The air outside the Bronze seemed
noisier than usual. Probably because the entire walk there had been silent…
Spike and I hadn’t said a word. Now even our uncomfortable silence was gone. I sighed, and glanced at the long noisy line out the Bronze door.
Spike moved closer as he spoke in
an almost whisper, like what he had to say was secret, “You’ve got somethin‘ to
“Don’t you?” his head turned, “You
haven’t made a peep since we left… that means you’re thinkin‘ about something… plottin‘
out your words…”
My chilled fingers wrapped around
my arms. Never any fooling him… unless he’s so blind that he starts to see
what he wants. Then he’s fooled… dangerous fool, that’s what you are, Spike.
So am I, of course…
“Figured it might be about the
My head lowered. A strand of hair
stuck to my lip, and I smoothed it back.
“You saw something… you can tell
me, unless you can’t. Either way… your decision.”
“It’s not—” I stopped, lowering my
voice, “It’s not like I want to keep things from you, Spike.”
Tonight is just way too
conversational, “Of course it’s not!”
Spike stopped. A couple Bronze-ravers
glanced our way, and Spike fished his cigarettes out.
I took a deep breath, “Look, the
other night I… the three men… one of them showed me a vision of what’s coming,
The flame flickered in his eyes
before he clicked the lighter closed.
“It’s bad.” I stepped closer, “I’m
talking thousands-of-ubervamps bad.”
He pulled away the cigarette,
taking a step forward. Smoke trickled off his lips and into the air, “I’m
The scent filled my nostrils… filled
my senses. The old-Spike scent… the bad-Spike scent. His fingers slid around
my hip. Oh, bad Spike. Please don’t do that… please no more touching. I
dropped the weapons bag.
His mouth opened as my eyes begged
him to stop, and he tightened his grip on me. I gasped, closing my eyes. No,
no, no… I could feel his lips at mine. Just tickling above mine, a soft
whisper of wind and cigarettes I could almost taste. Then his head tilted, and
the lips moved to my ear.
“You’re afraid?” his other hand had
dropped the cigarette, and now rested on my shivering shoulder.
I opened my eyes to the shining
duster and his pale neck. I backed away, but he stepped with me, and I kept
moving until I bumped into a wall. He backed his head away from mine then.
“You don’t have to run…” he said,
lifting his hand to push my hair back, “Too strong to run.” His eyes twinkled,
“Too stubborn, you are…”
My hands had met his at my waist,
where I pushed him off.
He dropped back a couple steps. He
chuckled, and then pouted. “See? Stubborn. Didn’t let me finish…”
“We don’t have time—”
He was up next to me again, “I’ll
be quick,” his eyes locked mine as his hands held me in place.
“Just… let me say it, will you?” he
begged. His voice was almost desperate.
He sighed, smiling slightly. It
quickly faded as he searched for words, “I’ll… I’ll be here… when it happens.
I’ll follow you to that battle, Buffy, and I’ll fight however you want.”
Spike… “I already know that.”
“No,” he blinked, looking down,
“This isn’t a promise… don’t act like it’s a promise.”
Not a promise? “Spike?”
“It’s a surrender, Buffy…” he
lifted his eyes to mine, “The vow of a warrior. Your warrior…” he blushed a
little, stepping back, “If you’ll have him…” he stared at my feet.
I smiled, my hand sliding around
his arm. It was all I could do. ‘I’ve always had him,’ or ‘If he’ll have me,’
just sounded so lame compared to his words… I couldn’t bring myself to say
anything. I hoped my actions said enough.
His smile told me they had.
We were early, and I slipped away
from Spike to wander around the trees surrounding the bus stop. Spike sat on
“Seems to me those blind blokes
should be here by now.”
I pulled a sword from the bag,
“Potential’s name is… Melody… I think.”
Spike stood, rummaging through the
weapons, “Melody, eh?” he pulled away with a crossbow, “Slayers always got the
wackiest names…” he trailed off when I glared at him. “I didn’t mean you…”
“Right… because when you’re talking
about Slayers, you couldn’t possibly be talking about the actual Slayer.”
