FIC: Riders PG-13 (13/30)

This entry is part 13 of 30 in the series Riders
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Chapter 13  Play Your Part 

Everybody’s got a hungry heart

Everybody’s got a hungry heart

Lay down your money

And you play your part

-Bruce Springsteen

Hungry Heart

“Turn at the next sign.” Willow peered down at her map and squinted. “Tara, could you hold that flashlight closer?” It was hard to read her own handwriting with the convertible bouncing up and down on the old road.

“S-s-sure, no problem.” The blonde girl leaned over the seat, so she could guide the beam closer.

“That’s definitely it. Giles, turn left.”

After trying the locater spell again at Giles’ apartment, the three had quickly decided to make the trek to Nevada. The spell refused to work when using the items from Buffy and Spike, but had worked perfectly for Xander’s truck, so the trio decided to find the truck and figure the rest out later. They had thrown a few things in the small backseat and left as quickly as possible. After driving all night, they were only a few miles from the truck’s location, which had turned out to be a desert ghost town.

Giles slowed the convertible down while Willow and Tara sent forth a small bright blue light to locate the Chevy. The shiny little light led them to a ramshackle market where they discovered the truck hidden in the back lot. The two witches agreed to check out the truck while Giles scouted around the empty market.

“W-w-w-illow, what do you think happened?”

Willow rummaged through the things in the truck’s cab. “Well, it seems to me they never came back from the Cantilly nest. The rest of their stuff and the sleeping bags are still here, but I don’t see their backpacks, the cooler or the weapons.”

Giles returned from his reconnaissance. “The marks in the dust indicate that they slept in there only the once and there’s nothing inside that gives any indication where they went from there. Willow, I want you to try to do another locater spell, now that we’re closer. Use the remainder of the Cantilly skin. We’ll start by trying to locate the nest.”



The early morning sunlight woke Spike. He opened his eyes and gazed over at Buffy. She was still deeply asleep, comfortably burrowed under the quilt. He listened to her heartbeat, assessing her. He decided that the Slayer sounded healthier and let out a relieved sigh. She was definitely on the mend. Now his world could become more normal, if loving the Slayer could ever be considered normal. I’m going to tell her soon just how much I do care, once she’s completely healed. Spike had no doubt that Buffy would soon be fit to track down the archer and then they could return home. He shook his head, bemused at the thought of looking forward to returning to the Hellmouth.

Spike stood up and stretched. Hearing a soft knock on the bedroom door, he opened it to reveal Celeste holding an armload of clothing. “How is she this morning?”

A tired smile crossed Spike’s face. “Much better, her fever broke last night.”

“Oh, that’s good. Here, I brought you both some clothes. There are a couple of dresses of mine that would probably fit Buffy and some old clothes of my husbands that will probably work for you. He was about your size.”

Spike took the offered items and placed them carefully on the chair. Glancing back at the Slayer’s sleeping form; he took Celeste gently by the arm and walked with her into the hall. Closing the door, he looked into her face. “You’ve been very kind.”

The woman shrugged. “I don’t like to see things, or people, wasted.” She smiled. “Would you like to join us for breakfast? You can bring some back to Buffy after she rests a bit more.”

“Thank you.”

After telling Spike that breakfast would be in half an hour, Celeste left to head back to the kitchen.

Spike sorted through the clothes, picking up a blue cotton shirt. He wondered what had happened to Celeste’s husband that had left her such a young widow.


“Sir, Teague sent the mine foreman here with his weekly report.”

McGee looked up from his desk and motioned to the workman standing just outside the office. “Come in Davis.”

Davis walked confidently into his boss’s office. “Hello Mr. McGee, Sir. I have good news for you. We’ve uncovered the line that runs to the entrance of the antechamber and it should only be a matter of a week’s digging to breach the entrance.”

Once again McGee regretted his earlier action. He should never have placed the additional pieces of the crystal within the mine for safekeeping. Of course they would have been quite convenient and easy to reach if not for that damn cave in.

“I don’t want to wait another week. Tell Teague to hire on more men for the crews. It’s very important that I get in that room as soon as possible.”

“Yes sir.” The man closed the door behind him.

McGee smiled. It wouldn’t be long now. Once they breached the entrance, the crystals would be easily located. Then it was only the minor matter of putting them back together again. He lifted the large piece of crystal from his desk and ran a finger down the fine outer lines. His partner would be pleased indeed with today’s development.

Verda watched the foreman as he left McGee’s office. She slid farther back in the shadows behind the ornate velvet drapes next to McGee’s office door. It wouldn’t do for the foreman or God forbid, McGee himself to catch her snooping. She waited until she heard the man’s heavy tread on the stairs before quickly sliding out of the dark corner. Smoothing her dress down with her hands, she casually walked down the stairs, turning this new information over in her head.

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