Another chapter of what is turning out to be longer than I expected. One more coming tonight, both crossposted to my own LJ.
Chapter Five: Wet and Windy
Spike woke to the sound of metal creaking, water sloshing and wind howling. Again. He groaned and tried to find a comfortable spot to lie down in again. Cargo travel had seemed such a good idea in LA, even in NO. Not so much now, trapped in the container, nothing to do, nothing and no-one to eat, not even a radio to listen to. Vampires might be good at lying still, but this was bloody ridiculous.
Giving up, he pushed back the tarp and sat up. A few tiny pinpoints of light swayed across the steel wall in front of him; he followed the rays back to their source in a side wall – must be on the outside of the stack, then. Great. First to go under if the cargo broke loose. He really did not want to follow the pouf to a watery grave, whether temporary or not.
He stretched upwards, flexed his hands, then sprang to the top of the cab. Nope – still couldn’t quite touch the ceiling. Not quite.
Jumping towards the ceiling took up an hour. Fine. Only four hundred or so to go. Perhaps a stroll around his vehicle?
Twenty minutes of that was enough. Idly pushing the door back and forth lasted for five. He lay down under the tarp again. That git from Transylvania had it right. Sleep was the answer.
A few hours later he struggled back into consciousness, aware that the flatbed was shifting within the container, the whole ship rocking violently. No spots of light, so perhaps it was dark. Bugger it, though. The bloody boat was rocking. A lot.
He staggered around the truck two or three times. Some bleeding constitutional that was. Rusty metal grazed his hands as he lurched from one side to the next, bruises blossomed on his skin.
Giving up, he swung himself into the driver’s seat. At least there was a strap there; he could pretend to stay still.
“Hello, my Spike. You’ve come to join me at last. Is the nasty rough ship getting you upset?”
Spike didn’t bother to turn to look. “Piss off. You’re not Dru. She’s not here and she wouldn’t talk to me like that anyway. Not after Mister Slimeballs.”
Drusilla pouted. “That’s not fair. You don’t want to play, and Miss Edith wants a special party.”
“Shut up. That sack of hammers stuff was cute when I was still hers, but it cuts no ice with me now. Bugger off, will you. Let me be bored in peace.”
“You didn’t have to do this, you know. This long, slow, suicide trip.” His own voice, rational, persuasive. “It’s not as if she’ll thank you when she sees you. If she sees you. Not as if you did so well last time, is it. Blonde girl dancing across a crowded room, having fun. Without you. As it should be. You’ll never be good enough for her.”
“Oh shut the fuck up. Think I don’t know that? Think I haven’t got it factored in already? There’s no-one left in LA. You want me away from her. Can’t think of anything else to do, nor of a better reason to be near her. She needs me. I’m going. Now piss off.”
“And how are you going to make me?” The thing expanded, hideous claws raking towards him, howls filling the cab with noise.
Spike raised an eyebrow. “Trouble with you, you plonker, is that you’re stupid. I am the beasty that scares kiddies. Things of darkness run in fear from me. What makes you think your fancy dress games will work?
A calm, quiet man in clerical garb sat next to him. “Now, why don’t we just thrash it out here, man to man? Be reasonable. What kinda hold has that little girl got on you? She’s just dirty, you know. Dirty at heart like all of them.”
“She cut you into itty bitty little strips. I don’t need to listen to you. You must have a good reason for trying to talk me out of this trip. Don’t care what it is and it’s not as if you’d tell me truthfully. If you could sink this ship, you’d have done it by now. I’m a big boy – I can cope with a rough crossing if that’s the worst you’ve got for me. But I am going to Italy, and no way are you stopping me.”
Harmony giggled, peeked at him from under her eyelashes in a way she perhaps thought seductive. “Italy? Oh my poor Blondie Bear. You just go to Italy. Have some lovely ice cream. If that’s what you want? I’m doing better than I thought.”
Suddenly he was alone. He shook his head. Something didn’t compute there. That thing – Harm, whatever – had seemed pleased as well as amused. Strange.
Ah well. Only three hundred and eighty hours left. Time for some intensive relaxing.
Next: Chapter 6
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/438045.html