Big Bad Wolf (Chap. 1 & 2 and a bit of 3)

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Title: Big Bad Wolf
Author: auntiero
Rating: PG-13… for now
Setting: Spring about 4 years after the collapse of the Hellmouth in Sunnydale
Summary: What creatures lurk near the site of the Sunnydale Crater now? Are they demons or animals or both? Buffy’s come back to find out and Spike follows, still helplessly in love with her. What ensues is a bit of romance. A bit of angst. And a whole lot of magic weirdness.

Disclaimer: Unky Joss? Can Spike and Buffy come out to play? (Gotta ask, cause they’re his… not mine… I have no rights to them, but he (and ME and whoever else) just smiles indulgently and let me play with them.)
Other Pairings: Allusions to previous relationships ’cause Buffy and Spike naturally come with baggage
Thanks: Many, many thanks to itmustbetuesday for this community and to my fabulous betas ladypeyton and she who won’t be named. Thanks, guys for all of the encouragement! (Psst…. the end bits of chapter 3 aren’t beta’d yet, but I wanted to post this today. *blush*)

Other: As a previous poster has said, feedback is as food. Please comment! :)
He prowled through the night, silently stalking her. She came this way often lately – in the ruined woods around the crater that contained the rubble of Sunnydale – wearing that god awful red knit cap pulled down low over her ears. It was a nightly routine lately. He couldn’t figure out why she came. Nothing lurked here any longer – except him. The Hellmouth was closed for business. But he kept an eye over her, watched her back – like he had for years now.

How had it happened; this caring for her? How had it crept into his being and now his very soul? She had certainly made it clear he disgusted her.

Not at the last though. Her true feelings shone through even though you tried to deny them, mate. For her sake you told yourself. Her sake.

Yet, there it was. Bright as the daylight he didn’t dare walk in. It burned as much as daylight too. The care of her – it was a fire in his soul that banished thoughts of anyone else. Now it consumed him.

He suspected she knew he was here in these woods with her, but she didn’t let on. How did she know though? Giles certainly wouldn’t have told her. Didn’t matter to him that he was there at the end. To Giles he’d always be bloody William the Bloody. Didn’t matter to Giles he’d saved the bleedin’ world. Twice, thank you very much. Nah, it wasn’t Giles.

Andrew might have blabbed, the little sod. But he didn’t think she’d lend credence to his word. Or she wouldn’t have a year or more ago. Truth was he didn’t know what she would do or think about him nowadays. His own fault he supposed. He’d kept his distance after the whole craziness in L.A. Didn’t think it right to be moonin’ about after her. But he’d kept tabs on her; especially after she ended it with The Immortal so abruptly three months ago. He didn’t know what had happened, but he was glad she came to her senses. He wasn’t worthy of her for all his sodding immortality. No one was in his opinion, so how could he be? Which begged the question – yet again – why was he here now?

He breathed in deeply as her cap caught his eye again. He pictured the gleaming tresses it covered – remembered the way they felt between his fingers, the fragrance of it. His nostrils flared as he caught her scent – clean, alive, and earthy. It enveloped him, heady as any perfume. It captivated him. He pictured himself wrapped in her arms again, tortured himself with what could never be.

“Sod it,” he muttered. He silently pushed off from the tree he was leaning against to give up his vigil for the night. Her red cap flashed insolently through the leafless branches of the woods, the moonlight muting the color to shades of grey, but he could still tell it was red.

Something must have alerted her to his presence. She turned sharply in his direction. Her hazel eyes searched the shadows. He withdrew further into the shadows, stilled his breath and his body as he used to when stalking prey. She tilted her head to the side and scanned the area again. She started in his direction, stake at the ready.

“Who’s there?” She peered into the darkness and stepped off the path.

He sighed deeply. Nothing for it then, she was bound to find him. He stepped from the shadows. “Best not to stray from the path, pet. Never know what’s left lurkin’ in these woods.”

“Spike.” The word came out on a breath – exasperation and something else. He didn’t dare read anything into it.