“Right,” he crouched and loaded the
bow with a teasing smile, "But I guess I’m really not one to talk
I leaned against the bench, “One
more thing you and I have in common, eh pet?”
He blinked up, his face sincere.
It didn’t last long, and he was digging through the weapons again, “Besides,”
he set a knife on the sidewalk, near a whisper, “Love your name…”
“Oh, please…” I turned around,
rolling my eyes.
I heard him stand, “This makes how
many potentials, now?” he scowled, “Might be time to start lookin‘ into hotel
“You’re right,” I twirled the
sword, watching the moonlight beam off the blade, “We’re running out of
“Gotta stick’em somewhere…” he was
in front of me now, “’Fore you know it, house’ll be just like that Council
I glanced at my watch and sighed,
“Still another twenty minutes.”
He bounced back and forth in front
of me, “Up for a dance, Slayer?”
I couldn’t hide my smile, “What?”
“C’mon,” he lifted his fists,
“Nothing heavy… just a warm-up.”
I pressed the sword into the grass.
“That’s it…” his fingers flickered,
“Wow me, Slayer.”
I sprung forward, flipping off my
hands and landing a foot to his chest. I regained my footing just above him.
His eyebrows perked up, “Not bad…”
I bent to grab him by the duster,
but his legs tangled mine and twisted me to the ground. He rolled me on my
back before pinning me there. My blood rushed through me, every inch of my
skin begging for his lips.
“Now, that was bad…” his tongue
teased from between his teeth.
I flipped him off easy, quickly
relieved to have my jumpy nerves calmed. He flew to my right, landing against
a tree. I snapped up to pin him there.
His breath came uneasy as I pressed
his wrists against the bark, twisting his hands behind his back. His arm
finally fell into place, and I found myself strapped against his body, holding
his arms to the tree-trunk.
He took three short breaths, and
then dropped his eyes to mine.
My sword had been out of the ground
for ten minutes, and there were still three Bringers to be slaughtered. Spike
got the potential, and she stood behind him with the crossbow as he beat down
I ducked under a blade and slid the
sword into the last Bringer. He plopped at my feet, and I wiped the blood onto
his cloak before walking towards Spike.
“More than usual,” Spike panted.
“Yeah. The First must be gettin‘
“Could be,” he stepped away,
motioning for the girl to go to me. She didn’t move, still holding the
crossbow up. She was trembling.
I stepped forward and smoothed her
blond hair, “It’s alright. You’re safe now.”
“Safe now?” Spike said when the
girl went upstairs.
I shrugged, “Safer, I guess.”
“Start her up tomorrow mornin‘,” Spike settled
on the couch, “Actually, morning’s only a couple hours away… better make it
“I’m, uh, gonna go get a glass of water… did
you…” I shut my mouth when his eyes opened up at me, “Are you… did you want me
to get you some blood?”
He gave a heavy sigh and stood.
What? Spike? “You don’t have to get up, I’ll
“No,” he marched past me, “I’ll take care of
I followed him into the kitchen, “Look, I wasn’t
trying to make you uncomfortable…”
“You didn’t,” he opened the freezer, frosty air
surrounding him, “Don’t worry.”
I pulled a glass from the cupboard, and handed
him a mug, “I’m sorry.”
The ceramic mug dinked against the counter,
“Don’t say that.”
I paused, and then stepped past him to open the
fridge, “Is there anything I should say?”
He sighed, stopping all his movements and closing
his eyes. His hands dropped to the countertop.
I lifted the pitcher and the silence was broken
by the sound of the water filling my glass. Then came the noise as he placed
his cup in the microwave. He beeped a few buttons. The whirr began, and he
stood palms-down in front of it. His head fell forward.
I took a drink, the cool water soothing my tired
muscles. I stood there waiting. Say something, Spike. Talk to me. What did
I do wrong? But he didn’t say anything. Only the whirr of the microwave
filled the room. I took another sip.
Finally, the microwave dinged, and he popped it
open. He still kept his back to me as he lifted the mug. He paused, moving
his head slightly, “Say goodnight, Buffy.”
I stood behind him a little longer before dumping
my water into the sink.
Continued in Part 19