FIC: Riders PG-13 (1/30)

This entry is part 1 of 30 in the series Riders
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Hi everyone. *waves*

My contribution is a completed AU Spuffy adventure/ romance/ humor fic. The story is 29 Chapters/ Epilogue and is rated PG-13 throughout. Hope you all enjoy it!

I own nothing and make nothing. All characters are owned by ME and Joss Whedon.

A/N: AU, sometime latter S5. Joyce has no health issues (love Joyce), Glory was easily defeated by Buffy without even breaking a nail (hate Glory), Dawn’s still the key and Spike already owns that seriously cool motorcycle. (looove the bike.)The chapter titles are excerpts from songs listed at the beginning of each chapter. I would like to thank my lovely beta EnigmaticBlues for the grammatical touch ups while encouraging a frightened novice to put this out into Seasonal Spuffy cyberspace.

Summary: Buffy and Spike set off on the trail of a killer and wind up in alternate dimension 1870’s Nevada trying to prevent the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from rising.

Chapter 1 In The Air Tonight

I can feel it in the air tonight, oh Lord.

I’ve been waiting for this moment

all my life, oh Lord.

-Phil Collins

In the Air Tonight

1630 Revello Drive

Early Evening

 “Buffy, could you please take the trash to the street? We almost forgot last week and it’s already 8:30.” Joyce Summers called the reminder from an upstairs bedroom. “You know they’ll show up bright and early tomorrow.”

 Buffy, sprawled next to her younger sister on their living room couch, avidly watching the Gilligan’s Island marathon on cable, pitched her voice to override the Skipper’s as she replied, “Sure mom, I’ll do it during the commercial break.”

 Tearing herself away during a commercial about dancing breakfast food, Buffy easily hefted the trash barrel filled with a week’s worth of the usual unsavory debris and carried it to the curb. She didn’t mind helping her mom out since it was easier for her to carry out the heavy barrel, but when she set it down at the end of their driveway, the jutting plastic handle caught on the square bandage taped to her upper arm.

 A Grannloche demon had sliced her forearm earlier with his studded tail, but that had been more than two hours ago. Stupid demon. She lifted a corner of the gauze and took a peek at the injury. Clean unblemished skin peeked back at her. Wincing at the sticky tape, she pulled the gauze pad from her arm and tossed it into the barrel. Still time to see if they get off the island. Chuckling, she strolled back into the house humming a song about seven stranded castaways.

 When the kitchen door banged shut, a thin dark man stepped quickly around the cherry laurel hedge lining the driveway. Wearing latex gloves, he leaned over the trash barrel and snatched up the bloody square of gauze. Carefully he dropped the bandage into a plastic Ziploc and slipped the sealed bag into his coat pocket while a swift glance confirmed no one had noticed. Walking quickly, he returned to the white panel truck parked two houses away, gunned the motor and drove from the neighborhood.


Later that same evening…

 “God, Buffy, can you slow down even just a little?” Dawn was having a hard time keeping up with her older sister.

 Buffy snapped, “Your legs are longer than mine. You should be able to keep up.”

 Dawn knew Buffy was mad because she had to walk with her to Janice’s house. She realized that she shouldn’t have argued in favor of watching that fourth Gilligan’s Island episode, so she sucked it up and tried to pick up the pace, but the soles of her shoes kept sinking into Restfield Cemetery’s soft, uneven ground.

 “Look, I’m sorry I waited so long to leave, but I did agree to stop at Spike’s first, didn’t I?” She stumbled on a tree root. “So why are we going to Spike’s anyway? I thought you guys didn’t like hanging out with Spike.”

 Buffy whirled around to face her sister. “I’m not going there to hang with him. I just need to find out if he’s heard anything about two dead people I found on patrol last night, then report back to Giles. Everyone’s waiting for me over there and now I’m late.”

 Secretly Buffy was glad Dawn was with her, because she really didn’t like visiting Spike alone. He made her feel uncomfortable sometimes, ever since that spell Willow had cast went awry. Buffy had noticed that over the past few months she seemed to expend a lot of energy trying not to think about him. Stupid vampire.

 She walked faster.

 “Buffy, are you even listening to me?”

 Buffy shook her head and zeroed in on the conversation. “What did you say?”

 Dawn noticed how Buffy always seemed to zone out whenever Spike’s name came up. She smirked and repeated her question. “I asked why you needed to see Spike. Wasn’t it the usual? Vampires? Besides, why would Spike know anything anyway? With that chip in his head, he couldn’t have done it.”

 Buffy slowed down and walked beside her sister. “No, it wasn’t vamps.” She remembered how the bodies had appeared, sprawled by the swing set at the park with their severed heads lying next to them. It was just too gruesome to mention to Dawn.

“Giles just wants me to ask Spike if he’s heard any rumors at Willy’s about something.”

 A faint crackling noise to her left put Buffy on alert. Placing her hand on Dawn’s arm, she whispered. “Shhh, Dawnie, I hear something over by those trees.” She looked around, saw a large stone statue and pointed toward it. “Go wait over there behind that cherub and I’ll check it out.”

 Buffy was relieved when Dawn nodded and quietly moved to stand behind the statue without argument. She hastened toward the stand of oaks where she’d first heard the noise. Walking past the first tree, her back erupted in the tingles that always warned her of a vampire’s proximity.

 Cocking her head to try and pinpoint their location, she slid her stake out of the front pocket of her skirt. Before she could step between the trunks of the first two oaks, two young fledglings ran out. The first, a pimply faced teenager, made a grab for her skirt. Buffy lightly stepped back against the trunk of an oak tree.