“Buffy,” he replied.

She dropped the stake. A good sign for him, he hoped.

“What are you doing here?”

“Not much, pet. Strolling. Taking in the evening air. Enjoying the beauty of nature.” He let his gaze rove over her body. She stiffened and then visibly shook herself, regaining her composure even as he watched.

“A stroll,” she glanced around, one eyebrow arched delicately. “Here? Pretty far from L.A. aren’t you?’

“No law against it.”

She shrugged.

He nodded towards her hat, “So what’s with the Red Riding Hood bit?”

“The Red Rid…” Her hand flew to her hat. “Oh! My hat! Um… nothing. Nothing. It was chilly. I needed a hat. Grabbed the first one… hey! You distracted me!” He grinned. “You… you… never mind about my hat. Just answer my question. What are you doing here?’

He grinned wolfishly, “Wouldn’t you like to know.” Ah! He enjoyed this. He couldn’t resist baiting her.

“Fine. Be mysterious, Spike. I’m patrolling. There have been rumors of … something. I’m just making sure the woods stay clear of any Hellmouthy badness.” She turned her back on him.

“What sorts of rumors?” he asked, although he was sure he could guess what they were. There was something lurking in the woods, terrorizing those poor, lost souls who accidentally wandered into their depths. He felt its presence every night since he started watching her again. It was dark and malevolent. Perhaps one of the old ones had somehow managed to escape before the town was swallowed into the void. But he couldn’t figure out how that could be. He hadn’t heard sod-all about anything until recently; until she came back. Which made him wonder…

“You know – rumors of livestock from surrounding farms going missing, pets. No children yet or lone adults, but still…” She looked at him with intent consideration. “So how long have you been haunting these woods, Spike?”

“Haunt… Me? You don’t honestly believe…”

She sighed. “No, Spike, I don’t. Not with all you’ve done.” She walked further into the woods, closer to him. She looked almost… dejected.

“Well that’s something, innit?” he muttered. He stepped towards her, reached out his hand to help her over a rock. She stopped and looked at his proffered hand, and then up at him, into his blue eyes. “Well, pet. Shall we? Once more into the breach and all that?”

Buffy hesitated; then, more tentatively than she wanted to let on, placed her hand in his allowing him to lead her further from the path. She drew in a sharp breath as his hand swallowed her much smaller one. A jolt of awareness ran through her at the innocent touch. Memories came flooding back. He must have felt it too. His fingers tightened around hers. Their eyes locked and held for long minutes. The call of an owl broke the spell and their eyes slid away from the other, their hands unclasped. Buffy strode forward.

“It could be nothing more than a wild animal, you know. A bear or mountain lion.”

“Who are you trying to convince, Slayer? Me or you? Going soft, are you?”

She glared at him. “Am not!”

He gazed steadily at her, a knowing smirk on his lips. “Hit a nerve there, haven’t I?”

“Oh! You haven’t changed, Spike. Not one bit.” She strode away, further into the woods. Now it was his turn to be offended.

“I have so!” He strode after her and caught her by the arm, spun her about. “I’ve changed, Buffy. For you. For you! Don’t you get it, yet? I died for you. You had to live on, so I had to die.”

Stricken, she blurted out the first words that came to her mind, “But you didn’t stay dead!”

“Neither did you!” It rang like an accusation in the air, shocking them both into silence. Blue eyes pierced hazel. “Neither did you, Slayer,” he said again, softly this time.

The air around them went still. It was as though the very trees held their breaths. “Spike…” her voice was pleading now, but for what he didn’t know, couldn’t tell. It had been too long. She sighed again, shrugged her shoulders and straightened up. “We can’t do this again. I … can’t…”

Spike grinned wolfishly again. “I’m under your skin, Slayer. That’s what this is all about isn’t it?”

“Under my… of all the… Gah!” She threw up her arms in disgust and stomped deeper into the woods. The trees overlapped now, obscuring the moon and the stars from above. She scanned the ground for any signs of a path.

