For my last post the season, I leave you with the second chapter of this fic. Thank you, enigmaticblues, for all your hard work to keep this community going.
Title: Holiday on Helarth
Timeline: End of Season Seven
Betas: mabel_marsters, seapealsh, diebirchen & megan_peta All mistakes are my own doing. I was in a bit of rush to get this last chapter posted and made some quick, last-minute changes.
Summary: Buffy refuses to leave Spike to die in the high school basement. When she takes the amulet off, they end up in another dimension. Alive, wounded and exhausted, they must deal with a world that’s very different from their own, yet eerily familiar. It’s not Hawaii or a cruise in the Caribbean, but they manage to make a holiday of it.
Disclaimer: Buffy and Spike belong to Joss and co. This story is just for entertainment and not for profit.
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Holiday on Helarth
Chapter Two ~ Laird of Helarth
Despite his internal injuries, Spike held on to Buffy and did his best to stand tall as they moved deeper into the labyrinth of narrow, dirt-covered corridors. They paused when a source of bright bluish light became visible around a turn. A blue liquid glowed brightly in what could only be described as large fish bowls set in the dirt wall intermittently on both sides.
Concerned, Spike glanced down at Buffy, who stumbled as they pitched forward again. The creature had turned another corner and they needed to keep moving or they would lose sight of her. His heart constricted with worry as the scent of fresh blood reached him. Had Buffy survived the biggest battle of her life only to die of blood loss? A muscle in his jaw pulsed with anger at the thought. There was no way he was going to let that happen.
The creature held her hand up to stop them. “Stay here until I call for you.” She disappeared from view after Buffy nodded.
Spike didn’t like being ordered around, but instead of following after the creature, he went with Buffy to lean against the wall, helping to keep her upright. Spike looked down as Buffy reached for his hand. Warmth spread through him as though he’d downed a bottle of brandy when she clasped her hand in his and gave him a gentle squeeze.
Buffy stared off to the side, waiting for the creature’s return. He could see the exhaustion and wariness etched on her features, even in profile.
“We need to tend to your wound before you fall—”
“Shh.” She frowned at him and pointed. “Listen.”
He cocked his head to the side, focusing all of his energy on his ability to hear. Two voices were barely audible: one, a deep-timbered male voice, the other belonging to the female creature. Before he could get a lock on the words being spoken, the creature poked her head out the doorway and waved them over.
Spike exchanged a look of curiosity with Buffy before helping her to move forward. A brown curtain was pushed aside to allow them entrance. The creature let it fall back in place over the doorway after they entered. Spike sighed at the sight before him, feeling let down. Perhaps he’d been expecting too much, but the deep voice did not match the man who was standing behind a wide desk under a ceiling seemingly filled with the same blue liquid that lit up the hallways, almost like florescent light panels back in their own dimension.
The tall man stared at them as though he hadn’t seen a human in years, his piercing blue eyes standing out against a dark bearded face and pitch black hair that hung thick and limp at his shoulders. Spike took note of the black tuxedo with the dingy white shirt underneath. The bow tie was missing, and the collar was open wide. Laird motioned with his hand, indicating a low bench in front of the desk.
“Excuse my manners, but I haven’t seen another human in many, many years. Please have a seat.” He cleared his throat as they eased down onto the bench. “I’m Laird Duncan, and this lovely lass is Onisal.” He pointed at the red creature that still held her scythe as if ready for battle. “You should get back to patrol.”
The way Onisal stared at them as she shook her head and spoke in her guttural language put Spike on edge. Buffy tensed beside him.
Laird set his gaze on them, his eyes narrowing as he studied them. “I’ll be fine. Do a thorough search of the Earthmouth and report back tae me at the end of yer patrol.”
Buffy shifted closer to Spike and asked Laird, “Earthmouth?”
“That is what I call the portal that I’m sure you came through. You did come from the earth dimension, eh?”
“Yes,” Buffy said. “We were fighting in a battle at the hellmouth when it happened.”
“And yet, you are both not human, which explains how you would know about a hellmouth.”
“Buffy is human.” Spike wasn’t willing to give up any more information than that-not until he knew for sure they were among creatures that were friendly.
Laird shook his head and glared at Spike. “You lie. Onisal has incredible instincts. All the slayers do. She sensed demon in you both.” He brought a very pointy stake up from beneath the desk. “I would guess vampires?”
Buffy shot to her feet. “Put that away!” Her words lost some of their weight as she swayed. “You called that creature a slayer, but I’m a slayer.”
Laird did not comply, but he did lower his shoulders and take a deep breath. “Then that is why Onisal detected demon in you. Onisal is a demon. The same type that gives you the strength and power tae fight demons on earth. At least I’m pretty sure that’s what happened in Africa all those years ago.”
“Who are you?” Spike asked, while helping Buffy to sit down again.
“I worked for the Council. I am a watcher.” Laird stood then, and Spike felt the need to rise to meet the challenge in the watcher’s eyes. “So, the question now is, what are you? Unless things have changed on earth, there is only one slayer at a time, and she’s always female. You are clearly not female.”
“Thanks for noticing. Name’s Spike and—”
“He’s a vampire,” Buffy said, getting to her feet again. “A good one.”
“What?” Laird practically shouted.
Spike groaned, letting his gaze fall on his slayer. “Buffy, did you have to go and tell him that?”