 “Oh no, you don’t, this is new.”

 He made another grab, this time reaching for her arm. Buffy pushed away from the tree, plunging the stake into his chest. When the other vampire turned to run away, Buffy whirled around and staked him in the back. With both of them satisfactorily dusted and feeling no more tingles, she dropped her stake back into the pocket of her new skirt and walked back toward the statue.

 “Dawnie, it’s safe to come out now.” What’s taking her so long? I swear Dawn would try the patience of a saint. Still grumbling, but starting to wonder why she hadn’t received any response yet from her sister, Buffy cautiously approached the statue. She walked past the last stone statue blocking her line of sight and realized suddenly that a leonine shaped demon was standing over Dawn’s prone body. Shocked, she rushed forward, yelling and shaking her hands in the air. “Hey, you jerk, leave her alone.” Oh my God, Dawnie. Has it hurt her?

 Buffy frantically flailed her hands in the air. She had to make the eight foot tall steel-gray demon move away from her sister. Hearing another loud shout, the demon finally raised a horned head, deliberately sniffed the air, growled, and started lumbering toward her.

 Buffy suddenly realized her stake was worthless against the huge demon and rapidly scanned the surrounding area, looking for anything that she could use as a weapon.

 The demon, moving faster now, was nearly within striking distance. It stretched a long hairy arm and attempted to swipe her head. Buffy ducked, reached down and pried up a rectangular granite grave marker. I’m so sorry Arthur and Beatrice Whipple. She stood up, took aim as high as she could reach and flung the heavy marker. It sailed through the air and struck the demon hard in the middle of the stomach.

 Making a hissing sound, the demon shook itself and continued to move forward while Buffy backed up warily. Well, that could have worked better.

 The demon growled again, unsheathed curved talons from the end of both paws and made another lumbering attempt to lacerate her head. Buffy quickly stepped farther away from the long arms. She paused briefly, still searching for something else to use against it.

 The growling demon, dull black eyes fixed on its prey, continued to lumber forward.

“Now, now, be a nice kitty cat demon and put those claws away.” Buffy, keeping a cautious eye on the talons continued moving steadily back until she brushed up against the side of the Peterson mausoleum.

“If you calm down and behave, I’ll buy you a big yarn ball, any color you want.”

The demon raised its paws for another attempt.

“Okay, not wanting the yarn ball. How about a really huge cat nip mouse instead?”

Spike, walking through the cemetery and thinking of the Slayer as he made his way back to his crypt, smiled to himself when he heard Buffy’s voice in the distance. Oh, the Slayer’s out early. I think I’ll watch her do her nasties. She always looks so gorgeous when she’son the prowl. He’d always enjoyed watching her patrol and tried to watch her whenever he could although now for very different reasons. He changed direction and started cutting across the cemetery toward her voice. From the same direction, he heard a loud hissing growl. He sniffed the wind. What the hell is that?

Spike reached the clearing in time to watch Buffy fling the grave marker. Ignoring any pain it had felt from the marker, an enormous cat-like demon inched closer.

Only thing that marker did was piss the bloody thing off. Curious, he watched intently to see what else the Slayer had planned.

Buffy danced away from the sharp talons and leaped gracefully to the top of the mausoleum, which placed her at head height with the angry demon. The demon blinked stupidly and stopped moving, confused that its prey was suddenly at eye level. This bought another couple minutes.

When the Slayer jumped onto the mausoleum roof and rapidly scanned the ground around her, Spike realized she was weaponless. He started to walk toward her. He noticed the demon’s razor sharp talons shining in the moonlight and he began to run.

Out of the corner of her eye, Buffy saw a familiar black clad figure running toward her, yelling at the demon and waving his hands above his head.

The demon turned toward this new, smaller menace and growled.

Hoping that somehow Spike would pull a battle ax or a long sword out of his duster, Buffy watched as he reached into his side pocket. He pulled out a brown paper bag, took aim and pitched it at the demon. The bag arced, making contact with bumpy protrusions at the top of the demon’s brow. A glass bottle inside the bag shattered, raining wet brown paper, glass shards and an amber colored liquid all over its face and dripping into the demon’s eyes. It roared loudly and frantically began pawing at its eyes.

Spike, now in game face, took the opportunity afforded by the demon’s temporary blindness and leaped on its back where he hung on, reached down and bit it hard on the neck. The cat-like demon roared and began to spin tightly in a circle still pawing at its face, and now pawing also at the hurtful figure on its back. Spike ducked away from the flailing arms and dug into its sides with his feet. Using both hands, he reached forward and twisted its head sharply to the right. The neck broke with an audible snap. He lightly jumped down as the heavy body pitched forward and landed with a resounding thump.

Buffy didn’t wait to see the demon fall. As soon as she was sure that Spike had control of the situation, she jumped down from the mausoleum and quickly ran back to the prone body of her sister, still lying silently behind the Cherub statue.

Noticing Dawn for the first time, Spike grimaced and hurried over to join Buffy.

Kneeling at her sister’s side, Buffy spoke softly. “We were arguing just before it happened. I didn’t want to walk her to Janice’s house.” She touched Dawn’s arm tenderly. Oh Dawnie. You’ve just got to be okay.

Spike patted Buffy’s shoulder awkwardly. “She’s still alive, Slayer. I can hear her heart beatin’, although it’s much slower now than usual and she has an odd scent. I think we should take her to your Watcher. Maybe he can help her.” He reached down, picked Dawn up in his arms and carried her toward the cemetery exit. Buffy despondent and worried, walked beside him clutching Dawn’s hand tightly within her own.

Originally posted at

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