“Admit it, Buffy,” he taunted behind her. “I’m under your skin. You need me like no one else. I understand you better than anyone else.”

Buffy started muttering under her breath. He caught snatches of “cookie dough” and “crazy” and “Spike” and “dead,” but couldn’t make any of the details out. She spun on her heel abruptly and he nearly ran smack into her. She jabbed her finger into his chest. “What gives you the right to get all stalky on me after… what? Nearly two years? And try to … I don’t know what… and … damn it all to hell, Spike! You’re not supposed to be here! When Willow told me…”

“Willow?” He was grinning, but the grin melted away at the knowledge that it was Willow who had told her.

“Yes. Willow. She knows everything that goes on now, particularly with people she’s close with or has some sort of connection to. Something to do with energies and ley lines and… I don’t know… wicca stuff, I guess. Anyway, she told me… I don’t know… that you were this Champion now. That you were the one who finally closed the portal in L.A. That you saved Angel and Wes and … well… all of them. That now you were going around protecting the innocent or something like that. I didn’t know what to think… what to do…” Her voice died away.

He looked down into her upturned face. “What did you want to do, Buffy?”

She dropped her head, looked out into the woods past his shoulder. “I… I don’t know… I wanted… I wanted to believe it. And I didn’t want to believe it. I wanted to run and find you. Tell you…” Her shoulders sagged in defeat. “I don’t know what I wanted, Spike.” She turned from him. “Why didn’t you call me?” she asked in a voice so soft even he had to strain to hear her with his highly tuned hearing.

“Why didn’t I?” He put his hands on her shoulders, “Buffy, is that what this is all about? I didn’t call you? So you shackled yourself to The Bloody Immortal?”

She shrugged his hands off her shoulders petulantly. “No… yes… I don’t know.” Turning, she faced him, “Spike, I… when you were gone… when I thought you were gone… I … it… it was too much. I needed… I…” She sighed.

And then it was clear to him. He reached out to her and started to gather her gently into his arms. Then he stiffened and shouted. “Bleedin’ hell! ARGH!” His back arched and he slumped to the ground.

The world flew to pieces then. There was the rankness of animal fur and dead, rotting flesh and stale blood. Growling filled the night. She caught glimpses of a beast, an animal, circling around her in lightening fast jumps. She crouched into a fighting stance, drawing a sword from the scabbard strapped to her back. “Right. Bring it on,” she challenged.

Spike staggered to his feet and found his balance. He drew his own weapon and took his stance at her back facing out. Without thought, they tracked the snarling beast as one, circling with it, back to back. “Ugh! What is it?” she asked as its stench filled her nostrils. Spike coughed at the smell and choked out, “I don’t know, but I think it’s got a friend. Either that or it moves just that fast.”

“Lovely,” she returned wryly.

As though the word was a signal, the beast sprang. It was fast and strong. Though her blade was a blur, Buffy still felt the rake of its claws across her flesh again and again. Behind her, she could tell Spike was busy fending off the second beast. From the invective that flew from his mouth, she could tell he wasn’t having much luck either.

“Fast! Too fast!” he shouted. “How do we stop them?”

Claws rang against steel as she blocked another swipe from the beast. “I don’t know!” It closed in on her, too close to swing. She resorted to kicking it instead. The first kick missed and she took a swipe to her leg. The next one connected solidly though and the animal yelped in surprise and, she hoped, pain. It backed away enough for her to swing again. The blow was true and the sword sliced cleanly through the creature’s neck.

The beast attacking Spike seemed to sense the death of its partner and set up a loud howl before retreating with staggering speed back into the trees. Buffy sagged against Spike. He caught her up under her arms. “Steady there, Slayer.”

“Couldn’t let it… you… Oh, Spike!” She threw herself into his embrace as all the words that were locked inside her for years tumbled out; her fears for him, her fantasies, her lust, her fears for herself, the future. All of it in a torrent of words, tumbling over themselves in a rush.

