys want?" Gunn asked, as he and Cordelia approached, arms laden with vending machine snack-food.
"Oh, M&M's please!" Fred said, snatching the candy bag from Gunn.
Cordelia smiled. "Midnight munchies...aren't they great? Perfect time for the chocolate."
"I like corn nuts," Angel said. They all stared at him. "What?"
"Must be a vampire thing," Fred said, picking out the blue M&M's and giving them to Gunn.
"What are you doing?" Cordy asked her.
"Oh, I don't eat anything blue," she said absently.
"Of course not," Cordy nodded in mock agreement. Fred continued without noticing.
"On Pylea, they had these really sweet fruit named 'gorcadema'. They looked sorta like a pear, only they were blue. All of the cows...humans ate them. Until Randy, he was a year older than me with dark hair and pretty eyes. He said he liked my chin. Isn't that funny? How many people go around noticing a chin? Anyway, there is this little native fly on Pylea that lays its eggs in the fruit. Only they don't hatch until some unsuspecting person eats them and their stomach acid dissolves the protective membrane around the eggs. Then the flies crawl their way up, flying out your mouth and nose for days on end."
"Glad I asked," Cordy replied, handing her chocolate bar back to Gunn.
"What happened to Randy?" Angel asked.
"Nothing. The flies don't really hurt you or anything, so he was fine. That is until his master got upset at him for not chopping enough wood for the day. He was distracted because of the flies, and I mean, who wouldn't be? Crawling up the back of your throat, their tiny little legs..."
"Fred!" they all protested.
"Oh...sorry. Anyway, his master activated his collar and poof, no more head for Randy," Fred said, idly munching. "The flies didn't have to crawl very far to get out after that," she mumbled. Gunn put a supportive arm around her and squeezed. She thanked him with a slight smile.
"So that's why I don't eat anything blue."
"Ah. Great story. Really gripping with the exploding heads and all," Cordy said, then turned her attention to Angel and the now asleep Connor. "Everything checked out okay, right? Just a slight fever?"
Angel smiled. "Yeah, Connor's fine. Got some medicine to give him."
"So no more late-night trips to the emergency room for all of us? 'Cause, I got to tell you, it's really cutting into my beauty sleep."
"I said I could handle it," Angel said, a bit wounded.
"Oh as if you wouldn't be a quivering bucket of stupid if something was really wrong...not that there ever would be. Ever. Like never," Cordelia back-tracked at the look of panic in Angel's eyes.
"It's just...he's mine. I helped create him. He's my responsibility and that's..." Angel trailed off.
"Scary," Cordy finished.
They all paused, absorbing that, until Gunn broke the silence.
"Well, I don't know about you guys, but Connor has the right idea. Let's head home and get some sleep."
"Up past your bedtime, Charles?" Fred taunted.
"Hey, I'll stay up as long as you, Winifred," he replied, and she punched him lightly.
"Good idea. The sleep part, I mean," Cordy agreed. "Are we ready to go?"
"Spike!" The voice slipped hard into his consciousness, rousing him slightly.
"What? Are we there yet?"
"What? Quit shouting. Trying to sleep here," he mumbled, finally prying his eyes open.
Oh fuck, the pain... It racked and stretched through his body.
"God...what happened to you? And what's that smell?"
Spike focused on the voice and saw Julie sitting in the driver's side of the Cadillac. Not Buffy.
"Where is she?" Spike demanded, grabbing her arm.
"Ow! Hey, quit it! You're hurting me!"
"Where the fuck is she!" he yelled, then crumpled over as his stiff body sent a wave of pain through him from the sudden movement. It felt as if molten steel were being poured down his hollow veins. He released Julie's arm and tried to focus on the seams of the seat. Threads. Tight little threads holding the fabric together. So small, he thought. What happens when you pull them...
"Spike, I don't have time to explain, but we have to get out of here. Now! Do you have the keys? Where are the keys?" Julie said, patting down his jeans. She fished them out of his pocket even as he gritted his teeth, fighting to stay conscious. But a thought pierced even the deepest wave of agony.
You're hurting me!
The chip. His head. The fucking chip hadn't fired.
The raw, startled laugh that emerged from his cracked lips died in silent convulsions; his ribs like claws inside his chest, raking with every heave.
Julie was speaking, talking to him. He tried to focus.
"I know a place. Somewhere safe. We'll go there and get you fixed up. Okay?"
Fixed... Yes. Dru fixed him alright. His malevolent queen; she wanted him free of the chip, free to kill.
Nowhere else to turn. Drusilla. Buffy. His loves were gone. All gone. What was left besides pain? Blinding, horrible pain...
And Julie. Shit. He'd meant to help; now he could barely keep from shaking.
"Go. Take me there," Spike rasped, even as he tried to sit up straight.
He could feel his body, weakskin starting to itch and burn.