“He’s got a—”
“Good vampires?” Laird put the stake down. Spike wanted to take a step back, but he held his ground as the man got that same look on his face that Giles always did when he found something new to investigate. “I’ve been away a long time, but when did vampires become good?”
“They haven’t.” Buffy linked arms with Spike. “There’s just Spike and one other.”
While they discussed vampires with souls, Spike studied the watcher. He spoke with a Scottish accent and used archaic words that would indicate that he was much older than he looked, and yet, the tuxedo appeared to be more modern. Interrupting them, Spike blurted out his question.
“Just how long have you been here?”
Laird glanced down at the stake and picked it up, rolling it back and forth in his hands. “I was investigating the English hellmouth in the year 1799 when it opened. I lost my footing, fell into the hole, and landed not far from the entrance to this underground dwelling.” Emerging from his remembrance, the watcher looked up at them. “I’ve been here ever since.”
“How is that possible?” Spike narrowed his eyes at the man. “That would be 204 years ago in our time. Does time have no meaning here?”
“As far as I ken, time moves the same here, but I haven’t aged a day since I arrived.”
Spike was aware of Buffy leaning against the desk for support. He knew she needed to lie down and rest, but he couldn’t rest with unanswered questions. He pointed at Laird’s clothes. “Those did not come from 1799.”
“How very astute of you tae notice.” Laird grinned at him. “You two aren’t the first tae cross the portal since I’ve been here. Twice now, men have come through the portal. They were dead by the time they were discovered. We could not determine if they were dead before or after they came through.” He shrugged. “I took their clothes.”
Unconsciously Spike gripped his duster. He felt like growling at Laird’s deep chuckle.
“Take heart, I willnae be reaving objects from a live—er—undead—being. Yer garments are safe from me.”
Spike stole a worried glance at Buffy. “It’s been nice chatting with you and all, but Buffy here is in need of some medical attention. I don’t suppose you have a first aid kit lying around?”
“I dinnae ken what a first aid kit is, but if you’ll let me have a look at yer wounds, I can see about patching you up.”
Laird moved towards Buffy, but Spike stepped in front of him and used all his waning energy to grip the man’s wrist. Spike kept a passive expression on his face while he twisted the wrist, only letting up when the stake clattered to the ground.
Holding his burning arm, Laird glared at Buffy. “I thought you said he was good?”
Buffy glared at Spike, but it was Spike who spoke. “Good is relative, isn’t it? Just bring me supplies, and I’ll tend to Buffy.”
While he got Buffy settled on the bench again and waited for her to lift her shirt, Spike and Buffy gazed at each other. The serious gaze turned into amused grins as the watcher moved around the room, gathering items and grumbling about insane vampires who actually wanted to nurse a slayer back to health. If the man knew that Spike’s nickname used to be Slayer of Slayers, he’d think it was even crazier.
By the time they had Buffy’s wounds cleansed and stitched front and back, Spike was ready to drop from exhaustion. His insides itched as they repaired themselves with the burning sensation getting worse. It was as though he’d fallen on a bed of tiny, red-hot needles. He drew blood as he bit his lip to keep from shouting and clawing at his skin. Just knowing that Buffy was concerned for him and understanding what was going on with him made him feel that he could get through it.
She stood on trembling legs, but Spike refused her help to get up from his kneeling position. He didn’t want her to tear open the stitches that he’d so carefully applied.
“Is there somewhere we can rest?” Buffy tucked a lock of hair behind her ear and grimaced. “We’re exhausted.”
“And food for Buffy. She hasn’t slept in days, but she also hasn’t eaten.”
Laird’s eyes focused on the way Spike had his arm around Buffy’s shoulder and the familiar way Buffy had her arm around his waist. Spike sniffed in disgust. A bloke couldn’t even go off to another dimension without having a watcher be there to judge his motives or look down on Buffy for what she might or might not feel about a vampire.
Spike sneered at the man and cleared his throat.
“Yes. Food.” Laird went to the door and shouted. “Nessie! Here, please.” He turned back to them. “I can even bring the blood of a corvain for you.” Touching his neck, he added, “I assume you don’t feed off humans?”
Spike scowled. “I’ve been on a diet of pig’s blood, but I’m not sure what a corvain is.”
“I can’t tell you what the blood tastes like, but it is red, and the meat tastes exactly like lamb.”
Another slayer appeared at the doorway. This one was a little shorter than the other, and her eyes were light brown instead of black.
“Sir?” she said before she noticed the two humans. She let out a little gasp when she did see them.
“Dinnae worry yer heid, Nessie. This is Spike and… it’s Buffy, eh?” Buffy nodded while smiling at Nessie. “They’ve come through the earthmouth. They need food and rest. Find a couple of rooms for them. They’ll need a jug of corvain blood too.”
Her eyes widened. “But only Turoks drink corvain blood.”
“Just do as I asked.” Laird’s furrowed eyebrows added weight to his words, and Nessie was quick to turn on her heel to exit the office.
“We’ll only need one room,” Buffy said as they started to follow Nessie out. She gave Spike a light squeeze at his waist, and he wanted to kiss her right there.
“How can you sleep with a vampire in yer room?” Laird asked incredulously.
Her eyes swept over Spike’s face as she gazed up at him. Her tone was even and steady when she answered the watcher. “I don’t think I could sleep without him now.”
TBC (Soon at )
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/390548.html