Spike wasn’t sure what to do next. If he understood the jumble of words correctly, Buffy was confessing her love to him. But what if he was wrong? What if this was just some weird trick of his brain as it tried to focus through the pain of the cuts and gashes inflicted by the beast? The beast! He had to get her out of here before the second one came back – perhaps with friends. He couldn’t lose her now. Not now that she had … no… not now…

“Buffy… Buffy… come on… we have to go. We’re not safe here. Do you have a car?”

The torrent of words came to an abrupt halt. She stopped and looked into his face. A mask seemed to slide over her features. He regretted it, but did what was necessary. They could sort this out once they got away. “Buffy!” he said urgently.

“A … car… yes… yes of course.” She pulled away from him, turned and started walking. Somehow she managed to find the path again. It was there – straight, narrow, leading to the car, back to civilization, to safety.

Spike exhaled deeply. She was going to be difficult again. She had misunderstood his urgency, but he needed her safe… to know she was safe. They hiked in strained silence to her rental car. His bike was parked next to it. She drew up at the sight.

“I’ll follow you,” he said bleakly.

She nodded briskly, still not looking at him and got into the car. After a minute, he mounted his bike and it roared to life. They were off.

Buffy drove until she came to the motel that she had made her base of operations while she checked out the rumors of the beast. That much of her story was true. She had come based on the rumors. If she had hoped to find traces of Spike while out here, well… that was her business, she thought to herself. She parked the car and got out while Spike swung in next to her. Without a word, she led him to her motel room and opened the door.

It was an unimpressive room done in Early Motel with a palette of tans and beiges that had been fashionable at one point, but just looked drab now. There was an odd funk to the room as well – an odd mixture of mildew and industrial cleaner. Housekeeping had been by to straighten the room, turn down the bed invitingly for a weary traveler. Buffy stepped in and flicked on the light. The fluorescent bulb in the lamp by the bed flickered on and cast an electric glow into the room, adding a green cast to the neutral colors. She stood by the bed. He stood by the table.

“I’m going to go… clean up,” she stated. He didn’t say anything, just gazed at her. She turned abruptly and disappeared into the bathroom.

As the door shut behind her, he sagged into a chair. What was he doing? Did he think he could just pick up where they left off before the Hellmouth collapsed? Too much time had passed. He berated himself for 10 kinds of a fool. She wouldn’t allow it. He shouldn’t allow it. But it was her, Buffy. Shouldn’t and wouldn’t didn’t play into this equation for him. He had to explain to her, make her understand, show her he was worthy. But not force himself on her. No. He’d made that mistake once. Never again would he try that. He scrubbed his eye sockets with the heels of his hands, trying to erase the memory.

She had been horrified and disgusted with him then, but not half as horrified as he had been. And then once he’d gotten his soul back… the guilt still tore at him even three years later. She was the one pure thing in his long life (after life) and he had killed it. Or at least seriously maimed it. He should just leave. Disappear from her life again.

He heard the water to the shower turn off. The sudden silence startled him. He hastily wiped at this eyes, hoping none of his thoughts showed there. But he couldn’t hide the raw emotion that crossed his face as she opened the door swathed in nothing but a motel towel and steam.

And he knew he would never be able to disappear from her life again.

She stood in the doorway, hesitant and vulnerable. He read the uncertainty in her eyes, her hands clutching at the towel, her shoulders slightly hunched to her ears. He read it all like a well loved book and knew he was there to stay this time. He stood.

Buffy didn’t know what to do with herself; with the reality of Spike in her motel room. So many emotions warred for supremacy, but the one that kept rising to the top was hope. It had been so long that she’d felt hope, that she didn’t recognize it right away. When she finally did, her eyes grew wide.

He took in the widening of her eyes and, mistaking the cause, tried to make himself as non-threatening as possible. His mind winged back to that other bathroom and what he had tried to do. No. That wasn’t him anymore. He had changed he had to prove that to her. A joke! Yes… that was the thing. But in all his time with her, sparring with her, baiting with her, he had never been more at a loss for a sarcastic remark. And yet there she stood, her eyes wide…

“My, my, my, Slayer. What big eyes you have.”

