And here it is! Your third part for today! As I said, I will be posting the chapters on my own journal after this, but I will put a link at the bottom of this post leading to the fourth chapter and from that chapter to the next and so on. Chapters will post one a day, with a three day lag as I post these three chapters to my journal first!
No warning to this chapter, but hopefully you will all see why I thought it made a nice stopping – or at least pausing – point. :)
If this is all new to you, Check out Chapter One!
As always, all glories to snickfic!!
Chapter Three: The Answer
Spike came to on a sofa. He raised his head and blinked at the crocheted afghan flung over him. He groaned, head falling back on a hard pillow.
“You’re awake,” Buffy said. He groaned again and covered his eyes. She was standing over him. He could smell the slightly greasy, slightly dusty scent of microwave-reheated blood.
He peeked at her. “I don’t suppose you think it’s manly, fainting like a nancy?”
“I have no opinion on fainting guys. However, I don’t think it’s particularly grown-up to bait Xander until he beats you to a pulp. Now drink this.”
Spike scooted up to a sitting position and took the coffee mug from her. Buffy sat on the coffee table next to him. She rotated the ring box in her hands between her knees while he drank. When he finished, she held the box up and asked, “Where did you get this?”
“Pawn shop,” he said. “Those are still legal, questionable though they may be.”
Buffy looked down at the box. “Spike…”
“I sold the Desoto.” Spike set the mug on the table next to her and took her hands, held them cradled against the box. “Knew you wouldn’t want anything stolen.”
She stood and stepped out of his hold. “You stole the Desoto!”
“You don’t know that!” Buffy folded her arms and raised one eyebrow. “All right, yes, I nicked the car – but that was decades ago and I loved that car! Doesn’t that sacrifice count for something?”
She covered her eyes. “And I suppose ‘nicked’ really means ‘killed the owner’.”
Spike looked so patently dishonest, it was cute. And cute was oh so wrong a thing for a murderer to be. Buffy sighed. “You just don’t get it. I know you’re trying, but I can see how far ‘it’ and you are from each other.” She started to turn away.
“But you told Xander he had to put up with me just being me. Yeah? And I thought…” He jumped up, stumbling on the afghan that now wrapped around and between his legs, and ended up grabbing her arm more for support than to stop her from going. Buffy covered her mouth with one hand, which did little to hide her laugh.
Spike wobbled precariously, and scowled in annoyance, which just made Buffy laugh harder. She gently pushed him back toward the couch. “Just… sit. I’ll get you more blood.” She snatched up the mug and beat a hasty retreat.
Spike held his head in his hands and muttered, “When a bloke says he wants to make a girl laugh, this isn’t what he imagines.”
When Buffy returned, he had composed a proper, serious face, hands clasped, back straight. “Love, if it matters that much to you, I can get a sodding job. A real one. And I’ll find the descendents of the bloke who had the car first and pay them back. I’d do that for you.”
She sat opposite him. “That’s the whole problem, Spike; you’d just be doing it for me.”
“So? The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Why can’t the road to heaven have bad ones?”
She frowned, and he thought he might have gotten through to her at last. Then she pushed the coffee mug at him. “Drink up. I have to go beat up some nerds.”
He watched her flip open the weapon chest and test the heft of a battle-ax.
“What’s this, then?” He glanced at the curtains, the sunlight shining, filtered through them. “It’s hardly save the day time.”
“Ha. Shortly after you clonked out last night, Willow told me she and Tara had found out the nerd’s next target. Armored car delivery, at the bank at 10am. I have to get moving.”
Spike set down his mug. “I’ll come with.”
Buffy turned to the window and then to him. “Uh… flammable, anyone?”
“I’ll stick to the shadows.” Spike stood and hitched his jeans up.
“Yeah, so you can help me fight the HUMAN nerds. She picked up her jacket, paused, turned back and set the ring box on the coffee table. “Just stay here.”
“Keep it,” Spike said, picking up the ring box.
Buffy backed to the door. “Drink the blood. Heal up. Don’t make me remember that I’m mad at you, you jerk.”
Spike blinked. He had, actually, forgotten she was mad at him. And then she was out the door.
He looked down at the afghan at his feet, which was obviously inadequate to his needs, and crossed over to the other couch, pulling a more solid blanket off it.