How far away was he now? He'd lost track of the mile markers. Peaches would know. Should look him up while in L.A. Laugh about women and torture. Catch up on old times... Get an old stake shoved through his heart. Finish things once and for all.
Julie started the car, the engine rocking him slightly as it turned over.
Chipless and free. He had dreamed about it so many times. Begged for it from whatever deity sprang to his lips when the chip blasted sparks through his brain. At least, he used to, before...before...
Spike leaned back into the leather of the seat, eyes closed.
Yes, movement. He had to keep moving. No point in being here. No point in being anywhere, really. But he felt the need for something fast. Maybe they could drive blazing into the morning. Let the sun wash over him like a fiery baptism.
Maybe then he would truly be free of her.
"See, that's the funny part; I could eat green eggs and ham. But if they were blue..." Fred said to Gunn, following Angel and Cordelia out the hospital doors.
She almost ran into Angel's broad back as he abruptly halted in front of her.
"What? Are we stopping now?" Fred asked, looking at Angel curiously. He didn't answer. His eyes were fixed on a maroon colored convertible and the two people inside. One was...
"Hey, isn't that Julie?" Fred asked.
"Yes," Angel said.
"I wonder who the guy is?"
Angel didn't reply. Silently, he handed off Connor to Cordelia, who took him without hesitation. She too had seen the blond passenger.
"Call Wesley and get a ride back," Angel said curtly, before he was off running for his own car.
"Gosh, what was all that about?" Fred asked as Connor began to cry.
Cordy absently bounced him several times in her arms, a frown firmly in place as she watched the souled vampire's retreating form.
"Spike's back in town."
"She's alright, then?" Spike asked, wincing as he shifted in his seat.
"Yes. Scared out of her mind after the power went out, but okay. Just what Michelle needed after surgery," Julie replied, not looking at him. "Can you believe it? Right when we make a run for it, her appendix almost burst. She said she was having stomach pains, but I figured it was nerves. Hell, I thought my guts were going to crawl out of me when we finally made a break for it. Couldn't eat anything at all yesterday. Damn, I'm hungry."
Hunger. Yes, Spike felt the familiar tug of hunger grow into a full-blown truck pull in his stomach. He needed to feed; the damage from the electricity was severe. He could feel it in his bones, scorched to the marrow.
"Where are we going?" he asked, licking his parched lips.
Julie flashed him a wicked, white smile. "Vick's place."
"What the hell is he doing in my town?" Angel said to himself, reluctantly stopping at a red light when he spotted a cop car behind him.
"Just my luck," he muttered, as the police lights came on as the light turned green. Angel pulled over to the side of the road followed closely by the black and white car. Two burly cops emerged, flanking his car as they approached, hands on their guns.
"Evening, officers. How may I help you?" Polite. Heck, sometimes it worked.
Both cops drew their pistols and aimed them at Angel's head.
Okay, sometimes it doesn't, Angel thought. So who were these jokers? Wolfram and Hart boys? Bounty hunters after Connor? A glance in the mirror at least told him a part of the story. Vampires.
"Eyes forward! Hands where we can see them!"
Angel contemplated his next move as he slowly raised his hands, his eyes fixed on the road ahead. Just then he locked gazes with a passing motorist. A shiver of raw emotion slithered down his spine, as it always did whenever he saw her.
"Angel!" Buffy yelped, slamming on her brakes as she spotted him, her tires squealing and sputtering smoke. She barely had time to take in the tableau of police and lights and drawn guns before Angel took advantage of the burnt rubber distraction and leaped from his car, plunging a stake into the heart of the nearest cop.
Buffy almost sighed in relief when she saw the police uniform crumble to dust.
'Great, vamps,' she thought.
Okay, vamps with guns!
Buffy's eyes widened as the other vampire fired several shots at Angel, who was doing his best to put his car between him and the flying bullets.
"Buffy!" he yelled, crouched down behind the front bumper of his car.
"Just my luck," she muttered. Stupid vamps with guns.
She stared at him for a second, not understanding. Angel rolled his eyes.
"Oh!" she exclaimed, as she took her foot off the brake and hit the gas, making a sharp, squealing U-turn. She reached over and flung open the passenger door. Angel dived inside just as she jammed the accelerator hard.
"Keep down!" he said as a bullet shattered the passenger mirror. Buffy slouched in her seat as best she could, turning sharply onto a side street.
"It's okay," Angel said after a moment, looking back. "I don't think he's following us."
"So...you forget to pay some parking tickets?" she asked with a slight smile.
"Refused to donate to the policemen's ball," he smiled back, briefly. "It's good to see you again, Buffy."
"Thanks. You too."
"Turn here," he gestured. After a couple more turns they were back on Main Street with Angel craning his head, looking around.
"I thought you said he wasn't following us," Buffy said, puzzled.
"No, it's not that," Angel replied, distracted. "Dammit, I lost them."
Continued in Road Tripp'n Part Ten