Buffy wasn’t sure what she was expecting, but that certainly wasn’t it. She glanced down at her chest to see – yes, she was covered decently. He really was talking about her … eyes. Her mouth dropped open. Spike took a hesitant step towards her.

“And what a big mouth you have.”

Buffy snapped her mouth shut and stepped towards him. She hadn’t felt this off balance, this unsure of herself since her first semester at college. Was he… flirting with her? No… yes? Maybe. And from somewhere came the words, “Aren’t those supposed to be my lines? I mean… you’re the Big Bad… or were… “

Spike smiled at her and stepped closer. The distance was nearly closed by now. “My devourin’ days are long over, pet. You know that.” He dragged his eyes from her face to rake her body with his gaze, “But you are a tasty morsel at that. I could … just… “ The demon flashed through his eyes, leaving her in no ignorance of what he could just…

Buffy unconsciously clutched the towel a little tighter. This was so not the way she had envisioned this encounter going while she had showered. She had foolishly imagined flowery words, lots of little sighs, impassioned confessions of love, even swelling orchestral music; instead he gave her lines from a fairy tale and lecherous stares. If she wasn’t so nervous, she’d be pissed off.

Spike stared back at her, trying to plumb the depths of her brain to suss out what she was thinking. She looked like a rabbit caught in a trap. This was not the Buffy he remembered. What had happened to her?

“Slayer… Buffy… it’s all right. It’s just me. What’s happened to you?” He reached a hand out to her.

She stared at it. His hand – hands – they had brought her a surprising amount of pleasure and solace at one time. She had felt unreasonably safe and cherished in his hands. She smiled softly and he wondered at that enigmatic expression. She was more mysterious than the bloody Mona Lisa. And then she placed her hand in his and watched as it was swallowed into his palm.

She giggled softly and murmured, “What big hands you have!”

He sighed in satisfaction and answered, “All the better to hold you with, my dear.” Spike gently tugged Buffy towards him and embraced her in his arms.

This was different from those stolen times after she had come back and before the Hellmouth was destroyed. There was nothing of desperation in this embrace, nothing of anger. This was different, tender, giving. And when their lips met in a kiss, he felt his soul, so hard won, expand to meld with hers until he was sure the brilliance of it would blind the world.

They stood that way, locked in the soul searing kiss for what felt like centuries. She was the first to break the kiss and looked up into his eyes wonderingly. What was it she saw, he wondered. He bent his forehead to hers and smoothed her hair with gentle hands.

“I can almost see your soul, Spike,” she whispered.

He drew in a sharp breath. That certainly wasn’t what he had expected. He made to step away, but she held him tight.

“No… please don’t, Spike.”

And because he couldn’t ever deny her anything, he didn’t.

She rested her head on his shoulder and cautiously moved her arms around his waist, taking care not to dislodge her towel. This was too raw, too fresh to rush to bed. (At least that’s what she tried to convince her clamoring body. Her body wasn’t buying it.) She clutched at his back trying to get control of herself. With an indrawn hiss, he tried to step back. Then she remembered, they both remembered, the beast had raked his back with its claws.

“Oh, God! Spike!” She stepped out of his arms and turned him around. He sighed for the loss of her, but complied with her unspoken command. “Here… raise your… oh… oh…”

“That bad, is it, Slayer? Surely you’ve seen worse.”

She didn’t say anything. He looked over his shoulder at her. Her face was a mask of horror and despair. He tried to crane his neck to get a look at the gashes. They couldn’t be that bad. They certainly didn’t feel that bad. Or they hadn’t. Now they were starting hurt like the very devil; now that his attention wasn’t being diverted.

“Slayer, what…”

She raised her eyes to his, stricken and almost accusing. “They’re nearly healed, Spike.”

He was surprised. “That’s all then? They mustn’t have been too bad then, pet. You know I heal faster than mortals.”

“I know, Spike. But this is fast, even for you. They’re knitting as I watch. And the wounds… Spike… they… they glow and are… well… furry.” The little space between her eyebrows furrowed in concern and concentration.