Dawn looked up at him from the breakfast island. She quickly moved to stand in front of the back door, her cereal spoon still in hand. “Uh-uh.”
Spike held up his hands, letting the blanket fall about his shoulders. “What, did Buffy plant you as the rear guard? I’m not going to immolate myself, you know. I’ve been dodging the sun longer than you’ve been alive. Well, figuratively speaking.” He frowned, knowing that didn’t come out right.
Dawn rolled her eyes. “No, stupid. You have to give her a bit more of a head start than that. So she’ll think you tried to do as she said but were just overcome with love.”
Spike blinked, and a slow grin grew over his face. “God, Bit! You’re brilliant.”
“I know,” she said.
“Right.” Spike clapped his hands, looked around the kitchen. “Uh… about… things.”
“If I caught my boyfriend with one of my friends, I’d set fire to his hair. Probably his pubic hair.”
“Uh… right.” Spike scratched his chin. “You know, I think that’s enough of a wait. I’ve got to take the longer route and all. Out of the sun?”
“Okay you can go.” Dawn stepped aside with the air of a saintly queen granting a mighty favor. “Oh, but Spike?” She touched his elbow before he opened the door. “Cheat on my sister and I’ll disembowel you. With this spoon.” She poked his arm with the spoon for emphasis.
Spike chuckled and planted a kiss on Dawn’s forehead. “I love Summers women,” he said, and adjusted the blanket over his head.
There were four bank branches in Sunnydale. Two were on opposite sides of town, but the other two were practically next door to each other. Hoping for luck, he headed that way, through the sewers to the alleyway that had good shade by the Magic Box. It would be just a few storefronts from there. The only dangerously long stretch was the bank parking lots themselves, and he had the blanket for that.
No sooner was he out of the sewer and under the awning of the bookstore next door to the Magic Box than he knew he was in the right place. He’d tell her later it was Buffy’s lingering scent, but really it was the explosive sound of a brick wall being hit hard, and then stones crumbling to the ground. A puff of smoke rose over the side of First National Trust. Abandoning his planned route, Spike hoisted his blanket and ran straight across the sunlit expanse between him and the modest brick building.
He threw himself into the slight shadow around a corner and patted desperately at his shin, where smoke wafted out of his jeans from the long exposure. He looked up and then gasped again.
Buffy was fighting the robot-boy, but he was deflecting her blows easily. Then he kicked her and she staggered back.
Spike ran from the shadow without thinking, letting his blanket flutter to the ground behind him as he let loose a volley of attacks that lasted four seconds. The chip fire was hard enough he didn’t even feel himself being thrown through the air. He did, however, feel a few bricks rain down on him, one smacking him right where Xander had gotten him with the poker across the forehead. Murphy’s law had brilliant aim.
There was the sound of an engine starting, then another, some shouting and crying from the nerd boys. He tried to get up again, but then it all went black.
Spike awoke to someone poking his face. He hissed in pain and it stopped. Slowly the blurry colors in front of his eyes resolved into Buffy’s face. “Willow is bringing her car around so we can get you home. You’re lucky Warren knocked you into the shade; you know that, right? And you KNEW they were human. You just… god I could beat you black and blue if you hadn’t done it for me already.” She jabbed him hard, though, in the ribs, and looked away, the sunlight touching her face, making a tear on her cheek glisten.
He reached for her cheek. “Is that for me? I’ve done it. I’ve gone to heaven.”
“Idiot,” she said, sternly watching the road for signs of Willow.
He had nothing to say in response. She had a very valid point, considering how he felt at the moment, and how effective he’d been. He shifted slightly, trying to get the stabbing ache out of his chest so he could breathe.
Not looking back at him, Buffy said, “If I said I would marry you, would you stay put when I tell you?”
Spike raised his head and stared at her. She glanced back at him. “Shut up,” she said.
He smiled. “I would walk over hot coals. I would swim in holy water. I would…”
“Just start with not getting yourself dusted.”
A thin laugh escaped from Spike. “We’ll add ‘obey’ to the vows, shall we?”
Buffy’s scowl didn’t quite cover up her concern for him, and Spike closed his eyes, content that he was in her hands. “Don’t laugh, slayer. I’m taking that conditional ‘yes’ and holding you to it.”
“Stupid, idiot vampires,” she said, but her hands were hot and firm on his.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/450659.html