Spike regretting asking Angel to come five minutes after he arrived. There was a chill in the air and only Willow was making an effort to be civilised to the other vampire. He had brought Faith with him as well, which was one way of diffusing the tension.
Dawn had taken her sister’s disappearance real hard and spent much of her days recently in her room. She was almost always exhausted. He resolved to make sure Harris was taking care of his girl.
Faith was sprawled on the couch next to Willow. “So – what’s the what? What do we have on these bastards?”
Angel was standing behind Faith. Spike couldn’t stand still and he paced around the room like a caged animal.
Willow sighed, “Not a lot. We know that she was sucked into some portal.”
Angel rounded on Spike, “Why didn’t you call me in sooner?”
Spike stood his ground and glared at his grandsire.
Before he could say a word in his defence Willow spoke. “It was Spike’s suggestion, Angel. Dawn and Xander were the ones against it.”
Angel backed off.
“What can we do?” he asked Willow.
“I don’t know.”
Spike needed to get out and a cigarette. He made his way out onto the fire escape. He sensed Angel follow him. He didn’t turn around at first until Angel spoke his name.
“What do you want, Peaches?”
“You look like shit, William.”
Spike ignored the use of his given name, “Can’t exactly look in a mirror, can I?”
“You managed well enough before,” Angel pointed out.
“I might have been a tiny bit out of line back there,” Angel conceded.
Spike’s eyes nearly popped out of his head. Peaches apologising, even if it was a grudging one, was not something that happened often. Accepting the gesture for what it was he just nodded his head. Instead, he asked the vampire the burning question that had been on his mind the last couple of weeks. “Do you think this has anything to do with the Senior Partners or Wolfram and Hart?”
Angel’s expression turned to stone. “It can’t be. I mean if they wanted to get to us..”
“Get to the woman we both love,” Spike finished.
“That sounds so self-involved, doesn’t it?” Angel replied.
“When are we ever not self-involved,” Spike half joked.
Angel ran his fingers through his hair. “I hope not, Spike. I really do, because God knows what they would do to her.”
“And it would be our fault as usual. Always hurtin’ the girl.” Spike balled his hands into fists. “It’s this around that driving me around the bleedin’ twist. I want to do something, smash something in, break a few bones.”
“I’ll call in a few contacts from LA.” Angel suggested. “Maybe get in touch with Harmony and see if she has heard anything.”
“Good idea. No demon or vamp’s gonna talk to us unless we’re threatened.”
Spike was really starting to feel the weight of Buffy’s disappearance now. At the beginning, he had been sure they would get her back but now he wasn’t so sure. She could be dead for all they knew.
Spike was startled by a hand on his shoulder, “We’ll get her back.”
He looked up into Angel’s face, grateful for the gesture but not finding any comfort in it whatsoever.
Buffy awoke with a start. Her throat was sore from screaming and her eyes were red. Her arms were marked from where she had scratched herself in her restless, nightmare fuelled sleep. It was taking time to recover from the damage she suffered in the torture chair device. It had lasted longer than any of the other times she had been fed the poison. Even two days later her body remembered the trembling and the pain. Her sleep was interrupted by muscle spasms. She recalled the moment when it became too much and she just wished it would all end. Buffy wiped away the trace of tears from her face and she settled back into the nest she had made with her blankets; her bed had been removed from the cell as a punishment.
Buffy wished she was back home. What was that game she used to play with Willow and Xander in the good old days in Sunnydale. Anywhere but here. She closed her eyes and smiled. She was anywhere but here. She was back in Xander and Dawn’s apartment in San Francisco. Dawn was making a concoction hazardous to human consumption and Xander was making inappropriate one eyed pirate jokes. I love you guys.
She tossed in the blankets. She was fighting back to back with Spike and even her puns kicked ass.
Will I ever see you again?
No matter how much she moved around in the blankets comfort was elusive; the floor was still too hard. She was back in Sunnydale in her mother’s arms feeling as safe as she ever felt. I want to see you again, Mom, but it’s not my time yet.
To be continued.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/492364.html