“Bollocks!” And Spike started to spin in circles as he tried to get a glimpse of his back, but the wounds were too far down for him to see them properly. “What were those things any way?”

“I don’t know, but we need to find out. It looks like you were … infected or … something.”

“Bollocks,” he muttered. Just his luck, he reconnects with Buffy, the love of his life, and he’s infected with some strange demon … hang on… how could…

“I’m going to get dressed, Spike, and call Giles. See if he can help us figure out what this is… and how to stop it…”

“Yeah… right… Oh, hell, Buffy, I…”

She stepped in front of him and put a hand to his mouth. “I know, Spike. But there will be time, once we get this fixed. There will be time.”

He reached up to envelope her hand in his and placed a kiss in her palm. Then he moved her hand to his chest, just over his heart. “I know, Buffy. I know.” They stepped apart.

Spike entered the bathroom and started to strip. He turned the water on hot and let it run for a bit. As he waited for the steam to rise, he gazed into the empty mirror. A reflection; was that so much to ask for now that he had a soul? He scratched absently at his back. The wounds were getting a little itchy now. He assumed that meant they were healing. He shrugged his shoulders and turned to step into the shower. He didn’t see what the mirror revealed then – four long gashes, glowing faintly blue with grey fur at the edges, hovering where they would be on his back’s reflection – if he had a reflection.

Buffy gazed at the closed bathroom door for a minute. When she heard the water turn on, she stepped towards the phone, her brow still wrinkled with concern. The creatures, whatever they were, had looked like werewolves or something like that, but they were different. She couldn’t quite determine what made them different, but they were. For one things, they were able to infect vampires. Normal werewolves couldn’t do that could they? Still clutching the towel around her, Buffy picked up the phone and dialed Giles’ London number.

She waited as the phone on the other end buzzed in that strange European tone that she could never get used to. Buzz-buzz. Buzz-buzz.

“Come on, Giles. Pick up,” she murmured impatiently. Buzz-buzz. Buzz-buzz. The connection was completed. “Giles! Giles, it’s me Buff…” and she stopped abruptly as his answering machine picked up. Sighing in exasperation, Buffy waited for the beep and then hastily rattled off a message. “Giles, it’s Buffy. I’ve found the creatures and they’re definitely wolf-like, but I’m not quite sure what they are. See… there’s Spike and there was a battle and now he’s got furry glowing wounds and… Giles, this is so not normal. Not that werewolves are normal, but… Call me back. Please. Quickly. I’m at the motel just at the edge of the crater. Um….” As the answering machine cut off, she swore.

Replacing the handset on it’s cradle, Buffy stepped to her suitcase open on the luggage rack. Quickly, she pulled on some underwear – panties and a bra. Nothing too frilly or fussy, she hadn’t planned on… after all… well… She bent to the suitcase again rifling through the clothes for a t-shirt and jeans. The bathroom door opened.

Spike glanced towards the bed and experienced a moment of panic when he didn’t see her immediately. Then she spoke, still bent over the suitcase.

“I left a message for Giles. He wasn’t there.”

Spike turned to her voice and cocked his head at the picture presented to him – scantily clad Buffy butt. This night was looking better to him. He smiled lustfully.

“Well, we’ll just have to figure out some way to pass the time, then. A few ideas come to mind.” He stepped towards her, a towel low on his lean hips.

Buffy straightened and turned to face him, a blue shirt clutched in her hands, an amused smirk on her face, her mouth open to reply. The snappy retort she had at the ready died in her mouth, unspoken. The smirk changed to an expression of dismay.

Spike stopped in his tracks. “What? What’s wrong, Slayer? You look like someone killed your best mate or something.”

“Spike, you… you’re… “ Lacking the words, she dragged him to the mirror next to the television. “Look…”

“Love, vampire remember? No reflec… Bloody hell!” Spike peered at the reflection in the mirror not sure what he was seeing but knowing instinctively that he didn’t like it. He put his hand to his now furry face and turned his face to the left and the right. “What the… ?”

It was the first time he had seen his reflection in over a century. This was definitely not the face he remembered. The high cheekbones were still there and the piercing blue eyes, but now instead of a human nose and mouth, he sported a canine-like snout complete with a blondish-brownish fur sprinkling up his cheeks to blend with his damp hair at the temples. From where his ears used to lay, nice and compact and flat against his head, were two large wolf ears, covered in soft fur.

He met Buffy’s eyes in the mirror. She was staring at him, mute. There wasn’t anything more to say about Spike’s transformation. She gently placed her hand on his back.

“What was that thing?” His voice was rougher now, almost growl-like.

Buffy lifted her hand from his back. “I don’t know, Spike. At first I thought it was a werewolf, but now… I don’t know. Vampires can’t get lickanthroaty, right?”

“Lycanthropy. No, love, we can’t. Demon already, remember?”

“I know. I know.” She turned away and started to pace, the shirt balled forgotten in her hands. “Maybe I can call Dawn or Andrew or someone at the Council. They’re good with the research.” She stopped abruptly and whirled to face him, “Oh and remember, when Andrew was with the Super Nerds, wasn’t he some sort of monster expert? Let me see if I can get one of them.”

She stepped to the phone again and picked it up. A low growl filled the room. She turned back to Spike. “Wha… oh…” The transformation had advanced some more and fur curved around his middle and started crawling up towards his chest and shoulders. Buffy was arrested by the interesting sight of his pale, muscular belly framed by the fur. She drew her gaze upward and watched as whorls of fur grew and covered his chest and shoulders. Buffy wasn’t sure how she felt about his furry chest, but felt compelled to reach out and … pet it.

Spike grabbed her hand. “Buffy… love…. Phone… please… now.”

“Yes! Yes! Phone!” Attention redirected, she scrambled for the phone and dialed. Andrew picked it up on the second ring.

“Andrew. Buffy…. Sunnydale. Yeah… the crater. Listen. I need your help.”

Spike paced as she explained the situation to Andrew. He felt restless. And… hungry… he sniffed the air and found an appealing scent. He followed it through the room to the suitcase. With a low growl, he started flipping through the clothing there. Grabbing up a rose colored t-shirt, he brought it to his face. He inhaled deeply, a quiet contented rumbling started in his throat. At a small noise from Buffy, he dropped the shirt and sniffed the air again. The fragrance was stronger now. He followed it to its source. Buffy. He snuffled at the air around her, then buried his snout in the hair at the nape of her neck and inhaled again, that odd rumbling noise starting again. Loud enough for Buffy to hear him.

“Spike,” she hissed at him. “I’m trying to listen to Andrew.”

Spike huffed and stalked over to the chair. He flopped down, leaned his head against the side of the chair and stared at her hungrily.

“Uh-huh. Okay. Andrew, are you sure?… Okay. You do that. Get back to me.” She glanced over at Spike. “No, he doesn’t look like he’s going to attack. Yeah… yeah… you’re right. I’ll see what I can do. Please hurry. Thanks. Bye.”

Buffy hung up.

“So… what does good old Andrew have to say?”

Buffy eyed Spike warily. “He’s not exactly sure what the creature was, but he has several ideas. He’s going to do some research to narrow it down. Until then, he says we should just stay put for a while.”

“Stay put?” Spike surged to his feet. “Stay put? What is he thinking? We don’t know if I’ll turn into a raging wolf or what. What if I attack you? Infect you? I can’t take that risk!” He strode to Buffy and grabbed her by the arms.

Buffy gasped. “Spike.”

“I don’t know what’s happening to me, Buffy. You’re not safe with me right now.”


“No, Buffy. Go get another room or something. Lock me in. Leave me alone. Keep yourself safe.”

“Spike, I…”

His next words were lost in a growl as he bared his teeth. A shiver crawled down Buffy’s spine. Gooseflesh rose on her arms.

The rest will be posted in my journal ’cause I’m not done yet. Hope you enjoy!


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